RNC 2004

-- Members of the NYPD escort an anti-Bush protester to a holding area when he tried to escape from a mass arrest across from the site of the World Trade Center. Hundreds of protesters arrested at that time were charged with "Obstructing government administration."

I spent a week walking the streets of NYC documenting the protests against George W. Bush and the Republicans during August and September 2004. I doubted I would have been given a photo pass to enter Madison Square Garden since I just showed up on my own and therefore I was out in the streets with the cops, the protesters, and the innocent.

Besides, my intent was to be a citizen, not necessarily an official member of the media as much as that is possible since I am employed in the media. As an insider, I sometimes think the media version of the truth becomes cold and weird relying official sources but never looking at the ordinary person (which much American journalism is based on).

So, rather than dealing with that reality I found a couch to crash on, bought my own plane ticket and food, and was therefore free to photograph as I wanted without worrying about hourly deadlines or any of the other distractions from actually covering the event for someone else.

I documented this history outside in the streets of New York beyond Madison Square Garden through my own fragmented perspective of whatever I saw with little regard to news value. I tried to keep in mind my own intuition and capture whatever struck me as being important enough to photograph. I walked around hours per day and attended protests. I even found a couple of Republicans to document.

During this week I chose to record with my camera an alternative to the pre-packaged reality often presented in mainstream media. Whether the mainstream media’s presentation is truth or not depends who is asked.

Personally, I think it’s definitely a version of the truth but not always the entire truth. It’s a truth as filtered through institutions owned by profit driven corporations with an entirely different agenda than mine as a curious individual using vacation time to make what are essentially street photographs during a turbulent time in my nation’s history.