It's been amazing to me to see so many people go from zero to sixty on police defunding and abolition in recent days. I've been peripherally aware of the movement myself for a long time, but it wasn't until these recent protests I looked into the movement in greater depth (and had my support for it solidify).
It's also been amazing to me (though not surprising) to see neoliberal pundits and lawmakers try so hard to co-opt the push to defund law enforcement, making it about "reform" and "demands poorly spoken in anger".
No, thank you, we know quite well what we want.
So to help this newfound support for the de-funding and abolition of police, I made a pamphlet on the subject--a sort of "beginner's guide with resources", for people to hand out at protests or community meetings, to give to the older folks in the family who are being radicalized for the first time watching Martin Gugino thrown to the ground by Buffalo police.
You can download the pamphlet here. It's licensed under Creative Commons Universal 1.0 [CC0 1.0]--In other words, public domain. So please take a look, read, print, and share.
This afternoon the UC Davis for COLA movement held a rally and march in solidarity with recently fired UC Santa Cruz graduate student strikers. UCD students gathered at the Memorial Union flagpole where several organizers spoke. The crowd was led first in a prayer, then updates on and hope for the movement, followed by chants and song.
A march followed after to the Mrak Hall administrative building where additional students spoke. At the end of the rally students were led once more in song before breaking into affinity groups for discussion.
Visit the UC Davis for Cola website for more information.
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Coverage and content from my twitter account. View more from this event here.
Part of the nationwide day of action, Sacramento participated in the "Families Belong Together" protest on Saturday, June 30th to speak out against Trump's zero tolerance policy and the separation of children from their families and their subsequent inhumane detention in ICE detention centers.
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It's been a while since I've posted anything. The holidays kept me busy, and so far this month I've been trying to get myself oriented for the new year--cleaning out my office so I can make better use of it, organizing my gear, stuff like that. But I wanted to keep in the habit of posting at least somewhat regularly, so I dug through my files and found this.
This is my sister. Throughout the course of my photographic career she has been my go-to model, dating all the way back to my first at-home jerry-rigged photo studio in eighth grade. Whenever I wanted to try out some new technique or simply had itchy shutter finger, she'd make herself available–sometimes eagerly, sometimes reluctantly at my request.
It was early fall of 2015 and this was one of those days in the middle where I'd asked and she'd sort of shrugged and said okay. There isn't necessarily anything particularly special about the photo itself; the composition is adequate, the lighting as well, focus is mediocre, and the background has only the barest complementary value. From a critical perspective it's mostly uninteresting.
That is, except for her–and her jacket.
Now, something you should know about my sister: she is fierce, she is willful, and she is kind. She always has been, and perhaps that is what I've loved so much about using her as a subject over the years.
I don't actually have very many photos of her in this jacket, and this is likely one of the best I do have. It was her favorite. We picked it up on a summer shopping spree at the thrift store and it sort of became a constant around the house. If you saw her passing through the kitchen on her way to work or the store, it was the one she was always wearing.
She wore it when she went to counter-protest the Nazi rally at the California state Capitol as well; and it was there that she let it go.
Most know about that rally in June 2016–it made national and international headlines. It was violent and it was horrifying; an omen of what was to come. Seven were stabbed by Nazi and white nationalist demonstrators, suffering far more than the trauma of their physical wounds.
And she was there, wearing that jacket as she watched a man get stabbed in the shoulder, eyes going wide as pain and shock and unreality struck him. Once the aggressor had moved on, he was swarmed by other counter-protesters, including my sister, who tried to assess the situation and help the man who was stumbling and tripping over himself, face white as blood pooled from his wound and soaked his clothes.
My sister is a caregiver. In the two years leading up to this moment she'd been the full-time nanny to an eight year old girl in town. She is first-aid trained and certified, as any good caregiver should be, and so when the moment came she ripped off that jacket without a moment's hesitation and used it to apply pressure to the man's shoulder as he collapsed to the ground, white and trembling and still as wide-eyed as when he watched that switchblade embed itself in his body. It took some time before EMT's were able to reach him, and when they carted him off on a gurney to a waiting ambulance, her jacket went with him, nearly soaked through.
I was told all of this later that evening over lemonade when she returned home. She, myself, and my partner sat in the backyard soaking up the early-summer heat as she explained, in response to our query, why she had a sunburn on her bared shoulders when she left for the counter-demonstration with a light jacket for the very purpose of preventing such a thing.
