What started as a peaceful protest quickly turned into something ugly
I wanted to share what happened in Santa Monica because this is our home and we were right in the middle of everything. I want to bring awareness along with the many others that are doing so.
There were and have been SEVERAL protests going on all over, and some are peaceful, but the majority turn violent. Many people are hurt by tear gas, rubber bullets, and more.
We started out our Sunday peacefully. We went to a local brunch spot, we noticed businesses were finally starting to reopen. Everything seemed calm, however, hours later chaos entered the city.
Sunday was one of the most distressing days in Santa Monica history. Opportunists and organized criminals took advantage of this protest to steal goods, jobs, and ruin multiple businesses.
Properties were vandalized, 9 fires took place, 4 to buildings, 4 to cars and 1 in a dumpster, and there were over 400 arrests made. 95% of those arrested did not live in Santa Monica.
We were essentially in the very middle of everything that was going on. Our apartment is a few streets from the promenade and I was able to see all the looters and violaters wreak havoc on this beautiful city amongst many, many others.
I can’t express how others might have been feeling in this situation, all I know is that my heart was racing and I couldn’t stop watching the news and what was going on right outside our balcony.
A local holistic pharmacy was broken into and robbed right in front of us, multiple restaurants on the street were being thrashed and broken into, as well as being tagged.
Everybody was out on their balconies watching with their hearts racing, what do you do in a situation like this? You feel like you need to help, you feel like you want to scream and say, “NO! Stop, what are you doing?” Yet you remain paralyzed with shock at everything that is going on around you.
I watched as people ran from the promenade with their arms filled with stolen goods. Stores like, Nike, Shoe Palace, Lululemon, Vans, they were all broken into and left empty. I watched as the looters shoved everything into their trunks and went back for more as if this was some sort of all you can eat buffet.
My heart hurts for all the businesses that were affected first by COVID-19, and now this.
While the majority of the protestors were peaceful and brought much-needed awareness to the injustice in our system, the looters and criminals that wanted to take advantage of this opportunity only put this situation under a negative spotlight.
On Ocean Ave, there were thousands of peaceful protestors and those were doing what they came to do. Raise awareness, fight for what is right. They were not associated with the looters and violators.
However, these fake allies that stole goods and damaged properties, continued to wreck every place in sight.
They used this as an excuse to exercise their own demons.
This protest was not about them, and they made it about them. They took something powerful and used it for their own personal agendas.
I watched as a car sped through the street, stopped and exchanged stolen goods with another vehicle and they shouted: “Black Lives Matter.”
YES black lives matter. THAT was the sole purpose of this protest but that phrase does not justify damaged property, stolen goods, and wreaking havoc on any city.
This continued for several hours. Cars began piling up on the street to head to the promenade around 2 PM, and then when the curfew was put in place, everything went downhill. We saw men beating restaurant windows with bats and I watched as someone beat a parking meter with a bat.
This is not what our world needs. This is not how humans should act, this was an act of violence and things need to change.
Use your voice, find petitions, donate if you can. Make a difference. Be the difference.
There needs to be more love.
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes naturally to the human heart than it’s opposite.” — Nelson Mandela