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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Nothing changes


- Buildings burning during the Watts riots

In the news today, mention of protests and looting here in my town too: Sacramento police disperse looters, large crowd after protests downtown over Floyd killing

This reminds me of when I was a kid during the riots of the 60s, especially the Watts riots ...

The Watts riots, sometimes referred to as the Watts Rebellion, took place in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles from August 11 to 16, 1965.

On August 11, 1965, Marquette Frye, an African-American motorist on parole for robbery, was pulled over for reckless driving. A minor roadside argument broke out, which then escalated into a fight with police. Community members reported that the police had hurt a pregnant woman, and six days of civil unrest followed. Nearly 4,000 members of the California Army National Guard helped suppress the disturbance, which resulted in 34 deaths and over $40 million in property damage. It was the city's worst unrest until the Rodney King riots of 1992 ...


This was in my state, but there were other similar riots in the year before in Harlem and in Philadelphia.

Protests and riots continued throughout the 60s, including those against the war in Vietnam as well, like the one at the 1968 Democratic National Convention and the one that led to the shooting of 13 unarmed college students (4 killed) by the National Guard at Kent State University in 1970.

Stir into this mix a couple of assassinations - Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy - in 1968.

Those were my formative years, my early and late teens, and now protests/riots just make me feel depressed. Nothing seems to really get better.

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