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Occupy Portland Protest on N17

Discussion in 'Street, Documentary, and Portrait' started by robzr, Nov 20, 2011.

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  1. robzr

    robzr Mu-43 Regular

    25
    May 28, 2010
    Portland, OR
    I took the GH2 out to the N17 Occupy Portland protest and had a good time taking pics and witnessing the sausage of democracy being made. Nothing spectacular from a photographic perspective, but I had a really good time shooting some action.


    Cops pre-emptively shut down the Steel Bridge to keep public transport open, as the protesters were planning to "occupy" it.
    1_-_Steel_Bridge.


    After leaving the Steel Bridge, the protesters met for a couple hours in a park, making plans to move downtown. There were some good speakers and chants going on. You could feel the energy in the air.
    2_-_Riling_up_the_troops.


    One of the organizers
    3_-_One_of_the_organizers.


    A passionate speaker from a Union
    4_-_Speaker_from_a_union.


    Writing down legal contact on their arms info in case of arrest
    5_-_Writing_down_legal_assistance_contact_info_in_case_of_arrest.


    One of the organizers
    6_-_Organizer.


    One of the organizers
    7_-_Organizer.


    The cops were also gearing up to get ready
    8_-_Cops_getting_ready.


    There were some characters there
    9_-_Some_real_clowns_showed_up.


    The cops formed a wall to keep the protesters out of the street
    11_-_Human_wall_of_cops.


    They wouldn't give an inch, the cops held the street
    12_-_The_cops_would_not_give_up_the_street.


    Wells Fargo branch as the main group of protesters was just starting to stream in
    13_-_Wells_Fargo_before_the_big_crowd.


    And a few minutes later
    14_-_Wells_Fargo_after_the_big_crowd.


    Shot of the scene a little later from a parking garage, I had to shoot quick because the security guards were insisting I leave...
    15_-_Parking_garage_view_of_Wells_Fargo_before_I_got_kicked_out_.


    This guy cracks me up, it's like he went on a shopping spree in a police accessory store.
    16_-_Portand_Police_brought_a_prototype_of_their_new_cyborg_Those_are_battery_packs_on_his_back_.
     
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  2. linkedit

    linkedit Mu-43 Top Veteran

    649
    Aug 6, 2010
    New Jersey, USA
    I don't even think that they had tactical police units out in NYC. The cops in Portland looked like they were ready for anything. If I was there and saw the trucks rolling in with cops hanging off the sides I wouldn't be sticking around.

    Though I fear that sooner than later we'll see cops cracking skulls at one of these rallies.
     
  3. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Great shots! I'm amazed how much money the city of Portland is putting in policing and security, yet the school districts there are falling apart. All my friends who live up there are moving out of the district and moving to other neighboring cities just for the better schooling.

    Looks like this guy just wants to bust some skulls, instead of keep the peace.
     
  4. ripleys baby

    ripleys baby Straw clutcher

    609
    Aug 10, 2011
    Great shots. All of them.
    A classy photo story. :2thumbs:
     
  5. Aniseedvan

    Aniseedvan Mu-43 Regular

    173
    Sep 25, 2011
    Northants,uk
    Great photo story with real energy and tension, I love the drummer!
     
  6. robzr

    robzr Mu-43 Regular

    25
    May 28, 2010
    Portland, OR
    Thanks y'all! I appreciate the feedback.

    Yeah my fiancé is in a teaching program at PSU right now, and it's a bit nerve wracking because the odds of getting any teaching job in Portland right now are looking slim. The school she's student teaching at now didn't have to cut as many teachers because some parents voluntarily got together and organized a fund to pay teachers out of. But not all districts have parents in a financial situation where they can do that, it's kind of sad. General frustration with things like that seems to be whats fueling the Occupy movement here. Unemployment in general is really high here.

    Yeah, most of the cops were nice and they really seemed like they were just doing their jobs. But it only takes a few with a bad attitude to create a real us vs. them atmosphere. I have to say I was both impressed with how the majority of the cops were pretty nice, smiling and goofing with a lot of the protesters, as well as how restrained the protesters were in general. Emotions were running really high, but in general both sides seemed very respectful.

    Rob
     
  7. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    That's good to know! I grew up in Portland, so I know how Oregonians are in general. Though I know it just takes a couple of bad eggs on both sides to create a bad situation!

    What camera were you shooting with BTW?
     
  8. robzr

    robzr Mu-43 Regular

    25
    May 28, 2010
    Portland, OR
    GH2, with 25/1.4, 45/1.8, 8mm, 7-14mm and 14-140mm. Everything easily fit into a Crumpler 6 million dollar home, so I was pretty nimble and light. A lot of folks were out with full frame & crop dSLRs and big honking lenses, I felt really stealth shooting with the GH2. People wouldn't look twice when I aimed it at them.

    Rob
     
  9. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    Great photos and commentary. Thanks for posting.
     
  10. Rick Waldroup

    Rick Waldroup Mu-43 Veteran

    419
    May 28, 2009
    Texas
    Excellent work. Great images of a dynamic scene.
     
  11. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Some nice shooting!

    One thing that surprised me was to see the movement "leaders" with bullhorns. I thought one of the hallmarks of this whole Occupy movement was the "human amplifier" thing where a message is repeated over and over throughout a crowd until it reaches everyone. I didn't think they were using any sort of electronic amplification. Interesting change. Or maybe that's just at some sites...

    -Ray
     
  12. robzr

    robzr Mu-43 Regular

    25
    May 28, 2010
    Portland, OR
    They were doing a lot of "mic checks" as well, generally when speaking in smaller groups, they might even have been doing it in addition to the main speaker speaking with a bullhorn, I don't recall. There were a lot of people sounding horse though, that may have had something to do with it ;) But the mic check idea is pretty brilliant, requires no electronics, anyone can do it, very democratizing...

    Rob
     
  13. kahren

    kahren Mu-43 Regular

    145
    Mar 21, 2010
    is that budwiser in the bed of the white truck?
     
  14. robzr

    robzr Mu-43 Regular

    25
    May 28, 2010
    Portland, OR
    No way, this is Portland, we drink microbrews here :) Looks like it's cases of Protein bars:

    Drinks_in_back.
     
  15. Rick Waldroup

    Rick Waldroup Mu-43 Veteran

    419
    May 28, 2009
    Texas
    I found mic checks in use in most of the camps in Texas. However, in Houston, they did use a combination of mic checks and bullhorns.
     
  16. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    ...wait for it...
     
  17. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    You think we can put down the cudgels before Amin comes in here and shuts this thread down? The OP doesn't deserve that.
     
  18. MrDoug

    MrDoug Mu-43 Top Veteran

    985
    Sep 5, 2011
    Boise, Idaho
    in the third photo down, my GF and I are sure we saw her and her buddies huddled up in the Commodore Bar near the Deluxe Hotel a few weeks ago while we were checking things out.. she is a case to be desired.. LOL..
     
  19. Wes7

    Wes7 Mu-43 Regular

    71
    Oct 22, 2011
    Lesotho
    That is actually pretty standard once you start carrying a full range of less-lethal kit. These guys look like they are dressed for battle, but they are really dressed for defense. One rock or club can be life-altering for a police officer in a crowd-control situation. In general, this kind of uniform is a safety thing for the officers, not a "lets intimidate the crowd" or, worse, a "lets start a fight with the crowd" thing. Remember, these guys are trying to do a job and get home to their families, and crowds can turn ruthlessly violent rapidly and without warning.

    Really interesting shots, Rob.
     
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