In response to recent events including protests in Cleveland and the murder of two NYC police officers, the Sea of Blue Rally was organized via Facebook to show support for men and women of law enforcement. After covering the #Ferguson2CLE protest last weekend, I felt compelled to take some photos at this rally as well.
The rally began at Public Square in downtown Cleveland, where the crowd heard from numerous speakers including a keynote from Bob Frantz.
Frantz told the crowd that he had seen signs in recent weeks saying, Black Lives Matter. “And you know what,” Frantz said, “they are abso-freakin-lutely right. Every single one of them. The life of Mike Brown matters, the life of Eric Gardner matters. The life of Tamir Rice matters. And you know what I don’t see signs say, white lives matter and they do. Latino lives matter. Asian-American lives matter. Arab-American lives matter. And do you want to know why? Because Life Matters. ALL LIVES MATTER.”
The rally concluded with a silent march from public square to the Police Memorial on Lakeside, where the crowd heard speeches from those who have lost loved ones in uniform.
In contrast to the #Ferguson2CLE protest, photographing the rally was a lot different. The crowd radiated a sense of patriotism and peace, leaving me feeling very safe and relaxed. Supporters wanted their picture taken and no one gave me any trouble.