Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Has Columbia Heights made it?

Last Tuesday at about 7 pm, I was going to Target and heard a lot of noise up at the Civic Plaza at 14th and Park. I walked up there, curious to see what it was, and it turned out to be a big protest against the execution of Troy Davis with about 50-100 people holding signs and chanting, encouraging cars to honk and passing out flyers.

This really struck me -- it's the first big protest or rally I can remember that I've seen in the neighborhood, and it wasn't about something specific to the neighborhood. The organizers obviously wanted to get as many people to see them as possible, and they could have chosen a spot downtown like Freedom Plaza, the Capitol, near the Supreme Court or any number of other common locations for protests. But they didn't -- they figured there would be so many commuters and residents and shoppers and people just hanging out in Columbia Heights that they'd get the most response in our neighborhood.

I think that says a lot: the neighborhood has grown so much that big public events are now staged here. That's wild. It's almost like we're a downtown now, a major draw for people. There isn't much in the way of 9-5 jobs, like offices, but there are enough stores and restaurants and people that people are just here.

Interesting stuff. I think this is a good thing.


  1. Of course I could be wrong. Any other thoughts?

  2. hmm... you see a bunch of concerned citizens protesting the execution of a potentially innocent black southerner in a historically black / now gentrifying neighborhood, and your conclusion is that we've "made it" as a neighborhood?

  3. Yes. I support the cause, but to me it also speaks to the neighborhood as a whole. They're here rather than somewhere else you usually see protests.

  4. I'm pretty sure it has the highest population density of any neighborhood in DC. That might be an answer.

  5. Right, but this is the first time I have seen a protest here. The neighborhood has had high population density for a long time.


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