20 June 2020
J and I went to Atlantic City for a Juneteenth car caravan and demo yesterday. It was organized by the NAACP, but various faith groups and other people spread the word so that the attendance was pretty good.
We arrived at the Martin Luther King Jr School Complex, and lined up with the other cars. J found that the speaker was being livestreamed on Facebook, and she was able to play that on her phone.
I decorated the car with signs I'd made (mostly BLM in a variety of graffiti styles), and added crepe paper streamers out our windows (windows holding them in place).
Eventually, the speeches ended and the cars moved out. I have no idea how many vehicles were involved, but I'd estimate over twenty-five and under sixty. I really have no clue.
But we drove along MLK Boulevard, horns honking and people on their porches or on the sidewalk waving and cheering, some giving the "power" sign. We continued on until the road came to the end, and then turned south onto Pacific Avenue, and drove a few miles along there. This is a more commercial area, less residential - so there were more people on the streets, most waving and cheering and giving the power fist sign.
After possibly a half hour or so drive, we came to the end of Atlantic City, and the caravan/motorcade seemed to dissipate as people headed off homeward. So, we did too.
However, the highway was closed (turned out there had been two cars on a high-speed chase, people shooting at each other - one crashed on the on ramp, and the gunman was hiding in the bushes but was later apprehended by the police) - so we took the local roads home. More waving, and at one stop light the young Black woman in back of us honked her horn and waved at us.
So, we were out there representing, in solidarity and unity and support in this very peaceful protest demonstration. Silent allies.
Because sometimes, just being there is enough.