US National curfew check in. May 31, 2020 12:31 AM   Subscribe

Curfew has been declared in dozens of cities and spread far beyond Minneapolis. How about a thread for hugs, solidarity, support, info sharing and more.
posted by loquacious to MetaFilter-Related at 12:31 AM (96 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

Thanks, loquacious. I'll just add that for more news-centered commentary, it would be better to use the Minneapolis thread since it currently has a lot of updates on various cities (or perhaps a new post / thread in the blue focused on multi-state protest-related news might become an obvious option), with personal stories here, so people don't feel like they need to follow several threads across the site to get informational updates.
posted by taz (staff) at 12:33 AM on May 31, 2020 [4 favorites]

Copy that, Taz. I mainly just want to hug people and know that they're ok. Let this be a schmoopy thread, if need be.

I'm super worried about lots of people and could use a hug and some positivity.
posted by loquacious at 12:36 AM on May 31, 2020 [9 favorites]

A big schmoopy hug to you, loq, and to everyone; I'm glad we're here together.
posted by taz (staff) at 12:39 AM on May 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Philly here, we trashed a lot of our downtown core retail last night with rampant looting and a few building fires. Sending hugs to all in this difficult time.
posted by tangaroo at 2:56 AM on May 31, 2020 [6 favorites]

We're still under a pandemic "stay at home" order in NH and I'm still too sick to go out and protest so my life is the same as it has been for the past 2+ months.
posted by Jacqueline at 3:32 AM on May 31, 2020 [4 favorites]

Hang in there, folks.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:48 AM on May 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Thinking of all my friends, my family, anyone and everyone. We're hoping there can be some kind of lasting change and healing from all of this. It's been such a distressing week...year. Sending love to all of you.
posted by Fizz at 5:11 AM on May 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

protests marching by my building on 57th st last night. I did not see or hear anyone being hurt.
posted by brujita at 6:00 AM on May 31, 2020


Made a donation to National Lawyers Guild Foundation–Mass Defense Fund

Mostly I'm trying to understand/learn how I can be different going forward, as a response.
posted by Gorgik at 6:08 AM on May 31, 2020 [4 favorites]

posted by ZeusHumms at 6:42 AM on May 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

There is a curfew here, but it is purely so they have a reason to arrest people who are out on the street in the areas of the protests; it is not actually a city-wide lockdown in practice. For the rest of the city it is "voluntary" and will not be enforced. I didn't see much change in traffic last night (miles away from the violent confrontations, though there was a peaceful protest close by earlier), but quite a few businesses shut early.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:55 AM on May 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

((((all y’all))))

We had a curfew last night. The first I was aware anything was up in my town was when I saw three cop cars directly outside our house surrounding a car which I think was the one that had driven through a crowd attempting to kill some protesters (they were not successful). In that moment at least I could feel okay about what the police were on about. Not sure how the rest of the night went, though. Some broken windows downtown for sure.
posted by eirias at 6:59 AM on May 31, 2020 [3 favorites]

This afternoon my parents are having a barbecue to celebrate the six birthdays (including mine, my sister's and my mother's) that were cancelled because Covid. I'm sure we'll all try to maintain some distance, and there will certainly be no hugging. But it will be nice to see everyone again.

I hope you are all good, take care.
posted by Dumsnill at 7:04 AM on May 31, 2020 [4 favorites]

We live right by a police station so there have been sirens going off constantly. We also keep playing the “is it gunshots or fireworks?” game. Pretty sure we have a neighbor that loves to shoot off fireworks at random-ass times but we can’t see the sky from our apartment so it’s always a mystery. But last night it was like 20-30 bangs (an hour past curfew) and I don’t see anything about a shoot-out in the news, so...

Anyway, we’re safe, just stressed out about the safety of everyone on the streets.
posted by brook horse at 7:59 AM on May 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Salt Lake City is under curfew until 6 am tomorrow. Yesterday’s protest began as a peaceful car caravan through downtown, where I live. Little by little, it was taken over by people bored from quarantine and looking for a fight.

Utah at large belongs to the right wing, which keeps insisting that coronavirus should be allowed to burn through the population for “immunity.” SLC belongs to left-accelerationists and libertarians, who want the socioeconomic/political equivalents of that death-burn so they can feel like revolutionaries. Both camps are fine with disaster because they think they’re too smart to be casualties. Last night, they converged on my neighbourhood to steal the spotlight from BLM, because the other thing everyone around here has in common is a bottomless appetite for attention.

I also expect we will have a big uptick in COVID-19 diagnoses in the weeks ahead.

One silver lining in all this: Mayor Erin Mendenhall is handling things impeccably. Since she took office in January, it’s been pandemic, earthquake, earthquake, earthquake, marches by gun-toting right wing crybabies...and now this. I hope we don’t burn her out on top of everything else.
posted by armeowda at 8:04 AM on May 31, 2020 [15 favorites]

Eugene, OR is under curfew after some businesses had their windows smashed and a fire was started in the middle of an intersection during demonstrations on Friday night/Saturday morning. The police said these businesses were "destroyed" (and news outlets described cops being "forced" to use teargas on crowds) but I drove past yesterday and repair work was already underway and honestly things looked only slightly worse than some of the usual assery that sometimes happens in the area. I've had to snooze a few people on FB who feel it's critical to denounce these "violent" riots but who have never said a peep about state-sanctioned violence against PoC.

Today is our BLM march and there has already been a lot of talk about armed maga hats that are planning on being there. We've also apparently got a fairly large anti-fascist group and I'm concerned about exactly the same thing armeowda just described in SLC, with both groups converging to steal the spotlight from BLM. I'll be there, but I am worried.
posted by DingoMutt at 9:13 AM on May 31, 2020 [6 favorites]

Curfew here in Richmond begins tonight at 8 pm, to 6 am. I don't know what this means for the newly reopened businesses that were supposed to be able to serve customers, but it doesn't seem like good timing.

