Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Mostly youthful"?

The Associated Press coverage of an anti-mountaintop removal coal-mining protest in DC yesterday seemed a bit dismissive, characterizing the protesters as "mostly youthful" and having a "hippie, counterculture vibe." The AP's story on the "Appalachia Rising" protest was posted online by The Washington Post, which evidently didn't send any of its own reporters.

Looking through my photos today, I'm not sure the implication that this was a bunch of college-age kids out on a field day really sticks. There were indeed a lot of youthful folks, but there were also old, even wrinkly people — many of them from Appalachian communities. I didn't hear a single speaker talk about carbon emissions, but I heard a lot of people complaining about what has happened to their well-pumped drinking water and their communities.

That last not-so-youthful protester above, the guy wearing a hat while being arrested, is government climate scientist James Hansen. He was among the 115 people arrested outside the White House at the end of the protest.

Whatever their ages (and maybe we should start carding protesters), the demonstration and arrests got a lot of attention. You can see more of my own photos on Grist, and on Sierra Club blogs. And, there was a page 1 photo, but no story, in The Washington Post. Of course, it featured a youthful protester.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Marching, marching

Marches on Washington are quite an industry here. A week ago we had Glenn Beck and the Rev. Al Sharpton (I have an odd connection with the Rev. — see the author of Al Sharpton: Community Activist.)

And there's another one coming up in October.   "One Nation"  says it is about "Demanding All the Changes We Voted For." The One Nation march is on October 2, with strong backing from labor and a variety of other groups.

One person who will be there is Anthony Anderson, a "floor tech" at a nursing home in Baltimore. (Before you smile at the job title, understand it's no joke — if Anthony makes a mistake and mixes the wrong ingredients to do a floor people will soon be jumping out the windows as the fire department arrives!) Photographing him I got to hear some of his story, moving from prison to redemption and a good union job. Anthony says he'll be coming to Washington for the march and bringing his 18-year-old son. I'll be looking for them.

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