Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Face(s) of Occupy DC

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Yesterday I posted a series of photos from the anticipated eviction showdown between Occupy DC and the U.S. Park Police (Occupy DC Eviction Showdown–or Not).  Today we are taking a look at the face of Occupy DC.  With all the hours I have wandered around the Occupy DC encampment talking with the protestors I have found their views are as diverse as their photographs.  The only consistent them that runs through all these conversations is a distrust in government they believe has created and perpetuated a system of wealth inequality.

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I also found that the dynamics of the Occupy DC protestors are a bit more complicated than they may appear on face value.  In addition to the varied views held by individuals, there are groups within the encampment with similarly diverse concerns – and they don’t necessarily agree.  There is an anarchist group, there is a group focused on homelessness, another that believes the income inequality has led to unbalanced representation in government, others that support any number of conspiracy theories, some that believe in governments ability to do more for the “99%,”and yet others who have difficulty presenting a coherent argument.  And the list goes on.

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I also found that within the Occupy DC factions, there exists a power struggle.  Several times I heard complaints that one group was getting more air time with the press and was therefore driving the message.  Plotting and scheming sessions are common.  And lets not forget one of the most prominent divides – those who favor an aggressive approach and those who support a more passive approach to the protest.  This divergence in philosophy was quite evident in views of how to handle visits by the U.S. Park Police.

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The remainder of this post is devoted to the many faces of Occupy DC.

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Have fun, and go make some great photography.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Occupy DC Eviction Showdown–or Not

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Over the weekend, the Occupy DC encampment received notification that enforcement action for their residence in McPherson Square would begin at noon today – 30 January.  I arrived at McPherson Square at about 10:15am to document the day’s events.  Upon my arrival, the protestors were outnumbered 3 to 1 by the media.  The police were conspicuously absent.

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At about 11:30 am, a small group of police took a tour of the park, surrounded by protestors and media, but no enforcement actions were taken.  I remained at McPherson square until 2 pm during which little more than dancing, singing, chanting, tenting of the monument, extensive media interviews, a press conference by a police representative, and a lot of mucking about occurred. 

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I will let the photography tell the rest of the story, but a couple things caught my attention.  First, it was clear that the protestors are not of one mind.  When the police visited, there were equal numbers antagonizing the police and others demanding that no attention be given their visit.  Second, as I stood in the mass of reporters, cameras, and video jocks, it was clear to me that nothing would happen when the witching hour of noon approached.  With complete media saturation, it would have been unproductive to highlight protesters being herded off in restraints or use of force against the more aggressive faction of the protestors.

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Here is the rest of the story in photos.

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Have fun, and go make some great photography.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Part 2

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In my last post, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, MLK Jr. Day 2012,I shared some photography of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial taken on the holiday of his namesake.  Today I am sharing a few more photos from that shoot.

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I decided to present these separately because the two groups of photographs are dramatically different and tell very different stories.  The previous set is an intense portrayal of monument and the man it represents.

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These photos tell a partial story of how people interact with the memorial.

Have fun, and go make some great photography.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, MLK Jr. Day 2012

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Today marks the first day visitors to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial can celebrate the legacy of civil rights leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr. at his memorial which opened in the fall of 2011.  With the expectation of tremendous crowds, I decided to visit the memorial on Sunday.

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Enjoy the photography, and take a moment to consider the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Have fun and go make some great photography.