I'm amazed that none of the mayhem last night touched the Walgreen's pharmacy two blocks from our house — two blocks in the direction of occasional gunfire on an average night.

I've watched the Trevor Noah video talked about recently on the blue, and that has changed my perception in the sense that I understand better why the reason for all the breaking into businesses, setting buses on fire, etc. I'm just doubtful of positive outcomes.
posted by emelenjr at 9:21 AM on May 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

The events in Austin yesterday have struck an icy fear into my heart. Austin sees so many protests every year, it's easy to lose count. We haven't seen riots on this level in a very long time.

I had the misfortune of getting onto I-35 about 7 miles south of the police headquarters at almost exactly the same time protesters were climbing onto the highway there. A normally 20 minute drive took me 3 hours, and that's only because I was miraculously able to make my way east and find one of the few ways to get to the north side of town from there. I took MoPac home (and I hate MoPac with a firy passion).

The official Black Lives Matter rally for today has been cancelled out of concern for the violence and putting black bodies in harm's way. While I understand, and mostly agree with, the reasoning, I'm scared that will just give more room for the bored, frustrated, violently-impulsed people to do what they do. People who were already frustrated with "The System" have been locked up for 3 months, and now all hell is breaking lose. I can't condone violence, but I right now I truly, deeply understand it.

On a more personal note, I have made an extremely tough decision to resign from my volunteer position with an organization that connects lgbtq+ asylum seekers to resources here in the US. I just don't see it being safe for them here.
posted by MuChao at 9:59 AM on May 31, 2020 [19 favorites]

It's suddenly noon, and I've been drinking for an hour. Ha! I'm not a regular drinker really, but it feels like a sane response to seeing two people murdered right before my eyes (via media, but I know it was real) in a week. Chicago is on a nightly 9pm to 6am curfew, and the downtown area is closed to anyone who doesn't have to be there, in an attempt to quell riots, and now I'm worried that I'm about to watch neighborhoods burn tonight, and it's fucking stressful, man. I'm not afraid for my own safety. I'm afraid for my city (the people, not stores/buildings, to be clear). Our cops are not known for their restraint.
posted by heyho at 10:02 AM on May 31, 2020 [5 favorites]

In Raleigh our downtown business district was hit hard, windows broken in most businesses, fires, looting. At the mayor’s press conference at 11:00am she asked people to stop coming downtown, saying they already had more volunteers to help with cleanup than they could put to work. There are so many good people in the world. So many more good than bad. I’m going to try hard to focus on this today.
posted by something something at 10:18 AM on May 31, 2020 [6 favorites]

There are 200+ people in front of the capitol building for a rally that was officially cancelled. So far, it's peaceful. Let's hope it stays that way.
posted by MuChao at 11:14 AM on May 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

I had to call one of my tenants, a small boutique, to let her know her window had been broken. She almost started to cry because it's just another thing she has to deal with and spend money on.

And then I learned that many insurance policies don't cover breakage due to riots. So, insurance may not even cover these costs.

It sucks, but some broken glass and graffiti is pretty minor compared to someone's life.
posted by vespabelle at 11:31 AM on May 31, 2020 [4 favorites]

We went through something similar starting last October until the arrival of the pandemic in Chile. My wife works at 'ground zero', 2 blocks from were most of the fighting happened every Friday afternoon for 4 months. Most of the restaurants and shops are looted / burnt / closed. Even though I 100% support the protest movement, I was almost glad when we went into self-quarantine and she started working from home.
posted by signal at 12:54 PM on May 31, 2020 [5 favorites]

Friday night was the first time that I put myself in actual harm's way for a political cause. I've done activism and protests, but as a white female I'm always pretty safe. A planned demonstration led to a mobile, uncontained march, blocking streets and traffic in my city, and I was one of a handful of other white people that put our bodies on the front line between cars and everyone else. It was the first time since 2016 I actually had hope. Seeing Minneapolis gave me hope. The small towns across the country gave me hope. Is that wrong? I'm venting here because this is a sort of vent/emotions thread, I don't want to post anywhere else and take the spotlight away. But participating in the protest felt so anchoring to me, seeing everyone else there and witnessing stories, reading news about the cities next to me. Thousands of people, everywhere, coming together. I just feel so much less adrift now, which I had been feeling in excess due to covid, due to the election, due to being gay in the south. Not to be corny, but the power really is in the people, y'all
posted by FirstMateKate at 1:34 PM on May 31, 2020 [25 favorites]

For what it's worth, the whole world is watching.

posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:30 PM on May 31, 2020 [13 favorites]

Much love to all of you from Seattle. My heart was warmed by all the people who turned out to peacefully protest, the brave souls who prevented and tried to prevent violence, and the volunteers downtown this AM cleaning -- masks on and socially distanced. Many good souls have shown their quality.
posted by bearwife at 3:01 PM on May 31, 2020 [3 favorites]

I brought a couple of flats of bottled water to the protest in one park, which was still relatively small. Started home along an avenue lined almost corner to corner with police cars and vans. Stopped in another park to rest a little, and my neighborhood was fucking crawling with cops when I got home, including what looked like copter support. I've rarely felt less safe. I can't see the aerial vehicles surveilling downtown right now from my window, but I'm sure they'll be back; they were up there all last night.

