On Sunday, May 31 I attended a peaceful protest in San Clemente, Ca. It was the first one in our area and as much of an idealist that I am, I had no idea what to expect. The 2 days leading up to it, my stomach was in knots. I couldn’t sleep well, because my mind was racing with awful images of the violence and rioting that the media had been force-feeding us. I am not denying that these things were actually happening, but what they chose not to show us, were the many peaceful protests that were taking place as well, flooded with incredible protest signs of hope and unity.
I have the privilege of living in a mostly mellow, beach-side community. It is not lost on me that the experience of a rally in San Clemente, Ca would not be parallel to one held in a major city like Los Angeles or Chicago. I also know that it only takes a few or even one misguided individual to make an event like this go south. Not to mention, we are dead smack in the middle of a global pandemic.
So why then would I risk my own safety and attend something like this?
The rally was already on my heart when a friend reached out to ask if I would attend in support of her. She applied zero pressure in her ask, but for me, it felt like the nudge I needed. I had already been sharing in my stories and feed about how I intended to be a better ally, and this felt like an opportunity to put my money where my mouth was. In the days leading up to the protest, I honestly went back and forth about the whole thing.
What I got real present to was the fact that having a choice to show up in an uncomfortable situation, was a privilege. I thought of black men and women who have no choice but to show up in a world they don’t always feel safe in.
It was in that realization that I knew I had to go to the peaceful protest. I also knew that I needed to stay connected to my intuition and gut, so that I could navigate the day to the best of my ability.
I decided to bring my camera, in hopes of capturing beautiful, meaningful and peaceful protest signs and human interactions. It also gave me a way to be of service, which is always helpful in combating anxiety. I attended the rally with a small group of incredible women, and the experience was beautiful. The emotion was raw and real. I was moved to tears several times, as I witnessed a largely white Orange County crowd show up in solidarity with our black brothers and sisters. The protest signs that people poured their hearts into were beautiful and deserve to be seen and shared.
I have posted a few of my favorite protest signs to my instagram feed, but here you will find the 33 of my favorite photos from the San Clemente Rally: