“Enough is enough”

Times of Suriname - - SHOWBIZZ -

USA - Aly Co­ny­ers was sup­po­sed to spend the sum­mer com­pe­ting at track and field meets.

Instead, the 17-year-old al­lA­me­ri­can sprin­ter, stood in front of a crowd of hund­reds near Ho­ward Uni­ver­si­ty ear­lier this week. Her ol­der bro­ther, Ace, had plan­ned on lea­ding the Sun­day af­ter­noon pro­test, but he had lost his voi­ce from shou­ting in front of the Whi­te Hou­se. So Aly, who at­tends a pri­va­te high school in South Caro­li­na, step­ped on­to a brick plat­form, grab­bed the me­gap­ho­ne, and star­ted spea­king.

“We are the fa­ce of this mo­ve­ment”, she shou­ted to the crowd. “We are the fa­ce of this ge­ne­ra­ti­on. We will not let this stand. Enough is enough.”

Hours la­ter, Aly coug­hed and whee­zed in a cloud of che­mi­cal gas near the Whi­te Hou­se. On Mon­day, she ran as fe­de­ral law en­for­ce­ment of­fi­cers fired rub­ber bul­lets to clear de­mon­stra­tors from La­fay­et­te Squa­re. On Thurs­day, she re­tur­ned to the pro­tests yet again, lea­ding a crowd of mo­re than a thou­sand pe­o­p­le at the Mar­tin Lu­ther King Jr. Me­mo­ri­al in a mo­ment of si­len­ce.

Across the coun­try, thou­sands of teen­a­gers li­ke Aly are on the front li­nes of the pro­tests de­man­ding jus­ti­ce for Ge­or­ge Floyd and other vic­tims of po­li­ce bru­ta­li­ty. For ma­ny, their high school ye­ars in the age of Trump, #MeToo and the Park­land shooting ha­ve been punc­tu­a­ted by pro­tests — the

Wo­men’s Mar­ches, March for Our Li­ves, ra­ci­al jus­ti­ce and cli­ma­te chan­ge ral­lies. They we­re in ele­men­ta­ry school when Tray­von Mar­tin was shot and kil­led, and grew up kno­wing his na­me, along with the words his de­ath hel­ped ig­ni­te: Black Li­ves Mat­ter.

But most ha­ve ne­ver co­me fa­ce to fa­ce with po­li­ce of­fi­cers in ri­ot gear, or with mi­li­ta­ry ve­hi­cles li­ning the streets.

“It was ter­ri­fying”, Aly said about Mon­day’s am­bush by the Se­cret Ser­vi­ce, U.S. Park Po­li­ce and Na­ti­o­nal Gu­ard. “It was li­ke so­me­thing out of a mo­vie sce­ne. Eve­ry­o­ne went mo­ving bac­k­wards and crying.” In Min­ne­a­po­lis, Chris Owu­su, 17, was chan­ting Ge­or­ge Floyd’s na­me out­si­de the po­li­ce de­part­ment’s 3rd Pre­cinct sta­ti­on last week when he was blinds­ided by tear gas, he said. His ey­es bur­ned. His lungs felt as though they we­re col­lapsing.

“It’s the most ex­cru­ci­a­ting pain that I’ve ever felt”, he said.

He was about to go ho­me when he no­ti­ced his friend had been shot with a rub­ber bul­let on the si­de of her fo­rehead. Blood was gus­hing down her fa­ce, and she was ha­ving trou­ble spea­king. He of­fe­red to dri­ve her to the hos­pi­tal, ma­neu­ve­ring his car through the mas­si­ve crowds flooding the streets of Min­ne­a­po­lis.

“I will ha­ve one hell of a col­le­ge es­say to wri­te”, Owu­su said.

(The Was­hing­ton Post)

Aly Co­ny­ers, 17, joins the sixth day of pro­tests in Was­hing­ton af­ter the de­ath of Ge­or­ge Floyd. (Photo: The Was­hing­ton Post)

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