My 2020 Moments: To fight or to be silent
Updated 12:22, 05-Jan-2021
Global Stringer
North America;United States

Editor's note: 2020 is over, even though it felt like it's been going on for a decade, with so many world-changing events, and there is no simple way to sum it up. But when faced with the very worst, there were ordinary people who remained positive, optimistic and energetic. There was also courage, sacrifice, heroism and hope, making up the touching moments of 2020. CGTN Global Stringer invited people from different countries to share their heartwarming stories.

"Black men being killed by police is somewhat normal in this country," James Austen, a 27-year-old filmmaker, based in Los Angeles, U.S., recalls what he thought when he first heard about George Floyd's story. As a Black American, Austen has seen too many unequal things growing up, so he was not surprised by the news. But what surprised him was how people reacted to the killing, going out to the streets and protesting in a way they never had.

Austen didn't join the protests initially, as he hadn't made up his mind, and because of the risk of coronavirus. However, his friend had asked him for a special birthday gift – to join the protests. Inspired by his friend, Austen went to city hall and had his first protest experience. 

James Austin walking at Silver Park. /CGTN

James Austin walking at Silver Park. /CGTN

A group of bikers made a deep impression on Austen as they expressed their anger through revving their bikes, and that remains the most moving moment of 2020 for him. 

He started thinking about how he could tackle the injustice on a bigger level, as things seemed to not have changed much since 1966 when the Black Panther organization was founded to fight against police violence on Black people in their community. "So many of the same type of incidents and things that I saw growing up still continuing," Austen's mother added. 

A group of bikers in "BLM" protest in Los Angeles, U.S. /CGTN

A group of bikers in "BLM" protest in Los Angeles, U.S. /CGTN

"Let's get involved in a very local way," thought Austen, by sharing ideas to people around him and being more accepting of others. He wishes to do that through his own filmmaking in the future.

Supervisor: Pang Xinhua

Executive producer: Li Xiangyang

Chief editor: Qin Xiaohu

Director: Xue Yicheng

Original screenplay: Wang Yueer

Editors: Jin Yujia, Wang Yueer, Liu Li

Copy editor: Nadeem Gill

Cover image: Fan Chenxiao

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