Buzz·Posted on Jun 10, 202015 People Share Their Experiences From The Black Lives Matter Protests"It was inspiring to know that there are people who stand with me as a Black woman in America."by Morgan SlossBuzzFeed StaffFacebookPinterestTwitterMailLink We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community about their personal experiences at the Black Lives Matter protests. Here are some of their responses: 1. Feeling supported: Linnea Rheborg / Getty Images "I went to a protest with my mom, sister, and her best friend. I was overwhelmed by the amount of people who came out and supported us. The protest was organized by a bunch of high school students who just expected friends and family to come. They didn't know that everyone was posting about the march on social media, which led to thousands coming. We ended up being escorted by the police to City Hall. It was my first march, but it was inspiring to know that there are people who stand with me as a Black woman in America."–kylemadison0305 2. A history lesson: buzzfeed.com "I attended a march in Atlanta, Georgia that began at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, near Ebenezer Church, the church Dr. King preached in. We were asked to dress in Sunday best to mimic the civil rights marches that Dr. King conducted.Bernice King, daughter of MLK, spoke to us. 'My father reminded us that true peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.' She thanked those in attendance. We marched through Atlanta to the capital. On the way, we passed a mural of John Lewis, a civil rights icon. It was a march that was filled with a lot of lessons from history but also a lot of determination for a better future." —pjjames 3. A powerful moment: Chris J Ratcliffe / Getty Images "I went to the London protests, which started in Hyde Park and ended up going all through London, down the roads and completely stopping traffic. A white man angrily tried to drive through the protestors, aggressively beeping his car horn and yelling out of the window for people to move. I saw a Black man take one look at him and stop directly in front of his car — he looked this driver dead in the eyes and slowly raised his fist in the Black power salute, refusing to move. It was such a powerful moment I will never forget."—bilaaayy 4. Police violence: Elijah Nouvelage / Getty Images "I was so excited to go to my first protest to stand with my fellow brothers and sisters. I was passionate about speaking against police brutality and the killings of Black Americans like George Floyd. How did the police respond? With even more brutality and a violation of our constitutional rights. We were peacefully gathered in downtown Miami when they began to throw tear gas canisters into the crowd and shoot us with rubber bullets. That was when chaos ensued. The crowd began to retaliate by lighting police cars on fire, and then the looting in Bayside Marketplace began. I wonder if the protests would have remained peaceful if the police hadn't reacted in that way."—edwinj3 5. A lesson in allyship: View this photo on Instagram Instagram: @lil.icon "As we marched up along Third Avenue the other day, this white woman stood out to me. She stood on her fire escape, her fist in the air, face stern, and determination in her eyes. It reminded me of the importance of allyship. Though I am a person of color, I recognize my own privilege. There is immense racism in Indian culture based on the tone of skin. Skin lightening creams are prevalent, and virtually all Indian celebrities are light-skinned. As an ally, I will listen to Black stories to better understand their struggle, I will stand up when I see injustices, and I will support their work in creating an even playing field.I made this drawing of the moment."—rajivf 6. More police violence: Dan Kitwood / Getty Images "I've been going to the protests in Portland all week. The unity and community growing within the movement has been beautiful. We have cried, sang, danced, and screamed together for the human rights of our Black brothers and sisters. So much peace and love goes on, but there's so much anger at the violence being committed against Black lives. Occasionally, that anger results in a very small percentage engaging with police. Water bottles are thrown, and our authorities will suddenly decide that is unjustified violence. If an officer, supposedly trained for tense situations, cannot handle a water bottle thrown at them without retaliating with tear gas, flash bangs, or rubber bullets, how do we trust them with our lives? To protect and serve? I don't condone violence. But it's clear that our police departments as a whole are inept, untrained, and aggressive."—egcooper42 7. Feeling heard by the community: Hollie Adams / Getty Images "My town held a protest, and the crowd was estimated at 2,500–3,000 people. The people were peaceful but loud as hell. They handed wildflowers out to one another and the police. They burned sage and marched around the town square. They were angry but kind, looking out for one another. After dark, a couple of water bottles got thrown at the police, and the crowd stepped in to protect them and sent the bottle tossers on their way — they didn't want to escalate things, and neither did the police. People danced in the town square into the night and lit off fireworks — not as projectiles toward officers but in celebration, feeling they had been heard and supported by their community."