There’s this fascination I have with protests and rallies and social change movements. In college I was honored to be a part of a few organizations that worked on identity of self and how ones role in the larger society is viewed/perceived by the mainstream culture. Fast forward to post college and I’ve been able to be a part of other organizations that was also focused on “love as revolution”, “love as self”, “love for community” as its vision and missions.
It definitely wasn’t something that was instilled too much from our parents (my brother and i). We were always told that we had a fit in society already and that we were not to rock the boat or be a part of that because the best thing we could do for our family is “make it.” BUT what my parents/family did teach us, is to be passionate and be in the moment.
My brother and I both went into social service work/ community based work for a reason. We do love the communities we live/work for. There were times in that community where we felt that it was not necessarily healthy for us to stay in it. Pushing the limits and lines of our belief systems definitely is a daunting task. Sometimes you believe in certain things, certain people and yet it feels that those things can be turned upside down and on your ass without you knowing what happened until your licking your wounds. The personal price is as hard to swallow like the holistic horrors that we fight against.
Ok, I know…I’m talking without telling you all too much. Well, let’s just say that for a time there my brother and I retracted from the community we serve because we had to re-evaluate our place in them and figure out what is a good balance, a good role for us to fight the good fight.
My fight is: how to pass it down to my son. Enough said. He will learn how to fight and how to be the person who he wants to be as a good and righteous man; free from bunk and negative ideologies, like the “isms and phobias”, free from gender stereotypes and fucked up beliefs that men are superior to women…all of it…and I’m surrounding him with the village that I know supports this change. That pass it down in their own way to him.
Well, when I go out to occupy it’s a bit self-serving. One it satisfies that part of me that used to go out and raise hell. Not back down, and rally folks behind for the cause. Now I’m an observer and an occasional activist who engages in dialogue. I’m older with a family that can’t afford any ill will or repercussions that didn’t scare me before. SECONDLY, it satisfies the “passing it down to my seed” idea. I come home and before I share with you all on the social networks, I’m editing and showing it to my son. These conversations help me know that a part of me is doing something for the movement.
So with that long ass intro…here are quite a few images for you to digest from the May Day in Seattle of 2012. It also has OCCUPY elements as it is the first International Workers Day event post-occupy wall street.
Some of the images will have captions, some will have quotes from folks after talking to them, I hope to portray the movement from the ground level, with you there with me. I am going to try not to talk too much about the negative aspects – the news and media got that covered.
well…here we go…thanks for following the coverage…if ya dig it, i’d appreciate if you would tweet, fb share, g+ it =)
There were a couple clowns (amogst a few other uniforms and costumes), the prep for these guys were pretty deep as they were ahead of the rally most of the day. I’ll have a few of these shots up of these dudes.
Lots of times during these protests, you’ll be able to have conversations with folks about the societal woes. I see a lot of times, people just walk around them and avoid them, but there are folks who will actually take time to find out exactly why there is a protest or rally and want to understand (not necessarily agree) with what is happening.
There was a contingency called the “Unicorns” which was a queer group who truly led a lot of the rally with festive and powerful messaging.
This shot signified the joinging of the two rallies in the late afternoon; the Westlake Center group and the International Workers rally. I must say that this was a beautiful site, as it brought tears to many before the two groups converged. Throughout the day it had been the Westlake group who was handling most of the action and press coverage. The workers rally started later in the afternoon coming from Judkins Park in Seattle’s Central District. The two groups met; with about (I thought at least) 750-1000 per side. I’ve read reports that there was upwards 4500 total. I’m not good at math so I could be way off =) but when the two groups met up, it was like in a movie. The groups were seperated by about a block, both groups became quiet; after a few minutes, BOOOM. All you hear is cheering from both sides. It was surreal. It was amazing.
“I am a part of this because of the issues that my community faces. Deportation plagues my community and I am here to stand up for those who are not allowed to.”
“I am here for Occupy Hip Hop. We are the 99%. My music, my culture, my people have a right to stand up and using this as a platform to get my political ideas out is one of the best ways for me to stay involved.”
“I am an artist. I am the 99%”
“I am this monster created by the evils done against the citizens of the world. I choose to fight for you and us. They will rid of me with a signature on a check. I want to have them remember that I cannot be deleted.”
“This is for my great grandmother. She deserves to know that this world is a better place than she left it. She was the 99%. I am the 99%”
The People, The Movement
Instagram/ EyeEm: @bradpuet