On a quiet rainy Saturday afternoon small groups gathered at Westlake Center in the heart of Downtown Seattle. For many including myself this was our first BLM Rally, there was a rigidity in the air, the weather was shitty and the turnout seemed low. But they kept coming, most in groups but some alone. At 5:30 I counted 3 dozen, at 6 maybe 70, by 7 over 200. The cold rain seemed to act as a stimulant, something tangible to fight against in the moment. There were speeches, tangents, interruptions by outside parties, by 8 the crowd stood 300 strong and were riled up, ready to March.
The march began right after 8, this stew of humanity consisted of everyone you could think of. Middle aged white women,queer black women,kids,cops,beatniks reliving their childhoods,hot news anchors,black nationalist,christian extremist,thrill seeking photographers,scared onlookers,night and rain. We stampeded down from 3rd and Pine, hit 1st and marched all the way down to a fan packed Safeco Field, we shed over half the crowd by the time we made it too the stadium, The Mariners lost by 1.
I left the March at Safeco exhausted and satisfied yet puzzled, there was something essential lacking. It seems the movement isn't quite a movement, it's a blast of ideas and energy, a supernova, with the potential to produce more organized effective forms of social dialogue. To survive it needs to evolve, I'd rather not see it devolve into a voice that solely relies on slogans,celebrity activism and feel good rhetoric. The near future's unclear, one thing,s for certain though, I'll be back for more.