Look, things aren’t feeling so bright and cheery in the US right now. And the sad truth is that there are some tough times ahead.
We usually bring you stories on Friday that are absurd or even infuriating.
I’m sure you’ve seen enough of that this week.
So we thought we’d share a few moments of character and integrity shown at protests across the US, which shined through all the tragedy.
There are bad apples on all sides– some bad apple protestors who loot and burn and destroy. And some bad apple cops who engage in terrible acts of violence.
But there are plenty of good apples on both sides too.
Protesters tackle man breaking up sidewalk for projectiles
Peaceful protesters sprang into action when they saw a man destroying a sidewalk.
The man was dressed in all black, like Antifa, and was apparently destroying the sidewalk to create projectiles to hurl at police and businesses.
But rather than let things escalate, peaceful protesters tackled the man, took his hammer, and handed him over to a group of police who were nearby.
In fact, the police were standing right there, with the man in clear view. And yet they did nothing to stop him.
Cops even almost arrested one of the peaceful protesters who handed the man over. But they let him go after someone explained the situation.
Protesters hold line in front of business to stop looters
Undoubtedly there has been way too much violence, looting, and property destruction. Nothing takes away the moral high ground from a movement like seeing a bunch of guys walk out of an electronics store with big-screen TVs in hand.
And in the early days of these protests, the rage was palpable. Cars were torched, businesses were destroyed, and so much property was stolen.
But people are starting to take a stand against that type of chaos.
In Brooklyn, a group of protesters intervened a few days ago when looters and vandals approached a Target store.
The protestors formed a line in front of the store to stop the looters from smashing windows (and stealing store inventory).
FBI asks for evidence of inciting violence. People send videos of cops instead.
Being an activist in the US, you have to have a sense of humor.
So when the FBI asked the public to send them video evidence of protestors inciting violence, they were inundated with videos of police officers being violent.
“The FBI is seeking information and digital media depicting individuals inciting violence during First Amendment protected peaceful demonstrations,” the FBI wrote on its Twitter account.
The FBI’s website said, “If you witness or have witnessed unlawful violent actions, we urge you to submit any information, photos, or videos that could be relevant to the case.”
People responded on Twitter with video of:
- New York City Police ramming protesters with their vehicles,
- Police appearing to aim a smoke grenade launcher at a little boy,
- Police attacking, beating and throwing punches at clearly marked media with cameras,
- Police spraying peaceful protesters with mace unprovoked,
- Police/ National Guard firing pepper bullets at a woman filming from her front porch,
- Police throwing an old man with a cane to the ground.
Michigan Sheriff leads protestors in peaceful march
This is starting to be a bigger trend: police are putting down their tear gas and riot shields, and joining the protestors to peacefully demonstrate for reform.
In one great example of humanity and leadership, Genesse County, Michigan’s sheriff Chris Swanson met a crowd of protestors, and actually took charge to compassionately lead their march through the city.
This is pretty extraordinary. Protests are typically leaderless, and mobs can take on a life of their own.
But Swanson took charge, telling the crowd “I want to make this a parade.” The cops put their weapons down, took their helmets off, and marched together with the protestors… which ensured that (a) the protestors’ voices were still loudly heard, (b) they could march without any threat of violence, and (c) everything remained safe and orderly.
Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.