The clock clicked to 5:00pm and it was time to slather on the sunscreen and get on the bike for another ride down to McKeldin Square for another rally demanding justice in the Trayvon Martin case. That’s not a demand that’s going to be met following this particular rally, of course, but the rally brings like-minded folks together to feel community in anger, mourning, frustration, but also to revel in the pleasure of the crowd itself. My favorite moment from Sunday’s protest, for example, came when I was locking my bike up to the racks in the Inner Harbor (there’s a rack! As N. would say, wowwwwwwwwwwww!). Three teenage girls were walking along, enjoying the late sunny afternoon. One of them saw the gathering across Light Street and excitedly said to her friends, “Look! A rally!” And then they broke into a run–impressive in this heat–and joined up, grabbing signs to wave in the air. There’s pleasure in politics, and I think it is best not to forget that, especially because cases like Trayvon Martin and other bald miscarriages of justice that continually Black people and other groups to the increased risk of premature death happen all the time, everywhere–it just might be the system working like it’s supposed to, a chilling thought. Victories are rare, but the pleasures of making demands together should not be. I snapped this picture after the crowd made it to City Hall, thought about the outsized police response that is a huge part of the problem (always already criminal–that part has to end), the grooming habits of the many newscasters I’ve seen primping in the past few days (this heat is going to make that makeup run–sorry, ladies), the difference framing makes (this angle makes the crowd look sizeable; a shift of the lens to the right a bit and the picture would be completely different), and how many times I’ve been down to this plaza in just two years in Baltimore, and how many more times I’ll be here in the future. And then it was time to go, and N. and I rode home on our bikes, taking it slow. It’s hot out there–don’t forget to bring water.
Good posts and important thoughts. I shared this post with Donal who also wrote about this rally: http://donalfagan.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/trayvon-rally-in-bmore/#comment-345