#BlackLivesMatter, the workers' movement and a stolen piece of cheese

 Nashville, Tennessee

 

We went to the West End and stood in front of a McDonald's, where the protest was taking place. There were about 30 people with signs and drums, and several cars blew their horns as they passed by to show their support. Bern got engaged in a conversation as soon as we arrived. I started taking pictures and filming. I was so thrilled to be living all of that. After a while, a bigger march showed up, formed by about 100 students who were demanding justice for Michael Brown and Eric Garner's murders. They shut down the street for a few minutes and our group joined up. It was very sudden and intense, very powerful. The cars kept honking and one of the drivers even got out of his car, raising his hands symbolically. It was very shocking. Afterwards, that march went on and we stayed until our group was dissolved.

 

(...)

 

When we got to campus, his friend... Will? What was his name... well, it wasn't Will, but I'm going to call him Will because it suits him. Anyway, Will offered himself to show me the Divinity Building, which is the part of the University that is dedicated to the study of religions. He tells me he's going to be a pastor, even though he was raised as a Catholic.


"And why don't you become a Catholic priest?"
"I like women too much".

It figures.

We meet some other friends and suddenly Stella looks at her phone and shouts: "Bern says there's food in the library!" We run like hell to find the most elitist and delicious catering in the whole universe. The hall was full with old men in suits and women with pearls hanging from their ears. And we devoured like there was no tomorrow, and we even had a couple of glasses of wine. Right before we left, a bigwig started talking to Will and from the corner of my eye I could see how Bern discreetly moved to the table, grabbed a whole piece of cheese and wrapped it with a napkin. I held a smile. We went out, on our way to the second protest. 


There was a lot more of people in this one, and it was more intense, too.

 

"We can't survive on a $7.25!"

"What do we want? 15! And when do we want it? Now!"

"We work, we swear, put $15 in our check!"

 

Along with these slogans, I could hear some others that were directly related with the incidents in Ferguson and New York:

"Please don't shoot me dead, I've got my hands above my neck!"

"Hands up, don't shoot!"

 

I thought that maybe some of them wouldn't like this mixture, but it gave the march a stroke of emotiveness. We stopped the traffic a couple of times and the protesters, who were mostly black, danced a sang their lungs out, because revolution is also celebration, and they kept it up for two whole hours, which was the total length of the event. I kept losing sight of Bern, because he was talking to everyone and I was filming and taking pictures like a lunatic. At the end there was an action in which everyone lay down and kept a minute of silence.

 

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