This night's protest was similar in spirit to that of the 22nd's. It felt somewhat more organized, with water being handed out throughout the march, but with sometimes competing groups with megaphones.
It began at Marshall Park, the then-declared headquarters of the protest. The march was literally led and trailed by what seemed to be experienced protesters from out of town, with a vanguard of bike riders leading the way and trying to distance the press from the march front line. After curfew was called and the gathering out front of the police station was declared to be an unlawful gathering and the crowd was pressing up against the riot police, black leaders were speaking with white out-of-towners who were on the phone with "the mission," asking for supplies to defend the people from chemical weapons --- bandanas, eye masks, Maalox and so forth. When the situation de-escalated, a followup call was made to cancel the order for supplies. The organization, monetary support, and diverse motivations for supporting the local effort seems myriad and somewhat shadowy. I spoke with Public Defender Toussaint Romaine who characterized the leadership as being unknown out-of-towners.
The march criss-crossed town peacefully, with only a few lingering confrontations with police on bikes sometimes blocking streets. Riot police were visible to me only blocking access to I-277 and beside the police station well after curfew.
Noise was made at the jailhouse again, but without the half-hearted storming towards an entrance as done on the 22nd. Prisoners flashed their cell lights.
The march ended at the police station at around 11:30PM, where various speakers took turns with bullhorns, or sometimes overlapped. The police announced curfew beginning at midnight, but did not pressure for dispersal. Later on there was a confrontation with riot police blocking access to the rear of the station along North Davidson Street. But the protesters backed off after not getting a rise from the police.
Mr. Romaine was visible throught the night, doing his best to de-escalate potential situations.
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