842 minutes ago, in Williamsburg — not the one in Virginia, but the cool one — I participated in the loudest protest over the death of George Floyd. There was no need to burn police cars. Or smash bank windows. Or throw eggs at store windows — although of course sometimes a couple of eggs and maybe even a tomato should be thrown at boring window displays. To send a powerful protest message, people shouldn’t loot and steal sneakers, phone cases and potato chips. Of course, sometimes it’s OK to steal a few nuts, but only in order to feed the squirrels in Central Park and in that case only walnuts – it’s a scientific fact that walnuts are the favorite nuts of squirrels. People shouldn’t make noise breaking the windshields and mirrors of the US Postal Service trucks which so carefully deliver postcards to our friends and loved ones. People shouldn’t even break others’ noses – although that does create a lot of loud sounds. It turns out that to create the loudest protest, absolutely everyone needs to be silent – not for one minute, or two minutes, but for 9 minutes exactly. To listen in deathly silence (Rus. Помолчать на небо!) to the singing of the birds and to oneself. I’m sure this protest will stay with each participant for a very long time. All the rest is just the sound of broken glass and the tears of the owners of bodegas and cafes, who were already on the verge of bankruptcy. Today New York’s curfew begins at 20:02… Stay home! Watch CNN. I’ll go feed the squirrels. By the way I have new sneakers! The last time there was a curfew in New York was in 1943.
Words and Image © Dmitry Sokolenko 2020