When I came across this photo a few years later, though hardly my best work or my best photo of her, I knew it was one I needed to share, along with its story.
I sometimes find myself in awe of her strength and moral conviction. Such action as I described above is no easy feat, and does not come without cost. Yet amidst the horrors that consume our daily reality, such strength is desperately needed to push back against the encroaching darkness. When I look at photos like this one, I am reminded of what that kind of strength can look like.
On Sunday, January 22nd the Davis Islamic Center was the victim of hate-crime vandalism: windows were shattered, bicycle tires and seats cut up, and bacon was left on door handles. The Davis community has, in the days that followed, shown a tremendous outpouring of support, bringing flowers, goods and monetary donations to help rebuild that which was damaged. Already, tens of thousands of dollars have been raised for repairs.
Today, Friday January 27th, a solidarity rally was held in Central Park, sponsored by Statement of Love and The Gatherings Initiative, a project of the Davis Phoenix Coalition. Hundreds of community members of all ages, races, and religions turned out in support. Speakers included the Imam of the Davis Islamic Center, Davis Mayor Robb Davis, District Supervisor Don Saylor, Sacramento CAIR members, local religious leaders, student groups, and more.
A banner and sharpies lay across the foot of the steps to the US Bicycle Museum for community members to write messages of solidarity for the Islamic Center of Davis.
Today I made my way into Sacramento for the Women's March, one of many around the nation that were sister marches to the one in Washington D.C. While I missed the march proper, I arrived to see the tail end arriving at the state Capitol's west steps. Pink pussy hats, part of the Pussy Hat Project, were in abundance, and umbrellas-as-protest-signs were also a popular motif given the drizzly, overcast weather in the greater Sacramento area recently.
A stage was set up at the Capitol's west steps, with attendees lining the sidewalks and down the Capitol Mall. Speakers ranged from politicians and local organizers, to artists, comedians, and activists.
A protest sign made and carried by a young boy walking through the crowds with his parents.
Rally attendees pack into all available space on the Capitol grounds.
A Muslim woman and girl scout leader stands on stage with her troop who presented solutions to many social ills, including kindness, peace, and understanding.
Spoken Word poets perform on stage during the rally at the California State Capitol.
Sacramento Women's March organizers say a few words on stage.
Between roughly 12pm and 1pm marchers lined the Capitol mall almost all the way back to the Tower Bridge, with rally attendees milling the capitol mall throughout much of the speaker schedule.
On Inauguration day, January 20th, Sacramento hosted a #NotMyPresident rally, one of many occurring throughout California as part of the Disrupt J20 actions nationwide. From five locations throughout Sacramento protesters gathered and marched to meet for a rally on the west steps of the California State Capitol.
While I unfortunately missed the marches, here are some shots at the end of the rally on the Capitol steps.
Tuesday November 15th was a national day of action for the Dakota Access Pipeline resistance movement. A rally was organized in Davis, CA outside the Army Corps of Engineers office, who are responsible for permitting the pipeline, at 609 2nd Street in downtown, in solidarity with other actions nationwide. Organizers spoke to the group about the pipeline and its dangers, and others shared their thoughts and feelings about the pipeline, the movement, and related issues. At peak participation, the action likely drew 100-150 people, based on personal observation.
A Choctaw man and longtime indigenous rights activist shared his experience and observations of the two months he spent at the Standing Rock camp in North Dakota, as well as expressed his happiness and gratitude at the solidarity shown by his community.
After words were exchanged in front of the Army Corps of Engineers office on 2nd street, the group marched down E street to Wells Fargo, then looping around to Bank of America (both financiers of the pipeline).
After the NoDAPL march finished their loop around Bank of America and Wells Fargo, both financiers of the pipeline, the group held the intersection of E and 2nd streets, writing messages and drawing images in chalk upon the roadway. Snapshots below.
Along with many other University of California Campuses, UC Davis students protested the election of Donald Trump to the United States Presidency in the early morning of November 9th, 2016. The demonstration was peaceful, with city and university police officers escorting the protesters through the city and campus. My own estimates for the protesters numbers are hundreds, possibly reaching 1,000 at peak participation. The march lasted several hours, routing along Russell Blvd, through campus, and back along Russel to Central Park and ultimately, the Davis Commons, where a last-minute direct action took place at the intersection of 1st Street and Richards Blvd. Protesters took turns voicing opinions, planning and purpose moving forward, before peacefully dispersing.