One Voice. 10,000 People.
Less than a week after the terror at Charlottesville, Trump made plans to come to Phoenix where it was rumored he will pardon former Sheriff Joe Arpaio for years of unlawful conduct. Arizonians, such as myself, understand just how devastating and treacherous this is.
Thousands of bodies were peacefully protesting outside the hot streets of Downtown Phoenix. Everyday people -- like you and I -- of all age, race, sexual orientation, religion, and class. Many volunteers were graciously giving out free water bottles and snacks, while others roamed the dirty roads picking up each other's trash. It was a community. We had each other's backs.
After I had been separated from my boyfriend trying to find a few girlfriends of mine, tear gas stream lined across my face as hundreds of people were pushing and shoving to evacuate. My eyes were involuntary shutting and my stomach began to churn. I grew shaky and weary of my surroundings. Antifa groups then began to unnecessarily throw water bottles and tear gas canisters back at the police (to those who are skeptical of these claims, yes. It happened. I was there and saw it. Dumb move.) causing the officers to then deploy air soft bullets, fire crackers, and alarmingly loud grenades that scared the masses of people. Many protesters were hit, including my boyfriend.
I grew frightened. I ran inside the air conditioning of a nearby AMC waiting for a familiar face to pass by. I luckily found my friend, Will, who drove with me and we walked towards the ASU shuttle bus to wait for Reyce to come back from filming / recording the event.
We went to a friend's house to debrief over Jimmy John's and a card game later that night. No major incidents or casualties, thank goodness. But nonetheless frightening and chaotic at an inessential level.
Please be safe. Please raise your voice. Continue to fight.