All my love and support to those out there fighting for change. I truly believe the property damage, to the extent it's being committed by protestors, is an indictment of the system that gives people no faith in "legitimate" means of obtaining justice and protecting the lives of themselves and their loved ones. Stay safe as you can, everyone.
posted by praemunire at 4:00 PM on May 31, 2020 [15 favorites]

Not out and about because of gastrointestinal issues, but I'm donating to bail funds in my area.
I'm really furious with how our local CBS affiliate is covering the protests. Lots of hand-wringing about injury to police but never any stats on injury to protesters or bystanders.
Stay shmoopy everyone.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 4:29 PM on May 31, 2020 [6 favorites]

Just returned from the BLM march in Eugene. People were in masks, there was no rioting or looting, and there were SO MANY people there. It felt good to be part of it. And then I came home and the first news article I read about it had almost nothing to say about the many speakers, or the efforts of the organizers, or just how many people came out. They did, however, make sure to point out that we temporarily shut down a bridge that "police said is a primary route for first responders." Because, you know, it's important to center imaginary victims of events that require first responders instead of focusing on this march as a reaction to a real, actual human being who was murdered by first responders.

Nonetheless, it was a great afternoon and I look forward to helping make sure this is only the start of actual change.
posted by DingoMutt at 5:00 PM on May 31, 2020 [20 favorites]

Just got the curfew alert for Los Angeles on my phone. It starts in half an hour.

My white parents witnessed the Watts Riots in 1965. My mom had an especially a bad time because at her school the gates got locked so that none of the black kids could get in. The black students responded by grabbing bats and scaling the fences. They came after my mom. While she is 100% pro #blacklivesmatter, that experience haunts her. I think both of my parents are struggling with this right now. They are afraid for their black friends and countrymen but they are also trying to come to grips with their own personal experience and the racism that still exists in them.

Thousands of hugs to everyone who needs one.
posted by Kitchen Witch at 5:36 PM on May 31, 2020 [8 favorites]

I find myself spinning out a little this afternoon, watching national and local social media and things catching up with me in another cresting wave after I thought they'd already caught up with me in a couple waves previously this weekend.

I hope everybody is as safe as they can be, and doing what they can, and looking after each other.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:49 PM on May 31, 2020 [14 favorites]

Hugs, hugs, hugs to everyone. Big hugs.

Also: courage, to sustain us, and for those of us who can, to do the work toward a better country and a better world.

More hugs.

Special hug to loquacious for this thread.
posted by kristi at 6:36 PM on May 31, 2020 [3 favorites]

k, if werld is watching I give loq a big kiss.

it's like when I was 7 and my sister caught me kissing the mirror.
posted by clavdivs at 6:44 PM on May 31, 2020 [3 favorites]

This is an easy ask. Even if COVID-19 had been a brief season flu that flared up in central China and sputtered out with no casualties, my heartfelt support would go out to everyone caught up in this craziness. With the Current Situation, I think about family and friends (including a few mefites) I have not seen in months and will not see for months more and realize I want to to hug them all until it gets weird.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:44 PM on May 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Today I saw a friend and her dog and although I couldn’t hug my friend I hugged her dog until it got weird!

((((Everyone and their dogs and also any cats who like hugs))))
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 6:57 PM on May 31, 2020 [6 favorites]

Things aren't great in Chicago right now. Solidarity hugs to everyone who needs one. Please be safe, all.
posted by merriment at 8:05 PM on May 31, 2020 [5 favorites]

I'm home and safe. I had to go out for errands in Capitol Hill in Seattle this afternoon, and I made a point to head out before curfew. I ended up running into a protest march, and shouted "BLACK LIVES MATTER!" at a squadron of bike cops that passed me on the street.

I got my Buy Nothing bug diffuser goodies, ran into some friends, and noticed a guy staring at us, kitty corner from us, on 13th and John. Short hair, sun glasses, black mask, beige pants. Waving to him and offering him one of my newly acquired bug diffusers made him turn tail and walk away from us.

Seattle public transportation is severely curtailed anyways, and now there's no bus service in either downtown Seattle and downtown Bellevue, which is causing people to be stranded. That's not a good situation at all.
posted by spinifex23 at 8:23 PM on May 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Things are getting dangerous out there, so stay frosty everyone. I just had a long phonecall with an old friend who is terrified, and just lost a good friend and mentor. This fellow. Toast that fellow and rally round your community.
posted by vrakatar at 8:24 PM on May 31, 2020 [7 favorites]

I am isolated, but with my garden. So I look out on what is going on and feel bemused, and out of the loop. It is a difficult time for many people and it is not going to get easier, at all so, solidarity with all the rest of the people in this country and the world is important. Militarizing over public unrest is awful. Best to all of you. I gave my travel water bottle and my small, "mad money" to a woman yesterday, who asked if she could drink from my hose out front, because, she is "poor." I have run into her before, she has mental health issues that leave her out of touch with consensus reality. She is the fragile edge of things, that will swiftly unravel.
posted by Oyéah at 9:17 PM on May 31, 2020 [4 favorites]

Ok, I'll ask...

What is a "bug diffuser goodie"?
posted by Windopaene at 9:26 PM on May 31, 2020 [6 favorites]

Dingomutt, my 14 year old and I were at the Eugene rally as well. I was worried about bringing her, but they’ve done so much work about privilege and racism and social justice at her school, I feel like it’s important to act, not just talk. We were heartened about the huge and mostly peaceful turnout-but worried by the packed crowds with the jump we’ve had in Covid cases in our county this week. Bright side, 99% of people were in Masks.
posted by purenitrous at 9:28 PM on May 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Portland, OR, has had an 8PM-6AM curfew since Friday night.
posted by bendy at 9:28 PM on May 31, 2020

Shockingly we are not under curfew in Oakland. Not sure how I feel about that tbh. I'm at ground zero, if you've seen footage of the destruction here...those looted stores are right by my house. The protesters came down my street for hours. I'm not in any condition to march but I did tell my support from my window.

My neighborhood is full of people who were part of the Black Panther movement. The mood is one of tension but also solidarity.

