Taking the week off to recharge, as it's been necessary to do so. I'll post at least one thing daily, but right now it's time to decompress a bit.
The fireworks in DC got hot last night.
As the official fireworks show began over the National Mall, some people gathered at Black Lives Matter Plaza offered up a counter narrative in the form of Lift Every Voice and Sing, the Black national anthem. Others opted instead to chant “fuck your fireworks.”
The plaza played host to protesters throughout the day, a largely tension-free scene as demonstrators continued to demand racial justice. But as Independence Day shifted to night, a series of small confrontations played out, a microcosm of ongoing debate about the right tactics to confront white supremacy.
Around 10:40, a group of Trump supporters walked through, only for protesters to escort them out. Another person walked through, and a protester through his red hat over a fence.
Some protesters wanted to get more physical with the president’s supporters, while others just wanted to help facilitate their exit. Police eventually formed a line to prevent the Trump supporters from reentering the plaza on Vermont Ave.
Earlier in the night—just before the official Fourth of July military flyovers began—a small group of protesters gathered for a “Flag-Burning Challenge,” where they set small U.S. flags alight before eventually torching a larger flag that was laying on the ground. The event sparked a brief scuffle, as other protesters tried to stop the flag-burning from happening.
“This is what they want, don’t give it to them,” said one person, alluding to how the act could generate negative coverage of the movement. (Stories about the flag-burning quickly started circulating in right-wing media.)
But for Jamel Mims of the New York City Revolution Club, burning the U.S. flag was justifiable.
“[Trump has] fucking called us terrorists, and called those people, that lynch mob that he’s enabled, ‘fine people.’ And so those fireworks represent a fucking disgrace, and that flag represents the ugly history of that country and its ugly present,” he said. “And there’s only one way to properly display it: fucking on fire.”
The country is burning in more ways than one.