I went to the protests at SFO last weekend. It was the first real set of protests I’ve been to. I write this to attempt to capture a sliver of what I felt that day.
I was there for about 10h on day 1, and came home exhausted. I went back on Day 2, and this time stayed for much shorter period of time (~4h?) before heading back home.
To everyone who was at the protest even if it does not directly affect you yet - thank you!
To the wonderful amazing women of color who were leading the protest - thank you. You are an inspiration.
To the brass band and the troupe of drummers who showed up - thank you!
To the people I already know from other contexts who I ran into at the protest - thank you!
To those who were protesting for the first time in their lives (as I was) - thank you!
To the fucking ACLU - thank you! I’ll send you all the money I can :)
To the people who provided infrastructure (food, water, snacks, first aid, printers, internet, etc) - thank you!
To the journalists who covered this - thank you.
I woke up that saturday feeling very depressed, angry, and helpless. By sunday night, I was only depressed and angry - but not helpless. The number and variety of people at the protests was very heartwarming, and made me feel distinctly not alone. Before going I was not sure what going to a protest accomplishes. I still do not know - but I know it gave me hope and restored my sense of agency.
I promise I’ll continue doing all I can, even and especially when it is about things that do not affect me yet. I hope you do too.
What hurts the victim most is not the cruelty of the oppressor but the silence of the bystander
- from a sign at the protest
Author Yuvi Panda