DNC Week in the Streets of Philly: Day 2 Account

Today marked my second full day in Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention week, which has swept the city in many different ways. Here’s my account for Day 2.

I detail the Black Lives Matter march I attended and I explain why I can’t ignore the fight for Black liberation, whether I want to acknowledge it or not.

For over 160 pictures from the day & the march, visit my Facebook album here: https://www.facebook.com/amiri.tulloch/posts/1926402384253254.


Over at City Hall, the second day of rallying and marching against the DNC and its corruption was taking place. Yesterday, I was a part of the 5 mile march from City Hall to the Wells Fargo Center, and today I rallied at the City Hall and then completed the walk for a second time.

Today’s protest was for Black Lives Matter, and the overall energy and atmosphere of the march was a lot more passionate and invigorating than yesterday’s walk. Not only were there a lot more people out today, but there also appeared to be more organization and strategy in the set up of the protest as well as a high level of engagement all the way throughout the walk. From playing hip hop during the march to consistent and uniform chants against oppression and for blackness, the walk truly felt like an extension of the actual people’s emotions and desires. “Black Lives Matter!” and “No Justice, No Peace! No Racist Police” were two favorite calls, but the mere forcefulness of every chant and the passion behind the march itself affirmed the reality that people are fed up with white supremacy and the systems that maintain such staunch disinterest in Black lives.

But I don’t want to spend too much time on the minute of the actual protest, since it was completely peaceful in my area of the walk and we were able to march — at least, the section I saw — without getting derailed. The meaning of the march can’t be elaborated any further: we want Black liberation, and we want it now. We want our lives to matter, and we want that now.

I want to, instead, focus on a personal aspect of the march. I entered today with being a journalist in mind. I wanted to go around and take pictures and interview people about the march, but not actually take an active part in the rally. In essence, I wanted to be there as another journalist and not a marcher.

But my conscience took over about halfway through the initial rally bexcuse I came to the realization that since I was born with brown skin, there is no way I can separate from the struggle for liberation. The march’s intent was for my liberation, so my melanin forces me to be an active participant in my people’s fight for freedom. I don’t have time to dance around my liberation as a people, because we are in the midst of another Civil Rights Movement. I must participate actively, because I have a personal duty as a Black person to fight for the liberation of my people. I can’t separate myself from the fight whether I want to or not, because no matter how I try to separate from the movement I am still — in the end — another Black male in the eyes of white supremacy. So why try to separate myself in the first place?

So, from the quarter part of the march to the end, I took very little pictures and my tape recorder didn’t come out once all day. Instead, my focus was on the march to liberate my people. Next time, I’ll try a little harder to balance both aspects. But, for me, the need in that moment for personal and community liberation superseded any journalistic interest I might have had at that time. Me and my cousin initially wanted to leave a few blocks into the march to get home sooner, but we simply couldn’t turn away for the fight for our lives because it would be us ditching something crucial.

In the end, I do not have time for hesitancy and complacency anymore. The fight to value black lives is happening all over the world right now, and either you’re on board and moving with the struggle or you’re gonna being asked to move to the side. White people and Black people and brown people are marching and protesting and fighting across the country and across the world, and I find it immensely crucial for myself to become an active participant in the public fight against white supremacy in America. I’m Black, and thus I’m born into the struggle. I can’t deny or minimize that fact. I must embrace my Blackness and make sure that I don’t lose sight of the personal responsibility that comes with being Black.

I can not afford to spend any more time arguing on Facebook with people dripping in white supremacy. This is a movement with right and wrong — no in between. I can either be with the effort or be against it, and there is only one answer than can lead to the demise of the systems that oppress me and my people daily.

What to do if you want to involve yourself in the struggle but were born with privilege and were not conceived immediately into the grips of white supremacy? Become invested.

Being an ally is good but not enough. Being a bystander is agreeing with the supremacy. But being an accomplice of the struggle is thoroughly investing in the fight against the oppressor. That is how you can stand in solidarity and in support with the lives of the devalued.

In the end, racism has got to go. White supremacy has got to go. The systems that affirm white supremacy must be toppled. It will not be easy, because the country was structured and created from its inception to sustain and maintain white supremacy. The devaluing of Black life is so ingrained in this country that dismantling is the only way to go.

We want liberation, and we want it now. ✊🏾.