Documenting the resistance
A year of protest photos from the Left Coast
This Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration as the President of the United States. For many, this was a weekend of protest, including women’s marches attended by millions throughout the world. Here in San Francisco, I had been photographing protests and rallies for years before Trump announced his run for office, and continued doing so after his election.
Below is a selection of my protest photos, including links to my original blog entries and the full photo sets on Flickr. All are Creative Commons-licensed for free sharing with attribution; please credit me as Pax Ahimsa Gethen. Many of my protest photos are also available on Wikimedia Commons.
I’ve photographed a number of rallies and other events besides those listed here. A full list of links to my photo sets is on my Funcrunch Photo site.
November 13, 2016: Taking to the streets
While nationwide protests started on November 9, the day after the election, the first I attended was held that Saturday. Not sponsored by any particular group, we marched throughout San Francisco for hours, sitting in the street at times for speak-outs. Full photo set here.
November 16, 2016: Standing with Standing Rock
The Stand with Standing Rock protest was part of a national day of action against the Dakota Access Pipeline, and include a sunrise ceremony and march. The organizers, Idle No More SF Bay Area, included a specific list of demands addressed to the US Army Corps of Engineers; protesters blocked the entrance to their building. Full photo set here.
November 19, 2016: Rallying against white supremacy
My next protest was organized by the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, which has been fighting against racism and imperialism regardless of who is in the White House. I prefer protests like these that center people of color, speak out unequivocally against war, and don’t just pander to Democrats. Full photo set here.
January 20, 2017: Protesting the inauguration
I attended another A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition rally on the day of the inauguration. It was worth standing in the rain (again) to join the many voices throughout the country expressing their dissent. Full photo set here.
January 21, 2017: Women’s March
The turnout at the San Francisco Women’s March was enormous, despite the continuing rain. I was overwhelmed by the crowds, and didn’t get many good photos at this event unfortunately. Full photo set here.
January 26, 2017: People over pipelines
Another protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Keystone XL Pipeline as well. This took place at the San Francisco Federal Building, where protesters briefly held a sit-in in the street. Full photo set here.
February 4, 2017: No ban, no wall
Trump’s January 27 executive order limiting immigration was widely protested throughout the country as blatantly discriminatory against Muslims. While I missed the large protests at San Francisco International Airport, I attended the protest at Civic Center the following weekend. Full photo set here.
March 8, 2017: Day Without a Woman
Following on from the Women’s March and coinciding with International Women’s Day, the Day Without a Woman rally at City Hall was one of many related events held nationwide. Speakers included Board of Supervisors president London Breed, who would later becoming acting mayor with the death of Ed Lee. Full photo set here.
April 15, 2017: Tax March
Part of a nationwide effort to pressure Trump to release his tax returns, the San Francisco Tax March started with a rally at City Hall. Featured guests included House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi, and a giant inflatable chicken. Full photo set here.
April 22, 2017: March for Science
While advertised as non-partisan, the March for Science definitely resembled an anti-Trump rally, at least in San Francisco. Though unlike the grassroots efforts I generally prefer, this event was slick and well-funded. Full photo set here.
May 1, 2017: May Day, May Day!
On May Day I attended two demonstrations in San Francisco, protesting Trump’s immigration policy and showing solidarity with workers and people of color. Protesters blocked the driveways to ICE buildings, and painted a large circle with the words “Resist” and “No Ban No Wall” in the middle of an intersection. Full photo set here.
June 3, 2017: March for Truth
The March for Truth was organized to protest against alleged Russian interference in the election. At the end of the march, the San Francisco event featured a creative set of nested Russian dolls representing various members of the administration. Full photo set here.
July 2, 2017: Impeachment March
September 5, 2017: No human being is illegal
Protests against the rescission of DACA have been held throughout the country since September. The debate is still very much in the news today, while the fate of hundreds of thousands of “dreamers” hangs in the balance. Full photo set here.
September 24, 2017: “Free Speech Week”
Freedom to oppress: Berkeley’s civil war
Scene: Sproul Plaza, UC Berkeley, 1993. I had recently started my first full-time job, working in Sproul Hall, and was…
Across the bay from San Francisco, protesters clashed with Trump supporters over the visit of Milo Yiannopoulos to the UC Berkeley campus. Full photo set here.
November 4, 2017: Refuse Fascism
System working as intended
As we approach the sad anniversary of President Donald Trump’s election victory, Refuse Fascism has begun holding daily…
The beginning of a series of nationwide protests by Refuse Fascism, with the intention of removing both Donald Trump and Mike Pence from office. Full photo set here.
2018: The resistance continues
I plan to continue documenting the resistance at the 2018 Women’s March in San Francisco this Saturday. The struggle against oppression will persist for as long as the marginalized have the will and ability to speak out. I share these photos freely to contribute to that effort. I hope that my work makes a difference.