America continues to burn. This administration continues to lie. The far-right is hell bent on painting protesters as villains. The liberal media wants to put us to sleep.

Fist Up Fight Back
Photography by Andrew Derek

Many see the recent events and feel hopeless, uncomfortable, torn between the proper steps to take. Tuesday night, DC protesters were not torn. A little over 100 of them gathered in Columbia Heights and took to the streets.

Most of the city tried to stay in the comfort of their homes. But that was not the case for the hundred or so protesters last night. While they marched down 14th street, DC’s Metropolitan police followed closely waiting for their time to strike.

All summer, protesters faced heavy resistance from local police. Tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets became the norm as they gathered. Everyone was prepared again.

The night remained peaceful. A cigarette lit a trashcan on fire but was quickly put out by the protesters. Volunteer street cleaners followed along as they chanted and sang in solidarity with the Louisville protest.

The protesters here have much to march for. The list gets longer when, at the end of a peaceful night, a protester was tracked down and kettled by police. She is facing eight felony counts of destruction of property.

These charges are thanks to Mayor Muriel Bowser’s (D) decree to give maximum sentences for all charges against protesters. Meaning that last night’s unlucky protester is facing more time than the murderer of Breonna Taylor.

Still, America tried to sleep well. But Breonna Taylor did not sleep well. She was awakened by gunfire. We keep talking about how to make changes, yet we still choose to move without true action. It seems we are trying to make our bed with fascism rather than fight it.

As the nation takes to the streets, think about the DC protester who did not sleep well. She was isolated, transported twice from district to district. There were over fifty cops for one person, for spray paint. While murderers roam free.

Photography by Andrew Derek

This energy from Tuesday night carried over into Wednesday with the announcement that no charges would be pressed on the officers who murdered Breonna Taylor. The officer who fired the killing shot is only being charged for the shots that missed. Which brings another level of rage into the mix.

Armed with passion and rage, the protesters made it clear they were going to protect Black women and empower their voices. They marched all through DC, with a focus on the most gentrified neighborhoods, all the time making it clear that they aim to take the city back, a city once called “Chocolate City”.

Black Lives Matter
Photography by Andrew Derek

The DC protesters are unique. This is the same group of protesters attacked by Donald Trump on June 1st. This group is still demanding justice, and the liberals of this city are wanting to crawl back in bed. Breonna Taylor’s murder was a stark reminder to everyone in this city – the protests have not been put to bed.

Fist Up
The Worker with Power – Photography by Andrew Derek

The DC protest never stopped. The attack on Black lives and the rise of fascism continues. America wants to rest. However, the Louisville Police Department did not let Breonna rest. As the country moves towards the election, the DC protest is letting legislators know they will not put this movement to bed. Nor will they allow citizens to sit comfortably in their homes while this country burns. If we have trouble sleeping. So shall you, until we have the country we dream of, the rights we deserve.