On Saturday, I went into Boston. A rare occurrence for someone who rarely leaves the four square miles of my home city.
But I went into Boston for Millions March Boston.
A day of anger and sadness. A day of action. A day of reflection.
I went into Boston because black lives matter.
Media reports say one thousand people were there. Twenty three people got arrested. But it was hard for me to tell. I was lost in the throng of the crowd.
There were more police officers than I knew what to do with.
I have been to many protests. I have been to many rallies. I’ve seen men with assault rifles guard the streets during the Boston DNC. I have never seen so many police officers.
I was surprised.
I didn’t feel that threatening.
The officers were dressed to make a statement. They were dressed for battle. In full riot gear with long, threatening batons and bright green vests. They stood still. Unmoving. Some revolutionary version of the British Royal Guard.
I know people who are police officers, but these police officers didn’t feel like people.
I wondered what they were like in real life.
We marched to the Nashua Street County Jail. A jail which houses 700 pretrial detainees.
We stood chanting in the street while inmates beat on the windows.
I wondered who was in there. I wondered what they were accused of. I wondered if they’d ever seen something like this.
And I wondered what they were like in real life.