Sending everyone a big hug tonight. Stay safe.
posted by ananci at 10:03 PM on May 31, 2020 [4 favorites]

purenitrous, I'm happy there were fellow Mefites there! The DingoWife and I felt pretty much the exact same way as you describe - worried about going but feeling like it was important to act. I'm so glad we were there but yes, between the packed crowds and all of the nonstop chanting/yelling we all did all the way to Alton Baker, it's going to be an anxious time for us over these next two weeks any time either of us coughs. Nonetheless, I am glad we were there and really admire the organizers for making it such a well-planned and peaceful event.
posted by DingoMutt at 10:43 PM on May 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

When I look at social media I am always shocked at what bizarre new thing is happening in Minnesota. Gas tanker nearly hitting protestors, caches of fuel and vehicles without license plates, vehicles on fire. Practically speaking, our biggest hurdle right now is just finding an open grocery store that isn't a mad house that has thrown social distancing out the window, but at home I'm so worried that if I don't stay awake and keep watch we'll end up with our house on fire. The rest of my family seems either apathetic or content to leave all the planning to me. It's hard to gauge from day to day just how close I am to "the action" and what I can or should be preparing for.
posted by koucha at 11:35 PM on May 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Unhappy. Home safe, alone, angry, and unhappy. I had expansive, literally scarring, experiences twenty years ago during WTO in Seattle and I am FUCKING LIVID that SPD blew it again last night. I haven’t had more than a couple of hours sleep since Friday night, even though I am as safe as can be and not under the twenty-four hour chopper noise or looking out the window at the tanks and armored invaders. But in another way, I am.
posted by mwhybark at 11:40 PM on May 31, 2020 [17 favorites]

I’m in Downers Grove - western suburbs of Chicago. Looters hit the Best Buy here this afternoon, but it’s on the opposite side of town from where I am. The Village of Downers Grove recommended that all businesses in town close and residents stay home a bit before 5pm. I went out briefly to pick up dinner right around 5, but other than that, my partner and I have been home all day.
Metra service has been suspended for tomorrow- not sure about CTA and Pace. My partner normally commutes into the city - he’s off this week, but he’s been working from home since March, and isn’t expecting to go back to the office for at least another month. Thank goodness for that!
posted by SisterHavana at 12:38 AM on June 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

We are under curfew. I am alternating between looking at individual pictures of things that needed to burn burning, and having really bad PTSD flare ups due to everything looking like a war zone and people shooting at civilians and I am currently writing this from the floor of my bedroom at 1am so that tells you how I’m doing I guess? It’s weird. I support what’s happening but my brain can’t turn off the idea that we’re back in a war zone again and everyone I love is going to die.
posted by corb at 1:20 AM on June 1, 2020 [14 favorites]

These are roughly the bug diffuser goodies that I got.

The other thing that gets me about all the curfew stuff? Cops in downtown Seattle tonight demanded that everyone disperse - but then they cut off all of the ways out of downtown Seattle, except for one.
posted by spinifex23 at 1:24 AM on June 1, 2020 [7 favorites]

my elderly cousin lives in Soho and today is her trash day. says it has to be put out between 4 pm and 12 am the day before for 8-9 am pickup and I'm concerned that it might be used for mayhem. when I lived in boston in the 90s I was able to put it out 2 hours before scheduled pickup.
posted by brujita at 2:28 AM on June 1, 2020

Love and hugs to all of you. Please stay safe.
posted by daybeforetheday at 2:55 AM on June 1, 2020

San Bernardino is being looted and set on fire. This is a community that cannot recover from a situation like this.
posted by Kitchen Witch at 5:10 AM on June 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

I was going to post this yesterday, but I just logged off the interwebs for a bit instead.

Dinner time yesterday:
This all feels like such a random mix of mundane, like boys riding bikes around the block and a paint crew scraping the neighbors house. And then add the buzz of the helicopters, the constant peals of sirens. The worst part of the mix is that the spouse has found an online police dispatch station to listen to.

So know I know when some kids in a green jeep just looted a store a few blocks north of us. And we heard the update that the jeep was heading through my block. But the police weren't chasing them - so my little spot resembles normalcy. Birds. Kid's playing ball. No sign of the jeep. Far off the noise of chaos, far off the problems.

I see so many images until a friend shares one of a kid in his cap and gown that just stops me.
I couldn't think of anything, it just made so profoundly sad. I logged off. They had announced curfew an hour before and I had been ruminating on the moment it became real and the kids would clear off the streets and something about how "Even now, during this madness my little bubble could continue on pure inertia." Like the narrator in my head knows I picked this place because it's a 'good' place and knows that many of those metrics of good are racist, and this particular place tries to buck some of those and still be good, but mainly through economic exclusion .....

Looking back on what I was writing feels like watching an old Wild Kingdom episode, staged and narrated from a safe place.
posted by zenon at 7:13 AM on June 1, 2020 [3 favorites]

I'm in Albany NY and I went to the local protest here on Saturday. It was a humbling experience. I feel like I ran straight into the limits of my capacity for activism not two hours into the thing.

Many were marching but not my little group. We staked out one corner at the periphery of the main protests, and we gave out water bottles while we held up signs and chanted. It was like that for a good hour and a half. Then the police drove by with sirens, which made everyone jittery. Fifteen minutes later, a battalion in riot gear walked by indiscriminately throwing tear gas into the crowd.

I wasn't even in the groups nearest the tear gas, but I did catch a gust of wind carrying it right into my face. Brought down to my knees in seconds. I was semi-prepared with background reading about tear gas. For example, I didn't panic when I lost vision and I didn't run (heavy breathing means inhaling more gas), I just walked away from the site. But others did panic and push as they ran away, and at one point, I was knocked over at a time when I had lost my vision. For several moments I thought I might be stampeded, but someone helped me to my feet and I was walking again. Found a spot under a tree away from the main crowds and waited. Some time later I could see again.

