WASHINGTON D.C., DC — With many area businesses still closed due to COVID-19, or boarded up after looting earlier in the week, the large crowds expected downtown Saturday will have few places to take shelter from the heat or if storms roll in, and few places to go to the bathroom.
Yet protesters, like Lashae Brown and her aunt D’Nay Washington, still plan to spend the weekend downtown.
"People are losing their lives," Brown said. "We can go a little while without water. We can hold it, we don’t need to go to the restroom, we can push through."
Protestor Seth Jackson was also heading down to Lafayette Square Friday afternoon for the third time this week, but this time he brought his 7-year-old son, Marcus.
"Standing in the heat to do what we gotta do, I’m willing to do much more than that for justice," Jackson said.
Community Organizer Dylan Arredondo said he wanted to support D.C. protestors.
"Now’s the time for asking yourself how can I show solidarity," Arredondo said.
Arredondo, along with more than 100 volunteers have opened up the lobby of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre to provide protestors a reprieve from the heat, with clean bathrooms, water bottles, a place to charge phones and trained first aid.
Arrendondo opened the lobby as part of a wider initiative called #Openyourlobby.
Theatre Washington CEO Amy Austin said local theatres have been closed for months, but the arts community wanted to show its support to protestors. Austin said she hopes other businesses will step up and help as well.
“It’s a time when we all need to show up, and that is on an individual level as well as on an institutional level," Austin said.
6 theatres in downtown D.C. opening their lobbies through the weekend:
- 9:30 Club: 815 V St. NW. Open Saturday from 1 p.m.-6 p.m.
- Arena Stage: 1101 6th St. SW. Open Friday from 12 p.m.-5 p.m.
- Keegan Theatre: 1742 Church St. Open Saturday from 4 p.m-8 p.m
- Shakespeare Theatre Company: 450 7th St. NW Open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. -6 p.m.
- Studio Theatre: 1501 14th St. NW. Open Friday from 12 p.m.-6 p.m.
- Woolly Mammoth Theater Company: 641 D St. NW. Open Friday through Sunday from 12 p.m. to one hour before curfew.
Churches and businesses opening their facilities and offering supplies:
- FCNL's Quaker Welcome Center(https://www.fcnl.org/action/quaker-welcome-center ): 245 2nd St NE. Open Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 p.m - 6:00 p.m.
- New York Avenue Presbyterian Church: 1313 New York Ave. N. Open Friday from 3 p.m.-9 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-9 p.m
- Foundry United Methodist Church: (https://foundryumc.org/ 1500 16th St NW. Open Friday 3:00 PM - 10:00 PM, Weekend TBD.
- Luther Place Memorial Church: (https://lutherplace.org/ ) 1226 Vermont Ave NW Friday 5:00 PM -11:00 PM Weekend TBD.
- Dacha Beer Garden: (https://dachadc.com ) 1600 7th St NW, Washington