Hi! As most of you know, I participate regularly in #BlackLivesMatter marches in Washington, DC.

That includes weekly FTP (Fuck the Police) marches organized by local activists.

FTP is queer, trans, and non-binary POC centered and focused on police abolition.
I march with FTP for three reasons:

1) I don’t think the issue of police violence against queer, trans, and non-binary POC gets enough attention
2) FTP runs a great march
3) They’re confrontational while remaining peaceful
The protesters you’re seeing in these videos tend to be heavily involved in the community. When we protest, we hand out food to the homeless and our medics respond to emergencies. https://twitter.com/chuckmodi1/status/1298034021021241345?s=21
More of what FTP does. https://twitter.com/literarymouse/status/1284680355254013954
Now for disclaimers.

I am not one of the organizers of this march.

I am white.

I was at the Monday protest that is now gaining national attention but I did not see the events in question, only the aftermath.

I will probably say something wrong.

I speak only for myself.
At the FTP protests, we march through DC neighborhoods and engage in several types of actions.

1) Shutting down DC roads
2) Noise pollution protests
3) Gathering outside restaurants in gentrified neighborhoods and reading names of POC, often trans, queer, killed by the police
This is what the reading of names looks like.

It takes 5-10 minutes. At the end, we ask that diners raise their fist in solidarity. If they don’t, we state that they’re a part of the problem and move on.
Oftentimes, one or two white diners will snicker or roll their eyes as we read the names of the dead.

Sometimes they’ll spit at us or try to assault us. For reading the names of the dead.

We respond by threatening to read more names. Our ‘ask’ is that diners listen.
Even before Monday’s protest, people would describe this particular tactic as being “violent.”

I find that interesting. Police are carrying out extra-judicial killings, yet disturbing a person’s dinner to read off facts about police brutality is violence.
The other comment I get a lot of is, “Why? These diners aren’t the problem. You’re turning them against you.”

These diners are exactly the people we need to reach. DC is a Democratic stronghold. This isn’t about Trump. The diners who snicker at us are likely voting for Biden.
In the Democratic stronghold of DC, the local police brutalize and harass POC. The police serve the needs of white people almost exclusively.

You know who can fix that?

White people.
“But isn’t there a better way to protest?”

Please start a better protest and I will probably join.

“Do you have to bother people at dinner?”

Is 5-10 minutes of a person’s time really that much? For white people, this is an inconvenience. For POC, it’s life or death.
“It’s alienating people.”

Most diners seem to get it. If having your dinner at Equinox interrupted by protesters makes you vote Trump, you were going to vote for him anyways.
“It looked like a spiteful mob.”

Yep, it looked terrible. Also, protesters are human. After Jacob Blake’s shooting, emotions were running high.
“We can’t afford mistakes.”

We’re not doing this anymore, where POC and protesters need to be perfect in every way to deserve justice.

Conservatives screw up and don’t even own it. We have to allow ourselves to mess up. Hell, the GOP gives their screw ups prime speaking slots.
“But MLK....”

1) MLK was murdered
2) May I direct you to this? https://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html
If you’ve gotten this far in the thread, I have two requests of you.

First, learn about the abuses POC, especially those who are queer, trans, and non-binary, face at the hands of DC Police.

Second, if you’re local and have a better protest, I really do want to hear about it.
You can follow @LiteraryMouse.
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