• Renee

Remembering Peaceful Protest


Lake Merritt, Oakland, CA

I believe in the power of protest. In the ability to exercise our right to free expression. In raising awareness of inhumane, self-serving, or discriminatory policies and practices. In January of 2017, my daughter and I marched with and for women, to remind the powers that be that we are here and many, and that we deserve respect.


Downtown Oakland

The thousands of us who marched on this two-mile route were in disbelief, unhappy with the results of the November 2016 election. But we came together in unity and strength, and we made our voices known. This, and the majority of Black Lives Matter demonstrations through 2020, have shown what peaceful protest looks like, a far cry from last night's attack on the Capitol building and the democratic process. As the latest election results show, we who march in record numbers can also vote in record numbers. We aren't going anywhere, and we will only grow stronger. This won't mean beating others down or forcing our way in, but extending our hearts and hands in empathy.


I don't know if I'd call writing a form of peaceful protest. But I do believe, whether you consider your writing political or not, that the act of writing is political. It is claiming a voice. It is asking to be read. It is using your time in this act that often seems so far from convention, that is offered no space in the labor of survival, and giving it the dignity to grow.