During the time I was waiting for my vision to clear, my heart was pounding every time there were sirens, and every time people shouted/screamed within my earshot. All I could think was I did not want to get arrested, I did not want to become seriously injured or disabled. I just turned around and went back home then. My kids were due home from their dad's place for my turn on the custody schedule that evening. Even taking a shower made the damn gas reactivate.

I'll try to do my best in other ways, but here is where I cash in my privilege chips as a non-Black person who has the choice to pull my body out of danger. I'm trying to sit with that. I'm sorry, this is not a plea for understanding from folks who are out there, it's an apology.
posted by MiraK at 7:44 AM on June 1, 2020 [26 favorites]

I am worried for my kid in NYC. I am worried about the random that comes up when you think you are OK. However, this worry of mine is what this is all about...The fact that some people simply existing while Black, have this worry 24/7 365, or 366 on leap year. It is not acceptable.
posted by Oyéah at 9:02 AM on June 1, 2020 [6 favorites]

1 tsp of salt dissolved in 500 ml of water (2 cups) makes a saline solution good for rinsing out eyes if you've been teargassed. Put it in a small squirt bottle (like, eyedrop-sized, not ketchup-sized) to take with you. Squirt your hands first. Squirt from inside of eye to outside. If you're comfortable that you've gotten the agent off your hands, try to hold the eye open as you squirt, as if you were putting in an eyedrop. Not something we amateurs are going to do with the greatest of skill but anything helps when you've been hit, and you're unlikely to hurt yourself or anyone else you're helping with saline.
posted by praemunire at 9:11 AM on June 1, 2020 [8 favorites]

On a more ideological note, everyone has limits and any functioning movement has to recognize that. I have an underlying high-risk condition (though it doesn't feel like it in the day-to-day), and I don't think it's wise for me to march in a crowded procession and then possibly get arrested and spend quality time in a crowded jail cell. I only stayed at the protest I brought some supplies to for about twenty minutes, and only on the edge of the crowd. Even that made some of my family members unhappy (and according to some strains of Mefi logic, menaced society). If you can't contribute through physical presence, there are no shortage of ways to contribute otherwise.
posted by praemunire at 9:17 AM on June 1, 2020 [14 favorites]

Yesterday was intense because of the standoff in West Philadelphia and the chaos in Kensington. Then last night I was up on our roof and noticed a house on fire, which was of course anxiety-inducing. Luckily it was put out quickly. Then this morning it caught fire again! Apparently it wasn't all the way out and the wind reignited it. Nothing like a nearby housefire in rowhome country to get the blood pumping.
posted by grumpybear69 at 10:46 AM on June 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

It's sad--if you live in one of the denser sections of NYC, sirens are essentially naturalized and background noise. Or they were. Once the lockdown started, the sound of a siren likely meant a Covid victim, and now something even worse. I've been getting distracted all day while trying to work by them going off.
posted by praemunire at 10:59 AM on June 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

That's pretty much the case here, too, with helicopters.
posted by grumpybear69 at 11:03 AM on June 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

According to the Boston Globe today: "The streets themselves were rather busy, considering the quarantine Boston has been under for two months. Many residents were out for a walk or picking up coffee, and surveying the damage. Several lined up taking pictures of a looted North Face store on Newbury Street, empty racks of clothes visible through a smashed-out front door. Condom World, next door, appeared to be unscathed."
posted by Melismata at 12:37 PM on June 1, 2020

I haven't walked up Newbury yet - Fridays are my usual "long run" that takes me down Newbury St. I haven't been to my grocery store yet, which apparently had windows broken and things. Over the course of last night, I donated to a number of local organizations last night suggested by the Massachusetts Bail Fund, including Muslim Justice League, Sisters Unchained, and Families for Justice as Healing (scroll down to donate if you are so inclined). Watching things get worse and worse over the course of the night - tell everyone to leave, shut down public transportation, call in cops from other municipalities, call in the National Guard - was terrible. I had helicopters overhead until about 2:30 AM, police cars zooming up and down my (one way) street until well after 4, and am generally just feeling a pit in my stomach about the utter injustice experienced by so many people, the instigation and escalation of violence by police, and the world at large right now. I am the chair of social media and public engagement for my professional society; a few years back the person in my position resigned over the lack of response to Mike Brown's death in Ferguson, and now I'm waiting for permission to post something honestly pretty anodyne about Black Lives Mattering and we're now going on 8 hours since I e-mailed the president and they are currently wordsmithing my tweet to make it even less impactful, which is the dumbest thing. I'm trying to use my power where I can.
posted by ChuraChura at 1:41 PM on June 1, 2020 [7 favorites]

I'm so sorry for all of you in danger and distress. Here on MV there has been no action, as is to be expected. There was a rally at Waban Park in Oak Bluffs yesterday that I could not get to, but my SO and I just got back from 5 corners (central location in Vineyard Haven, think of it as Times Square for a town of a couple thousand people) where there was a protest and silent kneeling for almost nine minutes. Probably a couple hundred people. All very peaceful of course, cars honking in support as they moved through the intersection. We both started crying. This just a small island seemingly so far removed from so much, but we wanted to be a part of it.
posted by vrakatar at 2:33 PM on June 1, 2020 [3 favorites]

Solidarity and hugs to all agitating for a fairer, kinder society, whether in the streets, in silent protest or simply hunkering down because it's (understandably) overwhelming. Take care.
posted by Lesser Spotted Potoroo at 4:12 PM on June 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

Shit is fucked up in DC. We're just far enough out from the fray that everything is . . . far too quiet. Six miles away things are bad. Trump's shambolic photo-op directly harmed people. There is apparently very much a legal means by which the president could suspend home rule, which would make a portion of the life I've built here un-tenable.

