Coming home after a night of protesting to #StopSteveBannon, I feel moved and I feel electrified. Joining a group of THOUSANDS of protesters on the steps of City Hall in #DTLA tonight was probably the best thing a person who feels betrayed by the election could do. Arriving, we took the metro (in Los Angeles, that’s right, we took public transportation) and even though we were late none of us felt left out or out of place: we had arrived at another pivotal moment in time and we showed up.
Walking up to join the people protesting enmase one might feel a little intimidated, perhaps unsure as they cheer and clap, but as soon as you find a place smack dab in the crowd you are immediately at home. That feeling was an overwhelming sense of coming home to my people, and although unexpected, I felt as if I knew just where to go and what to cheer. The crowd chanted “Love, Not Hate, is What Makes America Great” and “No Bannon, No KKK, No Fascist USA” and “Fuck Bannon” and many many more chants in unison, loud, with conviction. For every person whose voice is lost to cheering, another steps up. If you’re a loud clapper, then you clapped loudly and didn’t stop, if you’re a shouter, then you shouted and lead cheers until someone else took over for you. There was no shortage of spirit and pride in this group tonight. So much so that in one sudden and powerful moment the crowd took to the streets, blocking and shutting down traffic in the still lively streets. It started with a chant “Whose Streets? Our Streets” then in one sweeping wave of action and activity we broke from our perch on the steps of City Hall and began to march. Passing by people who cheered us on, cars honking as they observed organic and real emotion being put to use. The energy was intense, it was alive, it was what is missing from your life if you don’t go. You are missing the support and revitalized energy of your brothers and sisters.
Going for the first time, you would certainly feel comforted in knowing just how many people are united against #Trump. You would look around at the faces listening to their voices reading their signs, and you too would feel like you’ve come home. For me, as I looked at the faces of my brothers and sisters I recognized people I’d not seen in years. You look around and you instantly remember someone who looked just like that person over there. Or you think WOW she’s still here? Feeling comforted. And you’re grateful for that person riling up the crowd with their heart and loyalty, or that person with their face covered you see her eyes and you feel reunited: all are welcome and all voices are heard. The chants tonight echoed a Stop Bannon theme but they also included Muslims are Welcome here, Trans Rights, and I knew why I felt like I’d come home. This past week has felt like the world that I love is no longer out there, but tonight the people of the protest proved to me again that they support me and they support the voices of the underrepresented: I support the voices of the underrepresented. I cheered louder, I clapped with emotion, I lived tonight with passion in my heart for a cause I believe in.
Pounding the streets of LA as we marched on I was reminded of “Born in East LA.” I remember empathizing with feelings of being lost, and what it feels like when you haven’t found your people as well as loving watching a movie take place in what I knew as my city of LA. I felt that loneliness before I committed and decided to take action for what I believe in: Equality, Love, Acceptance, Freedom for all people. As we protested in the streets I gave a silent nod and “Orale Homes” to that guy over there in the red bandana. I acknowledge the man who chased us around on the streets as our voices echoed off the buildings, through traffic, to sell us water from his kart like Cheech selling oranges from a grocery basket he was with us too. The protesters even came prepared to accept everyone who gave their all, peacefully, and some passed out water they’d brought to share or stickers or poetry: I wouldn’t have ever thought as many people stood with me as they do and I am proud for my raspy hoarse voice, my tired limbs, my sore feet, my full heart. You change for the better when you commit to what you believe in and take action against what morally and ethically chills you to the core. No Bannon, No Hate, No KKK, No Fascist USA.
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