25
Jan
18

Revolution 2018 pt. 2: The Meat of the Deal

womens-march-2

We had a couple blocks to go before hitting the grassy plaza where the main event took place. Distractions along the way had us slowing down to look and see if there was anything to survey, anyone meaningful to talk with, any shot worthy of taking. More knit pink pussy hats the closer we got. A lady in a wheelchair overturned in the street, a flock of citizens helping her back up. A couple down-on-their-luck guys trying to shame us out of a few bucks. I was not up to funding someone’s cigarette habit right then. Closer to where the crowd stood was the table of merch, t-shirts and buttons, pussy hats in a multitude of colors. Merchants like these show up at every large event to persuade the money out of giddy patrons’ pockets. I understand the desire fans have to purchase t-shirts, etc. at a concert, but I can’t imagine rocking a ‘Women’s March 2018’ t-shirt, faded from numerous washings, in 2019 or 2020. The result of that would be folks looking at your old shirt with pessimism; pessimism for what it failed to pull off.

We finally made it to the Meat of the Deal, the first course of the event; the opening speech ceremony. After an hour or so, the crowd would march down Meridian Street, around the downtown Memorial Circle Monument, then on to the State Capital. My brother and I began mingling around, taking our shots, keeping within eyesight of one another. We’ve begun to develop quick visual signals to one another that clue in, or draw attention to, a potential good shot in the crowd. Sometimes, you have no time for a hand sign, you just float off, and get found later. Miguel floated.

Some folks (who must have arrived early) made a few small snowmen from the scattered amount of snow there, and that had Mike peeling off to see if he could capture art…or something close to it. I’ve noticed his fascination with groups of things. Numbers or collections of items, design and form from repetition or category, like the unspoken visual expression made from a shot of hundreds of flags, or rows of geometric gaming dice, dozens of dolls. Repetition can lull one into studying it, like a deer in headlights, something that hinges on mysticism. A message, but we’re not really sure what that message is…something about pairs or groups in design…something about it touches the sublime mind.

Sublime design, color and form. These are the things we seek out while waiting for disruptive groups to shove their fist in the air, throw some fucking rocks. But most the time, people won’t throw rocks. Most the time people will not get metal, especially not those who brought kids and pets. Saturday’s nation-wide marches were women marching to show their numbers, not to become a pack of mad dogs in the street. Women-for the most part-are much more tempered than men, more methodical planners and strategists. Women stick with something and persevere if the cause seems right. Suffragettes stirring up things eons ago to give women the right to vote. Women were the dominating force behind liquor prohibition-yeah, I know that one got appealed but for that era of American history, it was probably the best thing they could do for the country; get drunk men off their asses. Black women showed up to be the voting majority electing Alabama Democrat Doug Jones into office. Women methodically turn the tides of our society, and when they gather to protest, you can’t count out their effectiveness, or what they can accomplish. My way of thinking always goes back to throwing rocks….I am clearly not a woman.

The event kicked off with a prayer given by a representative of the Native American Community. The event organizers were smart to recognize the obligatory respect they needed to show various minority groups that composed the crowd that day. This helped strengthen their overall cause and made all feel welcome. It was a real fucking warm, cozy feeling, folks. There was a short period of awkward pause when a speaker representing the African American community got up and gave a speech that reeked of a ripoff diatribe from the movie Dear White People. The speaker called out White women and gave them a little taste of shame for not standing with their Black sisters in times of recent social injustices; when society gave them a double pile of shit for being female, and for being Black.

Shortly after the white lady shame speech, Miguel and I had the initial shots we wanted and decided to re-position down at the Circle, where the crowd would be marching through. I stopped and verified the march route with a patrolman sitting in his car waiting for the march to start…a police escort for the revolution. This would be the perfect time for them to throw rocks. I know, the kids and pets…

The march began after a bit and by then, we were positioned on the Monument Circle steps, ready to take more photos. The crowd looked the size of rice at this point, but they would be closing in soon enough. Then, out of nowhere, a group of East Indians take position on the Monument steps and one of them pulls out video equipment. Three of their party were dressed in vibrant electric colored outfits. The other members began to film a dance number straight out of a Bollywood video, Bolly Dance music streamed from a phone to sync with, video later. They raced to tape the dance number before the crowd of demonstrators made it to the Circle. Oh, it was fucking great. The fanfare kept going.

(contd)

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