And I somehow have to go down there tomorrow morning, and fuck if I don't just want to curl up in a ball.
posted by aspersioncast at 6:44 PM on June 1, 2020 [4 favorites]

I can't protest right now and I'm feeling so guilty about it. Austin is not the worst off place in the nation but we aren't the best off either, and I'm worried about friends in Houston and DC and Baltimore.

Yesterday my roommates went for a walk and saw the police choppers heading out to try and force the protesters off I-35. Not that we knew that was their plan at the time, of course, but I'm scared for East Austin right now. I'm scared for my neighbors and friends and I'm angry I can't do anything but toss coins into bailout funds and I'm tired.

One of my roommates might go downtown tomorrow with water bottles and see if anyone needs help doing cleanup. Might come along with her. We'll see.
posted by sciatrix at 9:19 PM on June 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

Y'all I heard some... odd fireworks? Maybe gunshots? through the windows tonight. Not sure how to check if that was a thing. In Chicago, on Sheffield just south of Armitage. Things are otherwise quiet except for a couple of sirens.

But we're OK.

Today I started compiling all the information I could find about what kind of person George Floyd was. Apparently he would dance badly on purpose to make you laugh. And there are rap songs in the world with his voice freestyling. I promised I wouldn't watch the police video until after I learned as much as I could about him.
posted by amtho at 9:24 PM on June 1, 2020 [10 favorites]

He was born and raised in Houston, well loved and remembered there. He only moved to find work.
posted by sciatrix at 9:28 PM on June 1, 2020 [5 favorites]

County wide curfew 8PM to 5AM announced today, in effect until Friday.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 9:30 PM on June 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

Hugs, love, support for all of you in the US. I want to say to stay safe, but...well, shit, it feels like it might be hard to do that right now for a lot of people. Take care.
posted by nubs at 10:56 PM on June 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

My baby girl just got her BS in mechanical engineering, and she's probably going to be at a protest/vigil Tuesday night. Another protest in our area Monday night had tear gas for no real reason. My daughter was in the young dems in high school and rode on the LGTBQ float in a couple parades (came home covered in glitter along with hearing the slurs yelled at her friends), and we voted for Secretary Clinton together, feeling like we could change the world. She also canvased for a local everyone-should-have-rights movement door to door. I'm scared for her. She's strong and brave.

I can't go, but I told her I am proud of her and gave her advice to keep herself okay. Some of which I got from y'all. I'm going to be pacing until I get a text or call.

I used to enjoy dystopian fiction a lot. I feel so unprepared for what we have here.

I hope all of you and yours are safe and well!
posted by lilywing13 at 1:42 AM on June 2, 2020 [13 favorites]

Keep safe, mefites in the US! I hope some positive changes come out of this in the end.
posted by Harald74 at 5:41 AM on June 2, 2020 [2 favorites]

Our downtown library was vandalized last night after the curfew started. Not the branch where I work. The vandalized location will be closed today. There was a peaceful protest earlier in the day with police presence but no violence or damage to any homes or businesses. This all happened after dark.
I hate all of this so much. I don’t feel safe. I’m not ok.
posted by bookmammal at 5:56 AM on June 2, 2020 [4 favorites]

Apparently Trump is headed to the national shrine today for another photo op - that's bringing things a lot closer to home for me.
posted by aspersioncast at 8:09 AM on June 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

What the hell is he thinking? How the fuck is anybody still supporting this sickening farce of a human being? I feel like I've been asking myself this almost daily since 2016, but now that he's been crouching in his bunker, in his darkened White House, bleating out messages of hate and violence against goddamned actual Americans - and then teargassing protesters so he could get his last photo-op ... I just don't understand how he hasn't been revealed as a poorly written comic book villain at this point. I keep half-expecting him to turn out to be a severely malfunctioning robot at any time, smoke pouring out of his ears, jaw clanging open, eyes going screwy, clanking and hissing sounds eventually winding down to nothing ... man, if only.
posted by DingoMutt at 8:18 AM on June 2, 2020 [11 favorites]

I've been keeping in touch with my neighbors and it seems all is quiet so far uptown Manhattan (Morningside Heights). Can't say that I want to be there now anymore than I did a week ago, but damn. Thankfully nothing going on in Westchester, but Peekskill is a few miles down the road and that could have had protests.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 8:42 AM on June 2, 2020 [2 favorites]

My city had a protest last night about 5 blocks from my house. I could hear lots of honking and sirens, and occasional crowd yells but that was about it. The police were out and about, mingling with the protestors, listening and engaging instead of escalating and bullying. Sunday night there was some looting, but nothing major and no injuries.

I've been glued to social media all weekend, and am very anxious about where this seems to be headed. I realize my privilege of living in a smaller city, with at least a respectful police department (so far). It's all unsettling, especially the uncertainty that is the future. It's a good eyeopener for how shit the leadership is, and how if I want a good outcome, I'm going to have to put in some work and be a leader myself.

Thanks, as always, for sharing your stories, efforts, and feelings here. Community is crucial right now, more than ever. (((Mefites)))
posted by Sparky Buttons at 9:00 AM on June 2, 2020 [5 favorites]

Cops here in DFW doing the alternate sometimes kneeling with people/sometimes gassing them thing that has been markedly unhelpful.

Watching standoffs on various streets and bridges and wondering: why not just leave the protesters alone? Why not just let them stand and sing till they get tired and go home, which they will? Last night I started thinking, what if you set up stations where people could record their grievance, general or specific, and publish it? What if we just listened?