—a4d5881ea8 8. Police firing tear gas, denying it, and changing the story: Scott Olson / Getty Images "I went to a peaceful protest in West Palm Beach, Florida. Overall, the protest was met with so much support from the surrounding community, and the protest even ended up blocking the main highway. Towards the end of the protest, the police ended up tear gassing the peaceful protesters. The next day, the mayor held a press conference denying that tear gas was used. Then two days later, the chief of police had another press conference to admit their use of tear gas."—alic4fd8cebf8 9. Arrested after the protest was over: Angela Weiss / Getty Images "I went to a protest in NYC. We marched nine miles across the city and shut down a major highway. Many drivers raised a fist in support or cheered as we walked by. The cops were with us and did not react. It remained peaceful. Upon leaving the highway, we sat down and the protest organizers thanked us for coming out. We were sitting down, and the protest was over when the cops came at us for NO reason other than the cameras being turned off. I stood in front of one and was promptly detained. I was not read my rights or told why I was being arrested. I sat in a police van with eight others for four hours. Then we were booked and left in cramped cells for four additional hours. We were never given a phone call and were only provided with one cup of water."—cireme99 10. Protesting in a small town: Christopher Furlong / Getty Images "My small Wyoming town had a protest tonight, and I attended. Because Sheridan is such a small town with very little diversity, it was a pretty big deal that we had over 500 people show up and march against police brutality and systemic racism. It was peaceful, and the police force blocked the streets off for us and ensured that protesters, anti-protesters, and onlookers were safe. And yes, I said anti-protesters. However, when it's 10 against 500, the ignorance and hate get drowned out. I am proud to be a part of this movement, and I'm even prouder of my little town."—s1kintop 11. Nearly being run over by a car: Dan Kitwood / Getty Images "I went to a protest in Newport Beach, California. We walked five miles around the beach, peacefully chanted, and did nothing wrong. It was an amazing experience until someone drove their car through the crowd and almost hit hundreds of people."—blubrry 12. Mother-daughter day: buzzfeed.com "My 8-year-old daughter and I participated in a silent protest as part of a mile-long human chain to our state capital. It was such a memorable experience for us both. She called it 'the best girls day ever!' We were both overwhelmed by support, as well as saddened by a lack of it. Certainly a mixed bag of emotions." —rebeccamackeyg 13. Kneeling in solidarity: Seth Herald / Getty Images "I went to a protest in Boulder, Colorado arranged by the CU football team, a team with a Black head coach and majority of Black players. There were hundreds of people there, mostly white as that's the majority population in Boulder. We met at a corner where a police station is. A few cops were out, not in riot gear. One in front of me had his phone out recording the protest. We marched through the streets. Chants were led mostly by white women as we marched to downtown. There, we knelt for nine minutes. A homeless man walked by screaming, 'You better not touch one business,' but we said nothing to him and continued our silent kneel."—kaiyawahl 14. Community unity: Scott Heins / Getty Images "I went for a few hours today and saw my community step up in a major way. Most of our time was spent crowded around a monument, listening to whoever wanted to come to the megaphone and speak their fears, their anger, and their hope. The whole time, people were walking around with crates of water and snacks for people. There was even someone walking around with a trash can to make sure we left the area the same way we found it.After marching to a new spot, someone fell to the ground from the heat. Immediately, calls spread through the crowd for a medic, and the group backed up to give space. The entire group — hundreds of people — stayed silent until the person was up and able to move to safety."—beccers 15. Quantifiable change: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez / Getty Images "I'm from Alabama; our state has a long and terrible history with discrimination and police brutality. I participated in a peaceful protest in memory of George Floyd. Everyone stood on the sidewalk at the highway with our signs held high. A guy drove by and gave us the finger. The girl beside me got very upset, but I chose to focus on the majority of cars that showed signs of support. In all, probably 300 cars drove by and only two people flipped us off. In North Alabama, 2/300 people being openly racist is REAL progress. We still have a long way to go, as a community and as a nation, but I have faith that if everyone votes in November like Black Lives Matter BECAUSE THEY DO, then we'll be able to keep the momentum up with more real, quantifiable change."—kayladiana0619 Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.