Saturday, June 13, 2020

Everyone Has a Right to Feel Safe

My first time in Center City
since the shut downs began.
I'm not going to lie. Even when I believe in a cause, I've never gone to a protest. I also avoid parades or at least find a less crowded area to watch. I've just never been a huge fans of crowds. In fact, until my first Broad Street Run, I had never done something where I had to be corralled at a start and it was (and still is) stressful for me to be in such a large crowd until everyone spreads out.

That being said, this weekend I did experience the protest. When I went for my long run on Saturday, I unknowingly ended up passing the beginning of the peaceful protest by the art museum.

I came down MLK and decided to make it a full half marathon by continuing to Love Park. I'm glad I did because I got this beautiful shot in front of the statue. I then detoured to Target because it was so hot that I was out of water and needed another bottle for the five miles home. As I was walking out of Target, I saw employees blocking people from entering because they were closing early due to the protest.

Hearing this, I was unnecessarily worried about my route home. As I got close to the museum, I noticed police were starting to block traffic. At the time there were about ten people near the Rocky statue holding up signs. As I returned towards Kelly Drive, I saw more protesters getting out of cars on Boat House Row. The protesters were as diverse as the city. Old, young, men, women, and a variety of skin tones. They were all holding handmade signs and laughing with each other as they walked towards the museum. Never once did anyone seem malice or violent.

I finished my run and got home just in time to watch the historic space launch as Americans took the first commercial flight to the ISS. Later in the evening, I saw the news that was talking about riots and looting. This was not part of the original protest and there didn't appear to even have a connection. People took advantage of the well meaning protestors to have an excuse to cause problems. The riots and looting were not part of the protests but will, for some, forever be connected.

Please stay safe everyone.