Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

#StandOnEveryCorner sets down roots in South Minneapolis

Posted on 28 October 2018 by calvin

When Bryce Tache held the very first ‘Stand On Every Corner’ protest in his Nokomis neighborhood, he didn’t know if anyone would show up. At first, the turnout was small, but soon, more and more of his neighbors started to show up at the daily protest, holding hand-lettered signs and encouraging drivers to honk in support. The messages range from anti-Trump or pro-immigrant to ones saying, simply ‘This is what democracy looks like’ or ‘Make empathy great again.’

As of Oct. 22, there are 257 such corners all over the country, all local and all organized by neighbors. Some are located in tiny towns, like Twisp, WA with a population of 956. But, in big cities like New York City and San Francisco, people are gathering in their own neighborhoods to make their voices heard. You can find ‘corners’ from Key West to Alaska.

In the Twin Cities, there are 16 #StandOnEveryCorner protest groups, three in the Nokomis neighborhood. One, at the corner of Diamond Lake Rd. and Portland Ave. (Tache’s home corner) draws participants every evening during rush hour. Another, at the corner of Minnehaha Pkwy. and Chicago Ave., gathers weeknights. The newest gets together at Cedar Ave. and Minnehaha Pkwy., meeting every Monday and Thursday.

Photo right: Bryce Tache stands with Cecil Farnham and his son holding electric vote letters. (Photo by Stephanie Fox)

The protest has grown, Tache said, not just in the number of corners but with the number of people who have shown up, some every night. Tache is not leading the movement. It’s purely grassroots, with neighborhoods joining up on the website, announcing their location and times they’ll be gathering. Anyone can join. At some locations, local corner organizers bring signs for those who show up without any.

“It started June 21, when Trump’s immigration policy came into full effect,” Tache said. “My kids are immigrants. I can’t imagine their terror if they were locked in cages. It was a completely inhuman way to treat people.”

Photo left: Eric Solovjovs protesst at the corner of Diamond Lake Rd. and Portland Ave. as the sun begins to set. (Photo by Stephanie Fox)

Tache had just returned from a vacation in Spain. “The people there were shocked,” he said. “They asked me why Americans weren’t out protesting every day. I was tired of waiting for someone else. I needed to do something.”

Andrea Childers, who helped organize the Chicago/Nokomis Pkwy. protest, shows up with her husband, Cecil Farnham, her two children and a handful of her neighbors. “I said ‘why not?’ It’s empowering to get out here and take a stand. A lot of other members of the silent majority need to know that they are not alone,” she said.

“It’s also a way to make new friends,” said Ann Meyer, who stood with Childers waving at passing cars and chatting with walkers and joggers passing on the Parkway.

They get a lot of positive reactions from those driving by. There are honks and waves. “We’ve gotten a few middle fingers, too,” she said. Childers said she also got some targeted, personal threats from one stranger. “They rattled me,” she said. But, they didn’t stop her.

Photo right: Join Us sign at the corner of Chicago Ave. and the Parkway. (Photo by Stephanie Fox)

At the Pearl Park location, a couple of dozen people show up every night. “People expect us every night,” said Warren Bowles, a neighbor who showed up to stand with his neighbors. “They start honking a block away.”

“It’s not about left versus right or blue versus red,” Tache said. “It’s about right versus wrong. It’s about holding our elected representatives accountable. It’s about being there for each other.”

The original plan was for the corner protests to go through the Nov. 6 general election. Whether the protests can continue after the election, especially in cold climates like Minneapolis, has yet to been seen. “The movement will evolve, depending on how big our wins are in November,” he said. “But, it will continue in some way.”

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