Black Lives Matters Protests

9
6.22.20
All photos available for print and licensing >

A lot has happened since my last blog post on protests in Washington DC. I have attended more protests and was able to capture a ton more images. As news about Black Lives Matter and protests continued every day, I tried my best to try to find unique locations and views of what was going on in the nation’s capital.

So after spending two days at the White House, I wanted to go somewhere different. I knew the BLM protests were happening all over the city, I just had to find them. So on Wednesday, June 3rd, I started a bit earlier in the day and went straight to the Lincoln Memorial. I saw some images of the National Guard all along the steps so I wanted to see it for myself.

But I may have been a little too early because there weren’t as many people as I thought there would be at the Lincoln Memorial so I headed to the US Capitol. The thing about these protests is that I don’t really know where they will pop up. I just sort of show up and hoped there will be people there.

So my luck at the US Capitol was about the same at the Lincoln Memorial. I overheard that I was about 30 minutes too late and most of the protestors that were there, had already left.

I made a loop around the US Capitol grounds and I was about to call it quits. I figured I’ve already captured some pretty good images that past few days, I knew I would be back for more so I didn’t want to push my luck. But there was just one more place that I wanted to check before leaving the city. I wanted to check out the Trump Hotel since it was on my way home and I figured that could be a good place for some action. On my way there, I noticed a bunch of police vehicles blocking off the road. I thought it was unusual but weaved in and out of the streets to try to get as close as I could to the hotel without being stopped. Once I got out of the car, I realized I was right in the middle of a walking protest! The police cars were there to make a safe path for the pedestrians. It was amazing to stumble upon them.

This group of protestors had just left the Trump hotel and was making there way back to the US Capitol so I had to follow them.

While walking to the US Capitol I couldn’t help but notice people helping people. People were handing out cold Gatorade and water, offering snacks and masks, and even medical aid.

This protest ended up being a little bit different from what I had seen in the previous two days. Once everyone got to the US Capitol, the police there had blocked it off so that we weren’t allowed to go around it. We were gated into the walkway that led up to the building. While most people sat down, some stood up to speak their minds and lead the crowd in chants.

To end the day, this was the sign I saw outside the Candian Embassy while I was walking back to my car.

Thursday, June 4th I decided to head back to the Lincoln Memorial in hopes of a protest. The weather had called for rain in the evening, so I was really hoping to catch some people at the Memorial before it started.

The crowd was significantly larger than the previous day and much like the protest I witnessed at the US Capitol, everything was peaceful and most everyone sat down to listen to speakers.

The day ended early when the storm clouds started rolling in. I tried to stay as long as I could before it started to downpour. I’m glad I captured this little lightning strike right before I ran back to my car. I got soaking wet, but it was worth it.

My last image before I put my camera away and ran back to my car.

I took a break on Friday, June 5th to rest a bit so I could spend a hot Saturday at what was going to be the biggest Black Lives Matter protest yet. An all-day event that spread all around Washington DC.

Saturday, June 6th was also the first time I had seen the newly named Black Lives Matters Plaza with the yellow words on the street.

I spent 3 good hours walking around that day. We made a big loop around the White House since most of the roads around there were blocked off. I wanted to see what the National Mall looked like. There weren’t as many people there as I was expecting.

But the scene on 16th street, where Black Lives Matter Plaza is was alive with protestors, people helping people, and music.

Unfortunately, I had an engagement in the evening that I couldn’t miss so I had to leave earlier than I wanted.

The very next morning Sunday, June 7, I went back to the Black Lives Matter Plaza and wanted to see the aftermath of the protests from the day before. I figured if I went in the morning there would be fewer people there so I can get a better view of the text on the street. By that point, most everything around the White House has been boarded up in case of riots. With so few people there, you couldn’t help but notice how everything looked closed down.

To my surprise, many protestors from the day before had hung up their posters all along the fencing of the White House. I overheard someone say that it “was like an art gallery”.

Although the Black Lives Matter words are noticeable, you can’t really see the full impact from the street view. A higher viewpoint will work much better.

Either way, the protesting does not seem like it’s going to be going anywhere anytime soon. I will still try to make it out as much as I can in my free time. As always, if you have any questions about these images or the protests, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. I’ll try my best to answer them. <3

I will note that everything I’ve witnessed at these protests has been very peaceful. Everyone who attends these are there for a common purpose and are there to help and support others.