Hello From Redding, CA.
It was about 6:30 pm on Tuesday, June 2, 2020, David Muir on ABC just finished and I decided to catch the news on TV. I had it muted for the commercials while I made a phone call. Then the news came on and there was a KRCR Channel 7 reporter and camera crew on Court Street here in Redding.
I quickly un-muted the TV and heard the reporter say, “I’m walking on Court Street with hundreds of protesters. ” The camera caught the crowd and I thought, “Wait a minute, are you sure this is Redding?” I live one block from Court Street. I quickly searched to find something to make a sign and get over there. It was hot and muggy. I got in my car, drove to West Street and parked behind the County Administration Building. While walking at a fast pace, I quickly ran into a legion of armed law enforcement. Then the site of those hundreds of protesters became many. My count took it way over four hundred. Yes, I was in Redding, and this is my hometown!
What I saw was what I’ve been watching around the country and the world since the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in Minneapolis. To see the crowds, I felt shocked, excited and frightened, all at the same time. All around me were people with signs who yelled chants, like “Black lives matter,” and “I can’t breathe!” Some cars drove by with signs hanging out the windows, supporting the protest.
Then, after about an hour, I noticed a group of males, some with dogs on leashes, coming up the street and gathering at the corner of the new courthouse being built. I quickly realized they weren’t with those of us wh were part of the Black Lives Matter protest. These people – mainly men – had a seemed energized.
Then the group of men started breaking up and infiltrating among the large crowd. There was only about 60 of them at the time, but they seemed out of place at the protest. They even had their own media person with a bullhorn. Then, for some reason I turned around, to check what was going on to my back side, and there in the alley behind the church was a large group of males, some with vests, some with baseball bats and other things in their hands. I was told they were the undercover law enforcement in case things got rough. Then I overheard another person say, “They were told to come here by our local sheriff to stop any rioting.”
If the latter is true, then someone needs to say something to the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office.
In the meantime, the county buildings on Court Street were covered with every kind of law enforcement you can imagine. There were some people with rifles on the roof tops. Drones and helicopters hovered overhead, and there were Redding Police cars up and down Court Street, which became a raceway for both sides of the protest.
Some Trump supporters in their big trucks raced their engines and spewed exhaust to the crowd as they roared up and down Court Street, while it was still open. This went on until about 8:30 p.m., when the protest was supposed to come to a halt. The protest didn’t end until almost 10 p.m.
After saying goodbye to several friends I’d met at the protest, all wearing masks, (which the Patriot/StateofJefferson/TeaParty/Local Militia did not wear), I headed to my parked car on West Street. As I climbed the stairs I passed dozens of armed sheriffs, a riot squad and other law enforcement who’d been watching the entire time. I acknowledged a few as I walked along in the dark, not knowing whether they wondered which side I was on, one of them, or one of us. I guess that doesn’t matter when you’re wearing armor and carrying an assault rifle.
Thanks to Ms. Lunsford for the drone footage, it gives you a small glance of the some 500 attendees, trying to attain a bit of justice for some of America’s citizens, who just happen to be of African descent, brought here many years ago without their consent.
And that was the protest in Redding, CA, on a moonlit night.