Protest Deja Vu

On June 14, 2020 area citizens gathered to protest. I was pandemic stir-crazy and needed time out of the house so I headed over to Emerson Park to take a few pictures. It had been several years since I officially covered an event as a freelance photographer for an actual newspaper, but that doesn’t mean you and I can’t pretend once in a while.

The protesters were not pretending. The chants and cardboard signs were clear expressions of their concerns and demands. It reminded me of San Diego State College over 50 years ago when similar demonstrations were common on campus. In 1969, protests throughout the United States against the war in Vietnam were at their peak. In larger metropolitan areas they were characterized by protest parades, fire bombings, and violent clashes with the police. I had just lost my deferment and Uncle was after me. In December of that year the Selective Service conducted its first lottery. For those of you who remember, I drew #344.

Back to Emerson Park. In the end, the protesters marched peacefully around the downtown area and returned to have their say. To make it easier on me, I positioned myself in one place and snapped away as they passed by. That required only one exposure setting and gave me a constant change in people and placards. I used a 70-200mm zoom which worked for close-in shots and kept me from becoming part of the story.


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