My photo
I been a professional photographer since I worked for the US Government documenting Test and Evaluation of Research and Development projects for the US Army and US Navy in the later half of the 1980s. I came home to Maine to finish my Marketing Degree at USM and began to work full time in Market Research and Marketing for many years while documenting weddings and occasional photojournalist and commercial jobs on the weekends. In 2001 I again returned to photography as a full time trade and have never been a happier man. I love working with creative individuals, couples, small businesses and select Non-Profits and can’t imagine working in any other trade. In 1987 I was lucky enough to wed my high school sweetheart and we now live in a cozy little solar powered, recycled bungalow a mile deep in our woods in the Western Hills of Maine with our two brilliant home-schooled teenage daughters and our three cats.


Inauguration Protests in Portland

Sadly, I was working on my business site until 3am on Wednesday evening (Thursday morning) and so I got up and into Portland in time only to catch the last few minutes of the demonstration against another four years of the GWBush Administration in Monument Square. From speaking with my friend and sometimes political sparing partner James W. Lindenschmidt who had shown up a bit before I did, there were over 100 people earlier braving the cold. This isn't the thousand or so who turned up on February 15th, 2003 to demonstrate for Peace before the Congress ceded its War Powers responsibility by voting to let President Bush commit our military to invade the Middle East again. However, considering that many times the hundred protestors in Portland who could take the day off to board busses at 3AM to travel to DC on Thursday and get their fair share of abuse (with no real coverage by any real media to speak of), 100 people isn't a bad showing for a political demonstration in Portland.

I don't pretend that I understand what the League of Pissed Off Voters and the others who showed up on Thursday hope to accomplish by such demonstration. Beyond letting the rest of America know that they are not happy with W in the White House and that they don't have to be quiet in this angst, what does this do? Maybe that is enough. It seems more than most Americans are willing to pry themselves away from the latest episode of "Wife Swap" and "24" for. As completely ineffective as it may be, it is at least some form of action over apathy.

Anyway. Posted here are two photos that I did make of the very quickly dwindling crowd before taking my family shopping at the mall and buying a lot of cheap plastic stuff that we don't need...

(For those who care: both images were made with my Nikon D2H, Nikkor 18-70 and tiny Nikon SB30 for fill. Toned in PS.CS)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sorry I missed you and Jim, Michael. I was at the protest for the first 20 minutes, but it was VERY cold and the protest was pretty tame so I left.

I think if more people had known about the protest the turnout would have been bigger. The Phoenix seemed to be the only media outlet that publicized it at all. All the TV stations and the Press Herald were there to cover the protest, but they made no mention of it (at least from what I saw) before-hand. There was plenty on the news before-hand about Mainers going to DC to celebrate, but nothing about those who protested, either here or in DC.

The organizers were not very skilled at protesting, either, IMHO. When I first got there at noon there were easily 100 people if not more, and we were drumming and waving at the cars and starting to build some really good energy despite the small numbers. But then someone had to give a speech (and of course they had no bullhorn) so everyone stopped drumming and waving as someone gave a speech no one could hear. And then they decided to sing, and not soulful, lively music either but shit that sounded like church hymns. So by this point any energy that this protest could have generated was completely gone and we were left freezing our butts off!

I guess the protest did serve as a nice metaphor for what is wrong with Democrats right now -- disorganized, lacking energy and mostly irrelevant!

My two cents,