Documentation of the Termination of an Occupation (with really bad illumination)
I didn’t mean to do my photo on Occupy D.C. I had stayed with them, interviewed them, eaten with them, and taken enough pictures of them already. I read every article about the movement I could find, until I finally got sick of it and wanted to distance myself from the whole thing.
But I was riding the subway on a Saturday a few weeks ago and I heard an announcement come over the loudspeaker that McPherson Square stop was closed due to police activity. I knew what was about to happen. When I got there it was a madhouse-riot police everywhere, people in hazmat suits, at least a hundred people milling around in the rain. I started shooting pictures with my phone until my fingers went numb and I had to leave. From talking to people, it seemed like the police cordoned off the area and tried to drive the protesters into an area where there was no room to exit, then began beating a few when they “failed to disperse.” What I witnessed was the aftermath a few hours later.
The spotlights that the police brought in were intense, so a lot of my pictures were overexposed. My favorite is the one of the guy juggling in front of the line of riot police. Reminds me of Emma Goldman’s line, “It’s not my revolution if I can’t dance.”
In the end, everyone knew that the camping wasn’t going to last forever. It will be interesting to see how this all unfolds in the future…