Monday, June 25, 2007

Si se puede

Yes, we can!

The feeling of 25,000 chanting, waving people was amazing. The day before, the immigration rally was slated to gather only around 5,000. But, by the time it hit, something had changed.

I have learned to get up high to shoot crowds, otherwise you miss a lot. George, the office manager where I work, offered to park the delivery van instead of using the ladder I requested. I climbed on top and waited. The marchers came down 12th and turned onto King Street at the top of the hill. Because of my vantage point I could see the banners and people long before they reached me. There was an invisible energy coming from the crowd--the intensity of it was beautiful. I shot a lot that day laying flat as possible on the roof of the van and as close to the crowd as I could. Lots of people passed close to me and gave me a high five. The word was that people "came out of the shadows" that day, and you could feel that if you choose to. That day, I saw democracy as a living thing, not as an abstraction.

We used this picture because of the baby in the stroller and "dream act" for the front of the newspaper. That night when the rally was over and people were returning home, the sound of Norteno music was pulsing everywhere in the streets in Chinatown.

The picture won second place in the general news category in our division for 2007 at the Society of Professional Journalists.

This picture shows the biggest immigration rally in the Seattle to date--though later rallies tried-- they haven't reached the sheer numbers or enthusiasm that this one had on April 11, 2006.

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