What a terrible weekend. Demonstrations both nights (good thing), followed by the window-smashing and general mayhem (bad thing). The curfew went into effect an hour ago, and the police started firing tear gas and moving the crowd back shortly thereafter. I expect the window-breaking and so forth will start any time now.
It’s getting worse by the night. The first, the police seemed fairly tolerant; Kate walked in the first demonstration, which was peaceful. The organizers wished everyone a good night, and many people went home. But many didn’t, or maybe more showed up, but whatever happened, the window-breaking started at nightfall.
That was the night similar action took place in Fort Wayne and cities all over the country: Peaceful start, violent finish.
The outside-agitators line is being sold, and if the details are true, it holds up — most of those arrested were not Detroiters, and from the photography, most weren’t black, and in a city that’s more than 80 percent black, well, it stands out.
Saturday was uglier, and the same pattern: Peaceful protest, ugly end.
Following a script seemingly set the day before, protests in downtown Detroit and in many cities nationwide began Saturday afternoon with crowds of peaceful marchers voicing chants about racial justice.
But after dark, those crowds were less peaceful. In Detroit, Friday night’s protest had become tense and led to arrests, and it even involved a fatal shooting, although that was later determined to be unrelated to the protesting.
Saturday night was worse. Participants threw rocks and fireworks at police, refusing to disperse until hundreds of officers converged to use tear gas and make dozens of arrests, according to reporters at the scene.
Saturday was the night they pepper-sprayed reporters, too.
Again, this is a majority-black city, with a majority-black police force. They’re not perfect, but they haven’t had a major brutality case in years. This isn’t Minneapolis. But some people just want to fuck shit up. And the police are getting surlier as this drags on. I hope things calm down, but I don’t know that they will. Lots of people with time on their hands (unemployment), lots of people with energy to spend (confinement), lots of people just mad at everything (Trump). It’s a bad combination.
How were things where you were?