an outlet of encouragement, explanation, and exhortation

Category: Photos

Monday, June 1, 2020 – Cleaning Up

Note: Sunday evening, May 31, 2020, after a day of peacefully protesting the murder of George Floyd and the treatment of Black people in our society, looters descended upon many parts of Long Beach, doing great damage to property and engaging in brazen acts of theft and violence. This note was written as cleanup was taking place and Covid-19 health measures remained in place.

First thing Monday morning I went down to the church building and found things were fine. I went to the roof and scouted the surrounding area; everything seemed calm – no columns of smoke like in 1992!

I started walking toward the downtown area, greeting people and being greeted… hearing stories of Sunday and Sunday night. Those I spoke with said they thought the looters were not locals and not protesters at all.

The Market between Linden and Elm on 7th

At least some looting crews were organized simply to loot while the police were distracted elsewhere, crassly taking advantage of the protests for thievery. There were crews with hammers and matching masks and shirts working in teams – some even with caravans of cars – who beat down any protesters who attempted to stop looting. That some would choose to dishonor the protests of the murder of George Floyd in this manner is unspeakable. So I’ll not speak of it more.

As I neared the downtown area, I saw what seemed like the entire city of Long Beach (and others) turn out to clean up, encourage, and stop any remaining looting.


Young, old, all kinds of people – mirroring the city’s population but with a lean towards the young. People were being reasonably careful to wear masks and such; but there were many people walking the streets and many cars passing through – sight seers? People in some cars were passing out water to cleanup crews. The downtown area was pretty much clean by 10 am – cleaner than I’ve ever seen it. The people cleaned litter in addition to broken glass and stuff from looting. Numerous folk were scrubbing off graffiti. There were (at least) hundreds of people milling around with brooms and bags and shovels with nothing left to clean and more people arriving. So the newly arrived were recommended to head for north Long Beach and other areas where it was rumored that cleaning was still needed. (By Tuesday artists were covering graffiti on boarded storefronts with artwork.) What remains now are repairs to broken windows and doors and other stuff that takes longer, and then getting back to carefully opening downtown business on account of past, present, and future Covid-19 measures.

I wanted to check on the new Antioch Church building on Pine, and was invited in and greeted by Pastor Wayne Chaney, Jr.

I found that Eric Marsh was also there; and Eric recruited me for the noontime Long Beach Prayer Collective prayer time online. I gladly agreed. Later, he also recruited Susana Sngiem to report in during the prayer time on her efforts through United Cambodian Community to help the businesses that were impacted at Anaheim and Atlantic, and elsewhere. After checking in on Antioch church on Pine and making a new friend (Wally), I walked on down to the Pike where I saw and greeted National Guard units. They said they were from nearby Southern California communities. They seemed a little ill at ease, so I thanked them for helping us keep Long Beach safe and peaceful.

I made my way back to the Friends Church building in time for the noontime prayer online, which included Pastor Gregory Sanders of The Rock (and President of the Long Beach Minister’s Alliance), Bishop Todd Ervin of Church One, and Noemi Chavez of Revive Church, and (of course) Eric Marsh. What a privilege to be part of that prayer time! I heard sirens a few times through the day, including during the prayer time, and prayed. The mayor (online) said there had been a few isolated attempts at looting. They were shut down fast.

Long Beach Church Collective Prayer at Noon

The remainder of the day was more online meetings and finally organizing Long Beach Friends Church people for a prayer time at 8 PM to pray in concert with many other Long Beach churches for God’s peace in our city.

A sampling of the churches participating in the 8 PM Prayer Time, from Eric Marsh

All in all, it was very encouraging to see the city turn out in force to clean up. I heard many who wanted to maintain the focus on protesting George Floyd’s murder – to overwhelm the distraction brought on by violence and looting. May it be so.

Here is a link to a few more pictures I took, and few that Eric Marsh sent me.