After taking some pictures of the Occupy Orange County, Irvine camp a week and a half ago during some calm hours (see this post), I wanted to try my hand at photographing the camp at its busiest: during their Saturday march. The theme of the Occupy movement this Saturday was encouraging people to move money from large banks to local credit unions, and their march was scheduled to take them on a two and a half mile loop that would pass by branches of Bank of America, Citibank and Chase.
I ended up staying more than 6 hours, photographing the entire march as well as the speeches and sign-holding that went on before and after. The protesters were universally welcoming, and were great fun to photograph; their cheerful, expressive mood was infectious, and led me to feel extremely creative.
In this post I’ll highlight a few of my favorite pictures from the day; if you want to see more pictures from the day, head to the galleries linked to in my November 5: the pictures post.
The event was attended by a wide range of attendees: everything from children with their parents to college students, working adults, and retirees.
After a brief speech on marching safety and laws, the march got underway with a swell of enthusiasm. This picture, of Cov in the middle of a pack of marchers crossing the street leaving the camp, is probably my favorite from the day:
While the media loves to cast the Occupy protesters are destructive hooligans, these people were as kind and non-destructive as can be; practically the only people even doing something as minor as walking on lawns during the march were photographers and reporters. The mood was euphoric, hopeful, and friendly. In fact, I almost didn’t publish this picture because it can so easily be mis-construed to represent aggressive yelling instead of hopeful chanting:
What is Dew-b Outlaw holding so high in the air? A flute, which he played beautifully during the march:
The marchers were generally led by a small group of Occupiers, chief among them being Dew-B and “Web”:
At the banks the protesters proudly displayed their signs and chanted, but never blocked the entrances or sidewalks. When non-protesters came walking along, Occupiers would repeatedly call out “clear the way” or “coming through” to ensure that nobody was obstructed. No-one entering or exiting a bank was harassed at all. But that didn’t stop there from being great displays of emotion on both sides of the bank walls:
The marchers were well organized and energetic, even at the end of the march, which made for great lines and emotions when crossing a bridge on the way back to the camp:
Nearly half a dozen speakers spoke to the assembled crowd after the march, including two UC Irvine professors and a UC Irvine graduate student.
And, of course, I have to close with a picture of Guy Fawkes (it was November 5, after all), and a hat-tipping sign holder:
See my Occupy Orange County Nov. 5: The Pictures post for links to all of my image galleries from the day. I’ve got galleries focusing on marching, protesters at banks, people holding signs, speakers, and more.
Occupy Orange County – Irvine: Their camp is located at the corner of Harvard and Alton in Irvine, CA; the Occupy Orange County website has driving directions and parking information.
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