A Look Through The Eyes Of Protesters
Start writing a post
Community

A Look Through The Eyes Of Protesters

People of different ages, races, backgrounds, and surroundings, all fighting for one thing - equality.

130
A Look Through The Eyes Of Protesters

This week, I knew I wanted to write an article about the recent events circulating the death of George Floyd, and countless other black lives lost due to excessive police force. Something that has stood out to me the most is, of course, the protesting. There's so much information circulating the internet and media, it can be hard to differentiate fact and fiction. Videos and pictures of looting, murders, excessive police force, semi-trucks plowing through crowds of people, and various other situations are being blasted on every social media platform imaginable. Some videos show police force joining in on the protests, hugging protesters, or people cleaning up trash leftover from looters. Regardless of what's being shown in the videos or photos, I can't help but ask, “What happened before or after this was taken? What didn't we hear, or see?"

Some people are confused entirely about why these protests are happening, or try to fight the Black Lives Matter movement by saying, "All lives matter", or deny white privilege.

I took it upon myself to reach out to people I know personally and people I've never met across the country or beyond, to get a better look at what's happening at these protests and what's driving each individual to go.

Hima, MN, U.S.

“I decided to protest because not only did it happen in my state and impact my communities, for me donating money and raising awareness wasn't enough, I have been to 3 protests in the cities and one local one that stopped our police from going into the cities up until curfew. Today I dropped off supplies. My experience with the protests is that there is so much more than what the media is showing. They say the community is rioting but they don't show the community cleaning it up, not only is it the community of Minneapolis cleaning up, but there are people from the entire metro coming in to help with everything, donating food supplies toiletries and all of that. And there's a certain feeling of family when you stand at those protests, something that the news will never be able to capture, we are peaceful and we are just protesting in solidarity and when you're there people are there to help. We have people bring water and snacks and masks and hand sanitizer and passing it out so that everyone is okay. There is so much community at those protests you will never know until you are there."

Georgia, MO, U.S.

"I am protesting because I've always been a person who wants equality for all. The "equality" some think we have is a facade. People of colour are still being murdered for no other reason than their skin. I'm protesting for the correct sentencing of the police officer who murdered George Floyd. He was convicted of third-degree murder, manslaughter, and what he did was no accident. Protesting has been a mix of so many emotions. It's a mix of pride, sadness, hope, and anger. We shouldn't have to fight against racism anymore. I've marched with the crowds in Springfield and the protesters are peaceful, but there are always people that come to attempt to hurt, degrade and demonize us. I was pepper-sprayed by a man after simply trying to protect a friend from getting sprayed. It hurt, but I'd do it over and over if it meant we could finally get justice for the hundreds of black people who have lost their lives to racism.

The media seems to think we all just want to burn buildings and hurt people. We're here to seek justice, mourn losses, and be around people who support the cause."

Leilany, NY, U.S.

"This was very personal to me. I've always been an advocate for equality and a supporter for the BLM movement, and when everything broke out with George Floyd. I was signing petitions and posting things to raise awareness but I wanted to do more. So some friends and I went out to some of the busiest roads in our town and held signs. I feel it's important because countless lives are being lost just because of the color of their skin, it isn't right. I'm only 45 mins outside NYC and I see the protests and my friends go. The protests are always peaceful until the police show up and them the media only reports the loots and rioting when the police are the first ones to engage in the violence."

Chanti, AMS, Netherlands 

"I decided to protest because I feel like nobody is listening. Nobody will listen to a single voice unless they are forced to hear it. That is why I think it is important to protest because it is louder doing it together. For a long time, it had been leading to this moment, and I think the videos of Arbery and Floyd were the tipping point. Because it broke so many hearts.

To me personally, it's important because as a black woman, I have been experiencing racism for so long. Here in The Netherlands, especially as micro-aggression, but still institutionalized racism. I can handle injustice very badly because I feel the pain very deeply as I believe pain is passed on through generations.

It was beautiful to see how many people were there to protest because you can feel the love that everyone has for one another. We were angry because we were able to love so deeply for the rest of our people. That is what could be felt within the crowd. People were looking out for each other.

Even though the protest was supposed to be with max 300 people, there were 5000 people protesting. The major of the city decided not to involve the police because she said it wasn't necessary, even though we couldn't keep a proper distance. The media says she was 'afraid' that it would turn into a rally, but I don't believe that. This was such a peaceful crowd. I think the media wants to show her as if she was scared, but I think she just took a very powerful stand in what we were protesting."

Emily, MO, U.S.

"I think it's important to use my privilege as a white person in a positive way by fighting alongside the black community. It's not enough to just say you stand with them while they're being murdered by the state, my activism has to go beyond just social media. I have to take it to the streets and fight alongside them.

