Tag is exactly Summer Taylor
Photos from March for Summer TaylorSummer Taylor was 24 years old and lived in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. They died in the early hours of July 4th after marching and dancing with the nightly Black Femme March for Black Lives Matter. As it had for weeks, the protest entered the freeway and brought traffic to a stop. A driver in a white car sped toward the crowd, running into Summer and another activist, Diaz Love. Summer should be remembered as a hero who put their life on the line to make a difference, to stand with BLM, show solidarity with their community, and to disrupt an unjust system. When Summer's mother, Dalia, was asked about being concerned about children's safety attending protests, she responded, "I knew no matter how much I might want to ask them to stay safe during protests they would just say mom, if you are Black in this country it isn't even safe to be alive, and they were right." Photos from March for Summer Taylor, July 9, 2020
Pandemic, Depression, UprisingMy name is Emily Small Michon, I live in Seattle Washington, it is 1 in the afternoon on a day that used to be called Monday. When I first heard about Covid-19 I had no idea it would affect us this drastically. It felt surreal working at coffee shop watching children put toy dinosaurs in their mouths and how everyone seemed to start paying with cash in spite of the need to be more sanitary. Then I got sick, it was a weird 48 hour flu with a headache and throwing up accompanied by a very sore throat. The night after my headache and throwing up went away my lips were huge. They looked like they had been pumped full of Juvéderm injections or something. I tried to get tested but they told me I didn't meet the criteria since I didn't have a fever or shortness of breath. I was then fired from my job for "trying to get out of working." They sited that I had requested shift coverage from two shifts even before getting sick, they said it seemed like I “did not want to work”, and also mention that I had failed to stamp enough paper cups during my shifts and had had some interpersonal conflict with coworkers. There was a lot of drama at that job and I certainly was not the only one who had been part of the conflict. This all came without any prior complaints or disciplinary actions. Fortunately, I was still able to get unemployment since the company I worked for (Cafe Vita) is large and never responded to inquiry about my job separation. During this time my ex-boyfriend who was also my closest friend became being overly attentive, sweet and concerned about me. He would FaceTime me every day, he sent me a book he thought I would like in the mail and almost every morning would leave cute or funny animal videos in my inbox with messages like I hope you see this when you wake up and have a good day. This didn’t last very long and things turned a corner when I asked if he wanted to watch a movie together… like a shared screen sort of pandemic deal. He strangely responded with, "I don't know that seems like something people in a relationship do." It seemed completely ridiculous to think that you couldn't watch a movie together during a pandemic just as friends but I did want to be in relationship and this had been an area of contention for us for a while so I finally put my foot down and said I could not continue with things the way they were because it wasn't fair to me. It was really painful losing my favorite person, the person I was closest to and enjoyed talking with the most. I know this sort of loss is nothing compared to the stories of people who have lost loved ones. This was just beginning of course. Since then a massive uprising has begun that I feel particularly invested in and yet at the same still an outsider. I have not altogether found my place or decided how much I am willing to sacrifice. There are many people who are putting their body and their life on the line. I was out protesting the night Summer Taylor was killed. For those of you who don't know they were a young Seattle protester who was murdered by vehicular assault while protesting on I-5. The police neglected to blockade one of the off ramps though they had promised to secure the area, and that was their job and responsibility to do. The driver, Dawit Kelete, can be seen in a video maneuvering around two cars acting as safety barricades for the protesters who were chanting and dancing shortly before the brutal crime occurred. Another protester Diaz Love was also severely injured and for a time in critical condition. Upon regaining consciousness, Diaz was confronted with the death of their friend and an overwhelming amount of hate mail in their inbox. They still quickly posted that this would not affect their dedication to the cause. There have been over 60 recorded attempts of vehicular assault during the protests and with the current gains being made by the black lives matter movement. Since this is my personal story, I will tell you that I have also experienced cars acting like they want to run me over. The first was a cement truck who drove up onto the sidewalk towards me. The entire time the man glared at me from piercing blue eyes surrounded by sunburnt skin. This occurred in the capitol hill area somewhat near where the Cal Anderson protests were taking place. For those of you who don't know those were the protests where Seattle protesters received the brunt of police violence. Tear gas and munitions were utilized on an almost nightly basis, however the people persisted, and this led to the establishment of the Capitol Hill autonomous zone (CHAZ)...later known as the Capitol Hill occupied protest or CHOP. The other two incidents happened in my own neighbourhood on two different occasions when I was out for a run. I live in very white residential neighborhood in north Seattle. Both times the drivers made eye contact with me and I nearly had to jump out of the way. It confused me, sadly, because I am a white female and I am not used to experiencing this type of targeting. I am still baffled at what assumptions they would be making about me in my non-descript jogger’s clothes and my now natural hair color. Perhaps they assume all Seattleites are liberal? Maybe it was the inherent misogyny of white nationalists (I think we forget that they hate all women too), then again it could have just been angry men taking out pandemic related frustrations on vulnerable pedestrians....... I will never know.