No mayor or goverment group seems to be asking about or even considering responses that aren't just platitudes.
posted by emjaybee at 10:17 AM on June 2, 2020 [7 favorites]

My niece's good friend got tear-gassed last night when OPD opened up on the protestors with no reason, half an hour before the curfew. So that was great.

My neighborhood was at least mostly quiet last night; Sunday night we had helicopters circling overhead for hours.
posted by suelac at 10:54 AM on June 2, 2020 [4 favorites]

I feel an immense, immense sense of guilt that I am not attending a protest in downtown DC. Last night's teargassing of peaceful protesters so POTUS could have a photo op in front of the church and then waddle back to his bunker was horrific and made me realize how important it is to show up today in greater numbers to show that it's not okay.

Watching the actions of Rahul Dubey this morning brought a tear to my eye, specifically because I admire deeply his heroism but I also cannot honestly say I would have done the same had I been in his shoes and I am trying to wrestle with that and challenge myself to plan to do the right thing.

A coworker noted how surprised he was that I wasn't downtown yesterday. In a younger time of my life, I would've and did - but we've already locked ourselves down since March because we weren't willing to risk our toddler and infant to COVID. Adding that layer on top of the risk of getting shot from our occupying military forces is too much.

Having a spouse, a toddler, and an infant makes it immensely difficult for me to join and I coming to find that conclusion makes me terribly sad. It feels like a cop out and I don't know what to do about it.
posted by Karaage at 10:56 AM on June 2, 2020 [11 favorites]

This happened in Seattle last night - we had a riot in Capitol Hill, which is the queer/gentrifying techbro neighborhood in town. I got teargassed in my own apartment last night, which upset my asthma. I've been to 0 protests, yet I already got gassed.

We also had Mystery Gunfire, which didn't help any.

I'm OK now, but I wrote this yesterday on my FB: "Shots fired on Capitol Hill, after cops teargassed the absolute shit out of it because they freaked over a completely peaceful protest, and turned it into a riot. Some even got into my apartment, which is BLOCKS away, and where I've been ALL DAY AND NIGHT, because of Quarantine. Not a lot, but it made me wheeze; Ventolin and cold brew quelled it. I didn't even get a lot of tear gas; so many other residents go it so much worse than me.
I completely support Black Lives Matter, and all of the worldwide protests for George Floyd - but because of COVID-19, I haven't attended a single one. Yet I get teargassed, in my own home, while studying.
Mayor Jenny Durkan and Carmen Best need to resign, immediately, and the department needs to go through some serious reforms, if not disband completely. There's no reason to gas a RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD. I've been to countless protests on Cap Hill, even rowdy ones, and this hasn't happened since WTO, in 1999."
posted by spinifex23 at 12:20 PM on June 2, 2020 [7 favorites]

Spinifex be careful, tear gas can be impossible to get out of anything absorbent. It could keep making you sick until you replace anything contaminated.
posted by emjaybee at 12:47 PM on June 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

Eugene OR had a full citywide curfew last night which a) seems ridiculous given the worst "victims" of looting here was a Starbucks and a Five Guys b) was sent out about an hour beforehand and c) is a ridiculous overreach for what has been mostly peaceful protests that were STILL met with tear gas and riot gear in a goddamn town that everyone "jokes" about how the police won't come for anything less than murder because they're "soooo underfunded."
posted by nakedmolerats at 12:53 PM on June 2, 2020 [4 favorites]

Things have been pretty chill so far in Manchester NH, but businesses are worried enough about a rumor of riots tonight (started on Facebook by a teenager who doesn't even live here) that they've been closing early and boarding up their windows, which is pretty wild.

We live a block from one of the rumored riot locations and thus have made arrangements to take our cats to a friend's house if it looks like shit is actually going to go down. We're also going to stage some supplies in our storage unit nearby, which is in an absolute fortress of a building (ironically, the former police station) and thus should be a safe place to decamp to if we are unable to drive out due to crowds.

Our presidential candidate is in NH for candidate filing tomorrow and she will be attending the Black Lives Matter vigil tonight. My husband, who is running for governor, will likely join her.

I have asthma and have already been sick with a horrible cough for 2+ months so I'm avoiding all protests etc as tear gas could literally kill me right now. But a ton of our Libertarian friends have gone and I've been cheering them on from the sidelines.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:31 PM on June 2, 2020 [4 favorites]

I just don't understand how he hasn't been revealed as a poorly written comic book villain at this point.

You're overthinking it. The majority of his weirdass supporters are the kind of folks who root for the villain because they think villains are cool. I don't think they put a lot of thought into it beyond "Villains are badasses who get headlines/more attention!"

In Chicago, last night's pre-curfew north-side protest took place several blocks west of me on Sheffield, starting near the Clark/Belmont L station and scheduled to end at Stewart School Lofts, or so I'd heard. But, to my delight, a pretty big segment of it (all of it?) turned east at Irving Park Road. I heard something and looked out the window just in time to see a slew of bicycle-mounted cops removing the barricades to the entrance to Lake Shore Drive (southbound lanes into downtown being mostly closed much of this week), escorting the demonstrators up so they could occupy the Drive and making sure everything went off smoothly. I have binoculars (because I'm that person), and I could see the cops chanting "Black lives matter!" and "George Floyd" along with the crowd. They concluded with applause, cheers, and more chanting, cars on the inner drive honking like crazy, everyone filing off the Drive peacefully and remarkably quickly, leaving in their wake a sizeable crowd of recharged onlookers in buildings and on the sidewalk. I was bummed I couldn't march, so it was awesome to be able to participate from my living room.

Then the cops forgot to close up the entrance ramp after them, and hilarity ensued as cars, for some inexplicable reason, were driving in *both* directions in the north- and southbound lanes for about five breathtaking minutes. It was like a surreal little car dance out there, but I didn't see an accident, so I guess people figured it out. Nuts.
posted by heyho at 2:06 PM on June 2, 2020 [6 favorites]

Before curfew, police used tear gas last night on peaceful protesters in Richmond, and the mayor attempted an apology today.