When I got to the protest I attended, it was 1 am. I found a decently large group of protesters still on the Plaza and joined them. They were facing off against a wall of police officers. After a while of the standoff, we took to the streets and followed a route along the Plaza, eventually circling back to where we began. The police followed us in their cars the entire time, blaring their sirens and ordering us to get out of the street. Every time they did, we went onto the sidewalk. Eventually, we'd make our way back into the street and the process repeated itself a couple of times. They were armed with canisters of mace and told us they wouldn't ask us again.

When we got back to where we started, they immediately ordered us to disperse even though we were peaceful and on the sidewalk at the time. They came towards us and maced us, macing me in my right eye and on my clothing. Just because we wouldn't leave, that's it.

The next day, the KCPD (Kansas City Police Department) shared a sign of a couple of officers holding a sign that said "End police brutality" which I thought was ironic because they maced me like, twelve hours prior. They claim to want the same thing, but they maced a crowd of peaceful protesters for "being a disturbance." It was ridiculous.

A couple of friends and I are planning on going back to the Plaza Thursday with backpacks full of first aid and water to hand out. People have been there every day since George Floyd was murdered so I plan on rejoining them on my next day off of work."

Erin, MO, U.S.

"The decision for me comes from seeing the news coverage of the rioting and looting. The protest I attended was entirely peaceful and I wouldn't have attended if I didn't think it was going to be. Everyone has the right to protest and I support that. This was the first protest I have ever attended. I decided to go today because I felt called to. Inaction is the same thing as support, and if we don't stand now when will we? What happened to George Floyd was wrong. I can't pretend to understand the feelings that African American's have. But I can stand with them. And we can hold my City officials accountable for their actions when injustice happens in our communities.

I think this is immensely important. We have been so divided for years and people are tired of it. I am hopeful for change. I am hopeful for peace. It starts here, one protest, one election, one conversation at a time.

I think media coverage depends on where you get it from. I honestly don't watch a lot of mainstream media, I see things on Facebook, I occasionally watch MSNBC, but nothing consistently. From what I have seen I would say it has been pretty fair coverage. There are horrible things happening, but there is so much peaceful protesting happening that it gets overshadowed."

Arianna, WI, U.S.

"The Black Lives Matter movement means everything to me because it's my community. It's my ethnicity. It's my history. It's my background. I wouldn't be the person I am today if I wasn't black. The media tries blaming the black community for all of these riots and looting and this and that. But we wouldn't have even had to do this in the first place if we had equality. That's all we want. And for them to say that we started all this is SO wrong. We are peaceful. We don't want violence. We want to be heard. While marching in the Oshkosh protest I saw a community come together and stand for one thing. However, I got spat on and flipped off. I won't let anyone ruin my beliefs and what I think is right and what I'm fighting for. I went to the protest because if I stand for what's right, maybe others will too."

Sean, MO, U.S.

"I think that its important to stand up for all Americans. The racism going on in this country will NEVER stop unless we all stand together. It's personal to me. I have African American family. I would burn this whole city if something happened to them. I just can't stand hateful people in general. We the people need to make all this hate cease."

Destiny, MO, U.S.

"I didn't know what was going to happen at the protest, and I still went because I believe we are all the same. We may have a lighter skin tone but that doesn't make us better in any way, shape, or form! I understand I will never understand the pain and heartbreak African Americans feel. The media is what gets everyone wild and not everything the media says is true. Black lives are being taken. The protests get violent because the police don't listen so we take it to a level that they do listen to. I'm not black but I'm willing to understand and I think everyone should understand as well.

One day I hope that people won't be defined by the color of their skin tone but be defined by how they respond to others and respect others. All lives matter but right now the black lives are being taken, and I will stand with them till everyone understands that skin is skin and a heart is a heart, and that we all have something in common."

Carlos, CA, U.S.

"I went to the protests because I believe that the best way to show I care is to show up. Give my time, my energy, my body to something I care about. I showed up because I truly believe that whiteness (white privilege) is a virus, and it's coming for all of us. So whether you're black or not, you need to show up. As a brown queer immigrant, I already live on the margins. I've been a target of whiteness. And yet I still hold many privileges. And so I want to use everything at my disposal to show my black and indigenous family that I'm with them in this fight.

The protest was like a big family party. It was like coming together with friends. You may have never met before, but you all share a common bond. And because so many of us are in pain, the protest felt like a big therapy session. I felt recharged, healed, listened to, powerful, and purposeful.

There was this sense of relief. Don't get me wrong. Whiteness is still alive and well despite these protests. I know the fight ahead will be long and painful. But that sense of community allowed me to see what's possible, even if it was just a few hours.

I think the media focuses a lot on anger. Sure, folks are angry. But folks are also in pain. They're hurting. This is trauma. And trauma isn't black and white. Trauma is complicated and nuanced. And trauma can also be healed, and I feel that the media doesn't understand how these protests are also a space for healing."

