Outside Starbucks, I run into my friend Chris.
“I drove by the police station today, and I was impressed by the number of protestors,” he says.
“Yeah, it’s getting pretty big."
“Why do you think so many people have attached themselves to this issue?”
“Well, it was pretty fucked up,” I say, “six cops beat a guy to death.”
“Do you think, if this happened four years ago, there would be this kind of protest?”
“That’s a good question.”
“When the economy is going well, when people have all their bills paid and all they have to worry about is what to buy next, it sort of detaches people from their community. But, when the economy is tight, when people are on unemployment, it forces them to re-evaluate things.”
“Maybe hard times force people to care about things they might not normally care about.”
“I think people are angry, they’re struggling and there’s this attitude like ‘We’re not gonna take this anymore.’”
“I hope that, as sad as this Kelly Thomas thing is, some good may come of it. I’ve never seen this kind of community movement in Fullerton.”
“Maybe, after this whole shakedown, we will have a more caring community.”
“I hope so.”
“But, I have to wonder, if the economy gets better, will people stop caring?”