Protesters Hit the Street in My Neighborhood


Protestors gathered in front of my neighborhood Trader Joe’s.

Dear Reader:

Last night was not a typical night in my new neighborhood. My phone started ringing at 5 p.m. Neighbors were calling to warn us that the local chapter of Black Lives Matter had organized a march through our section of town to protest the shooting death of a black man at the hands of the police.

“I’ll bet this didn’t happen much in Carmel, ” joked my first caller. “Actually, it’s a first here…as far as I know, and I’ve been here for 35 years!”

Shortly after that first call, we heard a police helicopter overhead. My husband used a tracking app and we followed the yellow line as it made its way closer to our home. Suddenly it was over us and we heard the people in the street before we saw them.

We watched from the windows that surround our front door. It’s an odd sight to see a steady stream of people moving down the road. There were a couple hundred marchers chanting “Not a Gun” over and over. We stayed by the door until the last marchers passed. They were followed by a dozen police cars and several white unmarked vans that we speculated were filled with SWAT teams.

The organizers said that they chose our neighborhood because it is old, established, upscale and  predominantly white. They also noted that many city officials reside in East Sacramento. I only know one. I met him while walking the dog the day after Thanksgiving. He was giving his home the Chevy Chase Christmas Vacation treatment and I commented on how magnificent it looked.

“Well,” he shrugged, “when you have kids, you just do it!”

He’s the Assistant City Manager …and a father of three. We bought Girl Scout cookies from his daughter last month.

I do not have an opinion to share regarding the shooting, but I do have strong feelings about what transpired outside my home last night. Since the 2016 election, I’ve often felt simply ashamed of my country. But, last night I felt proud to live in a country that gives people the right to peaceably gather and protest. I wholeheartedly support free speech and that says something when POTUS regularly attacks the fourth estate.

I must honestly conclude by saying that I was also extremely grateful for the highly visible police presence.




7 thoughts on “Protesters Hit the Street in My Neighborhood

  1. I agree with you completely. We are lucky to live in a society where people can protest and also lucky to have police to protect us. Both sides need to be heard. I only wish we lived in a society where there weren’t so many guns on the streets.

  2. I’m so happy about what you said in the second to last paragraph! As long as it’s peaceful, I think protests are an incredibly important thing, one that we can’t take for granted (given recent events in countries around the world, but especially South America, where even peaceful protests are sometimes barred or shut down). In my mind the right to peaceful protest would be one of the first liberties taken away if a country were to move toward a more totalitarian regime (scary!).

    A visible and peaceful police force is also helpful to give peace of mind to possibly anxious people living in the area, no matter who is marching, or for what cause.

    1. Life is different in my new urban environment. One never knows how she’ll feel when the debate comes to her front door. I’m glad my emotional reaction was consistent with my intellectual one.

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