Hawa, AMS, Netherlands 

"I decided to go to the protest because as a black woman it is my duty to stand up for what's right. I have had my own experiences of encountering racism unnecessarily. I am sick and tired of people treating us differently based on the coulour of our skin. At the protest it self I experienced nothing but positivity. It was a peaceful protest where people of all colours and ethnicity came and showed their respect.✊🏾 The media the past few days has been covering a lot! I believe there's more to find on social media than on the news regarding this topic. Social media isn't just highlighting George Floyds case but it's also highlighting other cases in different countries such as the Shukri Abdi case, Grenfell tower cases, and the Belly Mujinga case In the UK! In the Netherlands blackface is a big thing. The 'black Pete' aka 'zwarte piet' which is a Dutch yearly celebration is also being highlighted! As a black Muslim woman, I believe justice will be completely served in the hereafter!"

I encourage anyone who stumbles across this article to look at both sides of situations, dig deeper, think harder, and do your research. Do not post or form an opinion until you've educated yourself on the situation. It's important, now more than ever, to steer clear of media directed towards a certain group or view, and to be informed.

Below are a few things I hope you can take away from this.

1) Not all protesters are looters, and not all looters are protesters.
2) Responding to the Black Lives Matter movement by saying “All lives matter" is insensitive. Yes, all lives do matter that is something we can agree on. But the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement is to bring awareness to violence and systematic racism against black people, and the fact that some STILL believe black lives don't matter at all.
3) White privilege is very real, but can be used to fight racism for all POC. Amplify the voices of those talking about their oppression and experiences with racism, and continue to educate yourself on things you may have never experienced because you are white.

After asking people who witnessed it first hand, I've learned that everyone is driven to go to these protests because of different things. To some it may be because they've experienced racism their whole life, for others, they want to stand up for those who have, but they're all fighting towards the same goal - equality.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Being a pharmacy technician never held as many risks as it does now. Exposure too hazardous conditions were little to none, and garbing up was only conducted in IV compounding. But, now, in order to give nurses the medications they need to help their patients, they need us, pharmacy technicians.

Keep Reading... Show less

With no sign of the pandemic going anywhere, brides and grooms who planned to be married in 2020 are forced to opt for plan B — if not plan C or D. While some are downsizing their in-person weddings to meet coronavirus guidelines and state restrictions, others are choosing to cancel theirs until further notice and some, well, they're embracing the virtual "I do."

A few weekends ago, I had the pleasure of attending a Zoom wedding for my friend and fellow editor and writer, Kristin Magaldi, and the short-but-sweet ceremony left me in happy tears (surprise surprise). In order to get the scoop on what exactly went into planning a virtual wedding, I asked Kristin to share her best tips so other couples know exactly how to have a Zoom wedding in case they're looking to lean into the video chat vows, too.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

11 Reasons Why Getting A Cat Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Mental Health

Cats may mess up your puzzles but they'll always love you unconditionally — as long as you have some catnip, that is.

Scout Guarino

Alright, everyone, it's time to stop spreading the rumor that all cats are mean, aloof, and hate everyone. Like dogs, each cat has its own personality and tendencies. Some like a lot of attention, some like less — each person has to find the right cat for them. As for me, my cats Bienfu and Reptar have seen me at my worst, but they've also helped pull me out of it. They're a constant in my life and they give me the strength to get through the day in spite of my depression, and there's even scientific evidence to support it!

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Risen Wang on Unsplash

Maybe it was the quarantine months that sent you on a quest to finally find a workout routine that works for you, or maybe it was the lack of routine in the world that inspired you to change your habits or -for some- keep them and make an effort to maintain your health. If gyms were not already evolving with the new needs of the 21st-century gymgoer, they are undoubtedly evolving now with the lifestyle mindset that Covid-19 has left many of us with — a desire for a plan for a positive change seeing that tomorrow is not guaranteed.

The experience that an individual gets out of going to the gym should feel worth their time, energy, and should meet their specific fitness journey goals. If you do not already have a reason to go to the gym, here are ten genius effective implementations that will inspire even the couch-iest potato.

Keep Reading... Show less
Disney

I've always been a huge Disney villain fan — whether it was for their cryptic one-liners, enviable outfits, or sidekick banter. Some of the most iconic lines from cinematic history have been said by the characters we love to hate and occasionally dress up as once a year.

The fear-mongering Gaston I now find hilariously cringe-worthy is now charming and oftentimes considered by fans as rightfully justified in his actions. Die-hard fans of the Disney villain fan club claim alternate egos in their favorite evil characters, adopting their hilarious witticisms into everyday life.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Characters From Your Childhood That Combated The Mental Health Stigma

We deserve to see people like us on the big screen just as much as you do.

