I’m Not Sitting This One Out.

I’ve never been prouder to be a K-Pop fan:

This is from the Dallas Morning News, May 31, 2020:

On Sunday, the Dallas Police Department asked people to send in “video of illegal activity” from the Black Lives Matter protests in the city through the iWatch Dallas app, where people can submit photo, video, or text tips about possible crimes. Instead, it received a flood of pictures and videos of K-pop artists from hundreds of K-pop fans determined to break the app.

Within hours of the original tweet, the Dallas Police Department followed up with a tweet that the iWatch Dallas app was down temporarily “due to technical difficulties.”

If I could be specific here, the Texas K-Pop fans did not send videos and memes — they sent “fancams”, which, if you are a K-Pop fan you, already know what these are because you’ve seen thousands of them on YouTube and Twitter. If you are not a K-Pop fan (AND WHY AREN’T YOU??), a “fancam” is a cell phone recording of a live K-Pop concert.

Another thing about the Dallas – Fort Worth metropolitan area that I want to bring your attention to is this map (please embiggen so you can get the whole info):

 

The Dallas/Fort Worth metro area has a population of 7,573,136. Look how many states can’t muster up that kind of demo, yet they have the same number of senators as Texas (and New York, and California, and Pennsylvania, and Florida, etc etc), which translates into electoral college votes.

This is why we have to abolish the electoral college.

In the trivial life of Your Truly, Vivian Swift, this headline was the last straw:

Here’s the abridged story:

 

After I read about this, and saw the video, I knew I could not sit this one out.

As much as I loathe leaving the house, I had to get in the car, drive to the train station, get out at Penn Station, and go to Times Square last night (Tuesday, June 2, 2020) to Show The Fuck Up:

This is me:

Actually, I thought my sign was pretty shitty, and not at all up to my usual standards (because writing in big letters is hard) but people stopped and asked to take my picture about 30 times last night. I got interviewed for a local TV channel. Reporters from Italy and Israel and one Asian guy who didn’t identify where he came from asked to take video.

Maybe because my sign was big, and legible…maybe because I was the only protester with gray hair (aside from Top Cat, who took these pictures of me). Who knows.

A trick I have learned about holding big signs at protests is, you have to cut hand-holds into them. If you look at my sign, there are hand-holds near the “M” and the “R”. Please remember to do this if you head out to a Fuck Trump rally. It makes all the difference (it reduces the fatigue you will feel from holding your arms and hands above your head).

This is One Times Square, where they do the Ball Drop on New Year’s Eve. As you can see, the ball is still there on the roof. Huh. I didn’t know it was kept up there all year.

Here is another trick you need to know:

If you get arrested and the police confiscate your cell phone, you need to have written on your arm, in permanent marker, a phone number you call call for bail money (because who knows phone numbers these days?).

This proteser’s life line is in Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill (I blurred the rest of her info because I’m a decent human being).

It’s also smart for your sign to have lettering on the front and the back.

Don’t wear contact lenses or sun screen on your arms and face. Tear gas will stick to those surfaces.

Tuesday night was the night that hundreds of doctors came out in force from hospitals all over the city. They were  White Coats for Black Lives, protesting the number of patients they see in their ERs who have been injured by police, and against our health care system that institutionally denies basic services to people of color.

These are the New York City protesters that Trump has called “lowlifes and scum”.

The plan was to this group to meet up with a shit load of marchers coming up 5th Ave from Bryant Park at 6:30, do a Times Square rally until 7:15, and then head downtown to march across the Brooklyn Bridge to defy the 8:00 pm curfew. The amazing thing was, everything happened on time.

Top Cat peeled off around 7:30 to catch the 7:48 to Long Island, but I wanted to see how this was going to end because I think the curfew is bullshit.

We marched down Broadway to Union Square on 17th Street, arriving at the magic hour of 8:00 pm. That’s where we came up against an enormous line of NYPD, standing three-deep, on Broadway at the southern end of the park. Also, there was A LOT of press there, putting themselves between the marchers and the NYPD. Let me tell you, the NYPD in riot gear is very, very scary.

Since the police were blocking access to the south end of the park, the leaders called for white people to go to the front and link arms and the group headed west on 17th Street, only to come against another wall of NYPD. I happened to be near the front at this point,  right behind the first row of what people carrying my sign.

(I took photos, but I can’t get them off my phone, for some reason.)

That’s where the NYPD threw something that sounded like gunshot bombs into the crowd — no smoke or gas, just really loud noises. That was scary, too, and I stepped back. But then it stopped, and people seemed to be OK, so I re-joined.

