I was only one week into going back downtown to my office every day before the riots hit. The following Monday, protests resumed with marchers chanting up and down on Market Street and elsewhere. Having trouble concentrating, I charged up my cameras, grabbed my board, and eventually skated into the middle of the march.
When I first arrived to the Circle, the protesters weren’t there so I talked to a group who was handing out snacks and drinks. As I waited, I skated part of my usual route and back up North Pennsylvania where I ran into the protesters marching south on their way back to the Circle.
Once there, I couldn’t hear any of the speakers because some street preacher was blasting his holy music through a fairly large speaker. The louder the protester’s speech, the louder he dialed up the volume. If there was anything everyone there could agree on, it was that that music had to go.
Eventually, the speeches wrapped up and the protesters were on the move again.
Not far into it, I noticed we had been heading due north on IL the last few blocks. I started asking where we were heading. Nobody seemed to know or want to tell me as we rolled on. Finally, one of the skateboarders helping coordinate the movement and flow of the marchers told me that they were on their way to the Governor’s mansion.
I was already starting to run low on battery power and knew I would never make it back to my ride from the 46th and Meridian by curfew. Around 12th Street, both my cameras warned me with flashing icons that they were about to go dead and I bailed.
On my way back to my car, I was riding through University Park when I noticed some strange objects off in the distance spaced around the fountain. As I got closer, I suddenly realized they were soldiers and scrambled to get my camera back on.
I managed to get a few shots of different groups of soldiers, a prayer group praying for a homeless man, and Clarence one last time before both cameras finally died.
Overall, the vibe on the street was chill that day. I had a feeling, or at least a hope, that the protesters and the police would take a step back, regroup a little, and think things through some before overreacting.
The two groups actually ended up hugging it out and walking together. But that’s another story one may find produced at any standard corporate news station or assimilated newspaper’s digital remnant still operating locally.