Perks of Being a Wallflower

Growing up with a neurodevelopment disorder and mental illness, it's easy to feel isolated from the rest of the world. It is not common to look around and see someone that experiences situations similar to the ones you endure. Even if you do come across a person that is also perceived to be "different" in the eyes of society, the negative connotations instilled in everyday life are quick to silence your voice and knock you down before you have a chance to realize that who you are is more than okay--it's normal. This is a big reason why anything that brings understanding and shines a light on what people with neurodevelopment disorders and mental illness go through on a regular basis comes around a sense of relief and happiness fills the body.

In light of this, I went on a hunt to find characters in television and cinema that accurately portray the complexities of developmental disorders and mental health.

Keep Reading... Show less

Anyone who goes to Panera Bread will tell you that their mac and cheese is to die for. If you're a huge fan of their mac and cheese, you won't believe the new recipe they're coming out with!

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Epic Activewear Deals Every Leggings-Lover Needs To Know About From Nordstrom's Biggest Sale

Wearing my pleather Alo leggings till someone physically removes them from my body.

I'll be the first to admit I'm not an athletic person, at all. Since junior high school, I've been happily cheering my friends on at their football games and soccer matches from the sidelines as long as I could go home to my yoga mat and spend Sunday mornings at Pilates with my mom's friends.

Weekends are often spent in my casual wear, from the second I throw them on for morning meditation through running errands and evening walks. No, I won't be running a marathon or joining my friend's volleyball league anytime soon.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

I Asked My Boyfriend His Opinion On Liking Other Girls’ Pictures, And, Spoiler Alert, It's Cheating

"When you get into a relationship and you're in love, you have to realize that liking photos is for the single lifestyle."

Ladies, listen up. If you are in a relationship with a guy and he is liking other girls' pictures on social media, then it's a red flag. A man who can look at someone else and show interest by liking it means he doesn't care about your feelings AT ALL.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Luxury Fashion Buys Your Bank Account Couldn’t Justify Till This Year’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

In case you needed another reason to get the Prada sunnies you've been eyeing all year.

Since I can remember first flipping through my older cousin's fashion magazines as an 8-year-old, I've always had several luxury items on my wish list of items I knew I'd never have, but loved to fantasize about.

As I grew into financial independence later in life, the list grew longer, but the ways in which I could toy with my grocery or travel budget for a month to make room for something I really wanted made the items on it more attainable. Even then, I will (virtually) visit an item online several times in the span of a year to test if I still like it months after eyeing it, and to see if by any chance it may have gone on sale.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

10 Curvy Women Of Color On Instagram Who Inspired Us All To Take More Confident Lingerie Selfies

Learn to embrace your body and stop comparing yourself to the "beauty" standard with the help of these beautiful models and bloggers.

It's not every day that you scroll on your timeline and see a body that resembles your own. With a beauty standard that has conditioned the minds of society to exclaim confidence!

When a fuller figure posts on social media — as if it's an extreme act of bravery to show yourself off if you're not under a size 6 — it's about time we take back our power and learn that we are enough just the way we are.

Keep Reading... Show less

First and foremost, shame on you for encouraging the patriarchy and sexism as you police a female's clothing choices. You cannot control our bodies, but what you can advocate for is public health and safety. This includes demoralizing rape, slut-shaming, and protecting society from illness.

Keep Reading... Show less

Picture this, we're settling into our date, the conversation is flowing, we're ordering drinks, laughing, and then it happens... the job convo.

Him: "So what do you do?"
Me: "I'm a dating and relationships editor."

Keep Reading... Show less

TikTok was banned by the president, but Instagram is here with its newest feature called Reel. Many of us are still wondering why TikTok was being banned in the first place. Was it all the dangerous TikTok trends? It was because of a security concern, but not in the way you might think.

TikTok is owned by Dancebyte, which is a China-owned company. Basically, just like any other app, TikTok collects the user's data. The main question to ask yourself when investing in any app or marketing tools who will be owning my data? So yes, China currently owns all the TikTok user's data worldwide.

Keep Reading... Show less

- I have extremely sensitive skin, which is why I have always resorted to a plant-based organic beauty line such as Radha Beauty.

- Radha Beauty won me over years ago when I was looking for organic skincare brands.

- I was so excited to see they launched a new line incorporating USDA organic rosehip oil, so when their PR team sent me some, I could not have been more thrilled.

- After a week of using the products, my face felt as smooth as a baby's, looked more glowy than ever, and even cured some of my summer sunburn.

Radha Beauty isn't just a best-selling beauty brand on Amazon — it's a USDA-certified organic beauty brand I live by, and anyone who knows me knows I am all about holistic wellness.

Typically, it only takes three days for me to tell if a skin product is working or not because I have extremely sensitive skin. It's also why I have always stuck by plant-based organic beauty lines such as Radha Beauty.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments