FROM THE DESK OF: Aiza
Let me start by saying, this week has been hard for me. My world feels upside down and I feel as though I’m walking in a daze through clouds of confusion, hurt, anxiety, fear. I’m still trying to articulate my thoughts and research the current state of affairs around me. With the election, I found out half of this country doesn’t agree with my politics. With this election, I confirmed that half of this country has a different definition of a great America than me.
I’m an avoider. So the last few days, I wanted to only hide in my apartment, avoid all news outlets and watch rom-coms and French comedies exclusively. After a couple days of reclusiveness, I knew I needed a drink. Preferably one with gin, but bourbon works too.
On Friday, Nina and I hung out near my downtown LA apartment. I wanted to escape to some nearby bars. As we walked through my neighborhood, a young man stopped us two and asked, “Do you know where the protests are around here?” Since the election results, groups of protesters voicing their opinion on Trump’s presidency have gathered downtown for the last several nights.
At least three different times throughout the past weekend, other strangers stopped me walking on the street to ask about a rally or protest. Normally, I don’t really talk to strangers but I wanted to help each of them find a group of others who might help ease their own feelings of confusion, hurt, anxiety and fear too. While I sought personal solace in an alcoholic drink with big ice, others want to join a march and rally.
*I understand in other cities, demonstrations have turned violent but I only know personally about DTLA activities. See Dave Chappelle’s SNL monologue.
I fully acknowledge and recognize so many others (again, at least half this country) likely do not agree with protesters’ point of view. However, as a resident of the area, I completely appreciate the crowds here in my neighborhood.
Yes, street traffic is interrupted.
Yes, helicopters fly overhead nightly (I hear one right now as I write this).
Yes, some additional graffiti/political commentary popped up on buildings and inside the 2nd Street tunnel.
Yes, protesters are arrested too.
Despite these inconveniences, right now I need to feel an energized vibe in my downtown LA neighborhood rallying around a common confusion and pain. Strangers are talking to each other, fighting side by side, together exercising a First Amendment right to free speech and expressing their hope to form a more perfect union.
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”