Protest, destruction, beautification

I went to a Vietnam War protest during my senior year in high school in Kingsville, Texas. That was 1973. That was the last one I went to because there were several injuries and an out-of-control crowd. I’m all for peaceful protest, but when the peaceful protests last for several years, perhaps even decades, and no one listens, perhaps it’s time for something other than peaceful protests.

Remember this?

Protest peacefully

Eagles fans

I remember studying how the South protested when they lost the privilege to own black people.

White people rioting

Then, of course, there was the Boston Tea Party which happened because the King of England would not listen to the people’s concerns.

Boston Tea Party

The city of La Mesa, California, where Jim and I lived for eight years, had a riot on Saturday, May 30. It started very peacefully, but when the marchers wanted to enter the on-ramp to Interstate 8, the police turned them back towards downtown. That’s when the rioting started.

I had heard about the riots but did not see any pictures, notwithstanding so many posts saying that the press was glorifying the violence.

Yesterday I read about many arts associations traveling to downtown La Mesa to paint positive messages on the plywood and particle board covering both broken and unbroken windows. I immediately ventured to La Mesa to see for myself. The destruction was like nothing I had ever seen, but I’ll take this destruction over that of the Philadelphia Eagles fans any day of the week. And when the powers that be refuse to listen to the concerns of their communities, seen as way too willing to reign in police brutality, well, something’s going to happen. It’s gone on for too long. There also are way too many reports of police brutality continuing during the protests….

One man lost an eye after being shot in the face by a “rubber bullet,” which are not bullets by any stretch of the imagination. They are huge projectiles.

A 75-year-old many was pushed to the ground by two police officers and left there to bleed. A grandmother died after being shot with rubber bullets. Lots of videos of police beating protesters peaceably assembled.

Due to my age and underlying health conditions, I’m in no physical or mental condition to even go out whenever I want during this pandemic. Add in protests, and it’s perilous for me. I did get some ugly stares yesterday from some in downtown La Mesa, and every time I got one of those ugly stares, I gave the artists a monetary donation to help pay for the supplies they were using to make the plywood less ugly.

La Mesa, California, The Jewel of the HillsLa Mesa has always been a peaceful city, even during their acclaimed Oktoberfest, so I was quite shocked at the destruction. However, I also found out that although the death of George Floyd prompted protests nationwide, an incident of police brutality in La Mesa—captured on video by a bystander, of course—is what led to this protest starting at the City Hall/Police Station complex. A black person was caught smoking a cigarette at the San Diego Trolley station in La Mesa. Smoking is not allowed, yet even my Excel spreadsheet doesn’t have enough cells to tell you the number of times I have seen white people smoking at the Trolley stations and on the Trolley. The police had been seeking to press charges against the person who captured the brutality on video, but they announced yesterday that they would not do so. I think that’s a good thing.

I also got a chance yesterday to use the camera on my new Samsung S20 Ultra 5G phone. So here are all the pictures I took yesterday, with no comment other than the picture of Randall Lamp, which was a historic building; the other pictures of burned out buildings are of Chase Bank and Union Bank.


8 thoughts on “Protest, destruction, beautification

  1. Halim

    “When peaceful protests last for years or decades, and no one listens…” You made and point to a very good reason I feel, Russel as to why the riots happen. Thanks for this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. photobyjohnbo

    We are living the ancient curse, “May you live in interesting times.” I have always been a supporter of police as they have a terrible job to do, but it seems a fraction of them belong in a different line of work. I was appalled at the protester who was assaulted and left there as the line walked by.

    On another note, I am getting used to the Samsung Ultra and find it quite capable, focus issues a bit of a problem at times. I have a mini-review on my blog coming up in a couple of weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. JT Twissel

    Unless you have really strong organizers (and several throughout the crowds) it’s easy for tempers to get inflamed and out of control. And then we can’t expect policemen to stand by and do nothing. However, to see people being killed who are not involved in acts of violence is beyond what any rational person can abide. You make a good point about acts of vandalism during celebrations as opposed to protests. Stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person


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