Surrounded by police, the group ran south, on 6th Ave., which was clear of cars and cops. I stayed with the march as it took twists and turns to avoid the cops until 6th Street, but it was getting dark and I didn’t want to go to Brooklyn, so I split off and headed back uptown. I didn’t know exactly where I was, and I didn’t like being out on empty streets by myself in the near-dark, but luckily I found a subway station on 14th Street that was still open  and I was home on Long Island by 11:00 pm.

On the news I saw that the marchers continued on, and went across the Manhattan Bridge, not the Brooklyn Bridge, into Brooklyn, and it was peaceful. During my participation, I did not see anything violent or unruly, except for taunts to the cops (How Do You Spell Racist? NYPD!, and Whose Streets? Our Streets!) and I was surprised at how many doctors stayed with the group all the way to 6th Ave. Damn. NYC Docs are tough.

I’m checking to see if there is anything from Black Lives Mater scheduled for today (so far, nothing) because this is where I start Showing the Fuck Up.

Once again, this is not what I had planned to discuss with you all today, but then, none of us thought that we’d be here, in a police state in America, ever.

Welcome to Trump and McConnell’s America, where the worst pandemic and economic crisis in a century are only the 2nd and 3rd worst crisis of the week.

Do I even have to say it?

Fuck Trump.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is there anyone surprised that the United States is on fire under a Trump presidency?

 

 

This is a still from the 2019 Oscar-winning Best Picture, Parasite.

It sums up 2020 perfectly.

This is from Occupy Democrats on June 1, 2020 about an event 93 years ago:

 

 

 

See you Friday. Let’s talk about kitty cats and castles for a change.

 

13 Comments, RSS

  1. Janet Lea June 3, 2020 @ 2:15 pm

    Seriously, YOU ROCK!! Please be as safe as you can while you stand up to injustice.

  2. Casey June 3, 2020 @ 3:03 pm

    I get the New York Times online and there’s a photo of the Times Square rally on front page and now I understand who all those white coats are. And not BTW, I can see YOUR SIGN!!!

    I got my husband and I showed him the photo and I said See that? I know whose sign that is! I KNOW HER!

    Of course we’ve never met but I do know you, and I am proud to have you standing up and showing the fuck up.

  3. Barbara Ann June 3, 2020 @ 3:04 pm

    Who ever thought we would need tips on how to protest. I didn’t know any of this so thank you! It’s just one unbelievable nightmare after another with that moron. Oh and you GO…GREY HAIRED LADY!!!

  4. Megan June 3, 2020 @ 6:32 pm

    Good for you Vivian and Top Cat for making a stand. It is quite uplifting to see so many people out saying, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.” Hopefully this will make a difference. I hope the next president makes a difference for all people in America. It is all so sad but this gives a glimmer of hope that people really aren’t going to take this lying down. Hooray for you and the other people getting out and making a stand. The photo of that child is quite simply horrific this should never happen.

  5. Marg-o June 3, 2020 @ 10:06 pm

    Thank you Vivian and Top Cat for representing all of us who can’t go to one of the centers of the rebellion. I I’ve too far out in the sticks, but my heart is with you in NYC, DC, Minneapolis, Lexington, Charlottesville. LA, and Houston (where BLM came in on HORSEBACK.

    This shows that we are ready to fight for our country and it shows that we will show the fuck up in November.

    XXOO

    George Floyd rest in peace.

  6. Maryanne in SC June 4, 2020 @ 12:25 pm

    Vivian, you can call me for bail money anytime from anywhere.
    I’ll send you my numbers by email.
    SO proud to even know you.

    Thank you.

  7. Steve June 4, 2020 @ 1:33 pm

    Wow. Good for you for showing up. I did not go to the London protest because of coronavirus, so I admire you for taking the plunge. I love your sign — simple and to the point!

  8. Kirra June 5, 2020 @ 5:01 am

    You & Top Cat Rock!!!!

    Thanks for sharing this uplifting post about the NY protests. It’s helped convince me to go to the one in my home town tomorrow. My state of South Australia police head has granted an exemption for the protest here tomorrow, but the heads of State for Victoria and New South Wales are cracking the shits. So I’m feeling a bit proud of my state.

    Those doctors are amazing.

  9. Kirra June 5, 2020 @ 5:03 am

    I forgot to say – how awesome are the K-pop fans!?!? VERY awesome!

  10. Judy Jennings June 6, 2020 @ 10:49 am

    Wow, Vivian, just wow. I am so proud of you. 💕

  11. jeanie June 6, 2020 @ 2:54 pm

    How did I miss this?

    Wow. You rock. Well done — I thought the other (later) post was great but this takes us there. You were brave to go with the virus. I’m so proud of your commitment. Thank you.

  12. Marilyn June 6, 2020 @ 7:37 pm

    So proud of you for showing up. You are braver then myself. Good for you for standing up for us grey haired people.

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