A group of churches in Washington DC has requested local police provide extra protection ahead of a protest against the election results scheduled for later this week. How’s that saying go again? New year, same old bullshit?
According to NBC Washington, the request comes after a similar protest on Dec. 12 resulted in a Black Lives Matter banner hung outside the Asbury United Methodist Church being torn down and set on fire by a group of Proud Boys and Trump supporters. The Metropolitan Police Department is currently investigating the incident as a hate crime.
“At least five congregations have had Black Lives Matter signs destroyed [and] stolen,” Terry Lynch, spokesperson for the Downtown Cluster of Congregations, told NBC Washington.
Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, announced that a lawsuit has been filed on behalf of the Metropolitan AME church in Washington DC over the vandalism the Proud Boys allegedly caused during the Dec. 12 protest. The filing alleges that a group of Proud Boys hopped over a fence and tore down a Black Lives Matter sign that was displayed outside the church.
The filing labeled the incident “a new and dangerous chapter in the long and terrible history of white supremacist mob violence targeting Black houses of worship.”
The leader of the Proud Boys claimed responsibility for the incident while adding that it wasn’t racially motivated. Writing that sentence damn near broke my brain, by the way. How does one snatch a Black Lives Matter sign, set it on fire, and then claim it has nothing to do with race? A call to action to protect Black lives offended you so much that you destroyed it.
I’m just saying, in 2021 we should choose honesty. So if you’re a racist, hateful asshole, be real about it. Chances are you’re already out here doing shit that sends that message. Why try to front that you’re a decent person when in reality you’re just a run-of-the-mill dick?
Oh, white folks. I will never understand the way your brains work.
Despite the leader of the group who destroyed the banner taking responsibility, Lynch told NBC Washington that there hasn’t been one arrest related to the destruction of property. Additionally, a replacement banner was torn down only days after it had been ceremoniously raised. That incident is still under investigation.
Given the amount of property damage and general fuckery that has occurred over the last month, it makes sense that the churches in the area have requested for the Metropolitan Police Department to provide special protection. “We need to get through this week safely and it’s going to take more than just police video cameras to do that,” Lynch told NBC Washington. They want a heavy, visible police presence outside the churches to make sure no further property damage occurs.
DC Police Chief Robert Contee told NBC Washington that he intends to make sure the protests remain peaceful but didn’t exactly give details on how.
“Well our intention is certainly to pretty much make sure that we facilitate the peaceful protest, intervene when we need to intervene, and make arrests when we need to make arrests,” Contee said.
Given that over the previous year we saw police across the country more or less allow white folks to act buck-wild when they feel their rights have been “infringed,” I’m sorry if I’m skeptical about just how effective the MPD is going to be the second time around.
Lynch added that despite the recent attacks, the churches in the area remain undeterred, and there are plans in motion to raise another Black Lives Matter banner. The next protest is scheduled to occur this Wednesday.