On Saturday, when the news outlets called the Presidential race for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, thousands of people flooded into downtown DC. They came in by car and by metro, gathering in celebration at Black Lives Matters Plaza.
I wasn’t there. I saw pictures of the crowds later, and I saw the traffic going into the city as I drove past it in the other direction on my way to Maryland. Why did I go to Maryland? You’ll have to wait until Wednesday’s post for the answer to that question.
Nevertheless, I was really curious to see what it was like in person though, so I went the very next day, on Sunday the 8th of November. I took the Metro to McPherson Square, which put me back on the street only about a block or so away from all the hubbub. It was not as shoulder-to-shoulder crowded as the news showed it on Saturday, but it was a warm and sunny day and people were still coming by to see. Also there were a lot of reporters doing reporter things. I walked past a guy with a Reuters camera a bunch of times, so if any of you see me in news footage of the day, please let me know.
Some people held up protest signs, some were just there like me to see it in person. A lot of people were there with their children, showing them history in progress.
Here’s something I never realized about Black Lives Matter Plaza before- it’s gigantic. The painted letters are two full blocks long. In the pictures below, I was standing at the intersection of BLM Plaza with I Street NW. In the first picture, I’m looking north. That’s where the street says BLACK LIVES. The second picture is looking south, toward the White House, and that’s where it says MATTER. I didn’t truly realize just how enormous those painted letters really were until I was standing on top of one.
At one point, I put my phone camera right up to the opening in the chain-link fence that runs along H Street. This is as close as you can get to the People’s House right now, and this is two full blocks away as seen through a zoom lens. Pennsylvania Avenue has been closed off since the protests last summer, and Lafayette Square remains fenced off so nobody can come in.
Speaking of that chain link fence, it was just absolutely covered in protest signs, posters, and artwork for most of the distance between 15th Street and 17th Street, anywhere it touched Lafayette Square.
I’m going to skip my usual thing where I intersperse all the photos with commentary and interesting factoids because I don’t think any commentary is really needed here. No context is missing, and no subtle background details need to be filled in.
These are the protest signs of an angry, stressed out, massively divided country finally allowing itself the chance to have a small sigh of relief. I didn’t see a single pro-Trump thing all day until I got back home and looked at Twitter again.
Enjoy the photos, friends.
Did you see any interesting celebrations this weekend where you live?
30/52 (and 9 of 30!)