I was surprised by the turnout. Sunday afternoon, May 31, 2020. Amherstians, in my experience, are usually very calm and understated. The day before, on Saturday morning, I had driven past the Amherst Common in the center of town and a George Floyd protest was taking place. There were maybe 15 people there. I rushed home to get my camera and by the time I got back, most of them had left. I spoke to one of the organizers, Peter Blood, and he said there had been a mix up with the times. “Come tomorrow, 3pm,” he told me, “there’ll be more people.”
I almost didn’t go. There was another protest in Boston, that same day at 6:30pm and I wanted to attend and photograph that one. But I was curious and my family wanted to attend the Amherst protest. So the plan became to attend the Amherst protest, drop my family at home and then head for Boston, about two hours away.
As we came over the hill on South Pleasant Street, just outside downtown Amherst, we were greeted by hundreds of people lining the streets. We could not believe it.