In better Virginia news, Gov. Northam reportedly denied a request from Defense Secretary Mark Esper to deploy Virginia National Guard troops to D.C. last night because the mayor of D.C. wasn't consulted first.
posted by emelenjr at 2:06 PM on June 2, 2020 [3 favorites]

I woke up this morning with a pounding headache and took some sick time. Trying to work now but distracted by helicopters overhead and sirens going through lower Manhattan. Eight pm curfew tonight--wonder if the cops will put half the energy into deterring looters that they have into violent repression of protest.

I walked by about five cops lingering outside a park last night and noted that they all had the "memorial bands" on their shields conveniently positioned where they could quickly be pushed up to block shield numbers. There was a moment where one of them saw me slowing to eye their badges and I could feel him start to radiate threat. Sickening.
posted by praemunire at 2:07 PM on June 2, 2020 [8 favorites]

On CNN, a bunch of protesters are getting arrested in LA. Cops are approaching individual protesters, and I hope asking "you wanna go home or you wanna get arrested?" and I hope the portester in question is responding "I'm here to get arrested tonight that is my job!" and the cops saying " okay we are arresting you now, that is our job" and everything goes smooth. And then a nice judge dismisses all the charges. Still risky because of the virus, but sometimes getting peacefully arrested is how to protest.
posted by vrakatar at 9:03 PM on June 2, 2020

My daughter left our wonderfully peaceful protest about 9pm and went to get a much-deserved cheeseburger. The protest continued for a couple more hours. Our local police officers and sheriffs were pretty incredible. Restraint, empathy, and general kindness... you know, as it should be. Lots of masks. Lots of reasonable behavior. A few thousand people kneeling together.

A couple folks got arrested, but they were really trying to rile stuff up. Our local news folks had to apologize for some profanity on the live feed. Mostly, it was one of the local organizers telling folks "it's time to go the fuck home" after he'd already gone home and then came back. And then the police knelt with the few hundred still there again.

It's nice to live in a kind place.
posted by lilywing13 at 10:33 PM on June 2, 2020 [6 favorites]

I'm a member of a local gardening group on FB. Today the moderator had changed the banner photo to a black square for #blackouttuesday.

Not surprisingly one member complained about bringing politics into a gardening group, and requested (demanded) the moderator to change the photo back to gardening produce.

To my delight, all the comments from other members were along the lines of: Racism is not a political question it's about humanity and morals. Also, of course, the usual suggestions to leave the group and find one that better aligned with the poster's interests.

I am silly proud to be member of this FB gardening group in a mostly red district.
posted by Rabarberofficer at 10:50 PM on June 2, 2020 [15 favorites]

I'm in Brooklyn a few blocks from Barclays (which has been the rallying point or a waypoint for most of the Brooklyn-based protests) but I've had a fever for the past couple of weeks so I've been staying inside to avoid exposing the crowd to whatever I might have :-/. I've been donating and amplifying things (probably too much/not always the most useful things) on social media, but I've felt more stuck inside for the past few nights listening to helicopters and sirens all evening than I have for the past three months of barely leaving my apartment during the shelter-in-place. I'm really grateful for everyone who has gone out, though, grateful that donors have filled at least two local bail funds, and grateful that the organizers who got us here are ready with concrete policy actions to call for now like repealing 50-A.
posted by jdherg at 12:32 AM on June 3, 2020 [5 favorites]

jdherg, I've been feeling for you guys around Barclays. That area used to be more commercial/industrial but they've built so much housing nearby recently.
posted by praemunire at 8:45 AM on June 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

Things feel quieter here in LA today. Not as many fireworks in my neighborhood, and curfew started at 9pm instead of 5 or 6 like other days this week.

Like an above poster, there’s been a significant dust up in my local FB group for rock climbing. But it seems like the majority of the vocal crowd is pro-BLM, and having those discussions in the group. When my donation-fund is flush again, I’m donating some to POC-led and focused climbing orgs.

My CEO sent out a message that the company had donated to EJI. I relied to him and said “thanks. How about setting up a fund to match employee donations?” But there’s “too much red tape, tax-wise”

But since I watched Just Mercy last night, I’m happy they chose EJI. (Just Mercy is a powerful film to watch under the current circumstances, and it’s free on YouTube and Amazon this month.)
posted by itesser at 10:24 PM on June 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

I made the mistake of reading the Nextdoor posts for my little corner of LA. Awful. I've barely left my house since Covid, but I asked my (white) partner to go on a walk so my neighbors would see me and realize "Hey you have a black neighbor."

Much heavier police presence on the streets. One cop car very obviously pulled over just to watch us walk. Another that was already stopped rolled down a window to watch us when we crossed his path a second time on the way back home. I'm sure I looked very suspicious, going back to the exact same house I left earlier. But no one ID'ed me, so that was good.

My partner and I had a talk after, she'd not even brought her wallet. Meanwhile, I had my wallet, plus I run through a mental list of relatives' phone numbers in case I was detained.
posted by Pretty Good Talker at 12:48 AM on June 4, 2020 [10 favorites]

Meanwhile, I had my wallet,

Suggestion: you might want to carry an ID, a single credit card, a debit card, and a twenty, but otherwise if you're anticipating trouble, it's probably better not to have anything with you it would be dangerous to lose or a pain to replace. I empty my wallet out before going out.
posted by praemunire at 8:36 AM on June 4, 2020 [4 favorites]

my cousin's physically ok; she said looters opened up trash bags, dumped the contents and used them for their spoils.
posted by brujita at 4:17 PM on June 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

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