WHY THE SMALL PROTESTS ACROSS AMERICA MATTER

The movements and marches that convulse big cities don’t usually (or ever) make it to Havre. Nor do they usually make it to hundreds of other small towns across the country. But the protests following the death of George Floyd, who was killed in police custody on May 25, are different.

All over the country, people are showing up — often for the first time in their lives — to protest police brutality and injustice. In tiny ag towns like Havre and Hermiston, Oregon, but also in midsize cities Topeka, Kansas, and Waco, Texas; on island hamlets (Friday Harbor, San Juan Island; Nantucket, Massachusetts; Bar Harbor, Maine); and in well-to-do suburbs (Lake Forest Park, Washington; Darien, Connecticut; Chagrin Falls, Ohio).

They are showing up at the courthouse. They are kneeling and observing eight minutes of silence — a reference to how long Floyd was pinned to the ground in a knee chokehold by the Minneapolis police officer who was later charged with his murder.

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