Documenting the 2018 Women's March in LA
Last weekend, I went to the Women's March in Downtown LA. While I was there, I had a specific goal. For a while I'd thought that it was often frustrating how dependent protests were on media outlets to publicize them. But after the protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2016 and 2017, I realized how critically damaging this reliance is. It's not just about the visibility of activism: it's about publicizing the facts on the ground. In the case of the pipeline protests, stories came out about a woman suffering grave bodily harm when anti-riot ordinance malfunctioned and nearly took off her arm. The police insisted that any injury had been the result of improvised explosives prepared by protesters. This kind of uncertainty was shocking to me. What the hell was going on in rural North Dakota? Were protesters wildly exaggerating? Was a peaceful protest being met with state violence and covered up? I just wanted to know what it felt like on the ground.
Later, in 2017, I was bewildered that I couldn't find images or video of the Los Angeles Women's March, which I hadn't attended. I heard there were a lot of people, but I couldn't find crowd estimates immediately afterward or suitable images that communicated the atmosphere. It's hard to believe in an age where so many people have cameras. In any case, I was having trouble finding clear documentation. So I decided to make that a goal to improve on myself. I don't think I'll fix this personally, but I hope to contribute. So this weekend, I shot footage and edited it together as best as I could. The march was great, and as a first effort in citizen journalism, I'm pleased with the video that came out of it.