Joseph Riggio, Guest Writer

Life in the Front lines,

Ain’t as easy as it seems.

The pressure is on,

For leading the charge.


Life in the Front lines,

Leading chants and prayers,

Kneeling on the ground,

While raising open hands.


Life in the Front lines,

Flickers with camera lights.

Million eyes watching thousands,

Pushing for peaceful change.


Life in the Back lines,

Just as important.

One bottle is all it takes,

To sabotage the Front.


Painful mists of pepper spray,

Blinding tears from dispersing gas.

Hopeless… Helpless…

The life of the Front lines.


Author’s Note: Written on June 1st, 10:15 p.m. during the Seattle, Capitol Hill protest that eventually was declared a Riot by the SPD. The poem was drafted seconds after violence broke out between protesters and SPD officers, which was caused by a bottle that was lobbed over the crowd and hit an officer. This poem simplifies a larger ‘Plea’ that myself and many others preach, especially since this moment of prolonged disappointment generated from a peaceful protest that lasted roughly 6-8 hours beforehand.