Violinists for Elijah – Photo from the memorial by John Moore (used with permission)

John Moore on Facebook: These days, when you attend a protest, you almost expect the evening to end in tear gas. I didn’t attend a protest tonight; I attended a peaceful violin vigil for a murdered young violinist. A wake. Only this evening BEGAN with preemptive tear gas.

I’ve never seen anything like it. A call went out for bowed instrument players to come to Aurora’s City Center Park for an improvised, peaceful jam to honor and grieve the senseless loss of #ElijahMcClain. But just before the scheduled 8:30 start time, pepper spray was deployed, followed by rows of Aurora police in riot gear methodically moving the hundreds who had spread out all over the lawn in front of city hall, toward an empty parking lot far from where a couple of dozens of musicians bravely played, and played on.

Thankfully, the police never went after the musicians themselves, but they incited unnecessary aggression and heightened tension (but no violence) from a crowd that wasn’t there to make noise. They were there to listen. To music. But once provoked, the music became the soundtrack to an ugly conflict between art and authority. And as is seemingly always the case, authority ultimately drowned out the art.

The event was all but over before it began, leaving the hundreds who had gathered girding for a completely unprovoked fight. If the police had not moved in at the start, I very much believe the evening would have come and gone quickly and without incident, though that is admittedly only my subjective opinion. #BlackLivesMatter #Justice for #ElijahMcClain.


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Related articles:

Denver Post: World-renowned musicians flying to Denver for ‘violin vigil’ in honor of Elijah McClain


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PHOTO STORY: Justice for Elijah McClain March in Aurora

PHOTOS: Justice for Elijah McClain march in Aurora

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