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While I am not an optimist, exactly, I do find value in sprinkling silver linings and positivity into my skepticism and attempts at realism. There are protests still happening and planned all over the world. We're about two weeks in to protesting in the streets, on sidewalks, in parks, on freeways, on social media, to our representatives, and in other ways that I don't know about. People are risking everything for this in our COVID-19 reality. And it's working.
Changes are beginning to happen in some locations. In other locations, talks and thinking about changes are happening. In still other places, there is more work to do. The protests and attention and demands and requests and speeches and music and art are working. The stubbornness is working. The various grass roots movements are rooting in further, taking seed, becoming fields and prairies and gardens of ideas, plans, actions, and creativity.
A sample of the changes the anti-police brutality, Black Lives Matter protests have accomplished run as follows, as per a list posted publicly on Facebook by Anat Hector-Brown. Links to articles added by me.
- Portland Police Chief resigns.
- Minneapolis bans use of choke holds.
- Minneapolis City Council has pledged to disband the city’s police department and replace it with a new system of public safety.
- Charges are upgraded against Officer Chauvin, and his accomplices are arrested and charged.
- Dallas adopts a "duty to intervene" rule that requires officers to stop other cops who are engaging in inappropriate use of force.
- New Jersey’s attorney general said the state will update its use-of-force guidelines for the first time in two decades.
- In Maryland, a bipartisan work group of state lawmakers announced a police reform work group.
- Los Angeles City Council introduces motion to reduce LAPD’s $1.8 billion operating budget.
- MBTA in Boston agrees to stop using public buses to transport police officers to protests.
- Police brutality captured on cameras leads to near-immediate suspensions and firings of officers in several cities (i.e., Buffalo, Ft. Lauderdale). (This one you're going to have to look up on your own. The list keeps growing.)
- Monuments celebrating confederates are removed in cities in Virginia, Alabama, and other states.
- Street in front of the White House is renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza.
And one last piece of hope (because the oubliette is always near and hope is the rope that keeps me clear) in the form of words from a woman with significant expertise, Nelini Stamp, the director of strategy for the Working Families party, “...I’ve never seen a multiracial uprising in my life like we’re seeing right now, and for all the anxiety I have every morning about what happens next, that gives me hope.”
The quoted text from Nelini Stamp is from an article in The Guardian called, "After 15 stunning days of anti-racist protests … what happens next?"
I do my best to link to articles without paywalls and with as little bias as I can find on a topic. I encourage everyone to do their own research, locate additional resources, seek differing opinions.
P.S. I'm taking tomorrow largely, or entirely, off. My pain levels crept up over the last few days and walloped me this afternoon toward the end of drawing. I have to rest.