• Mark White

Marches, Protests, & Memorials I Covered in June

The March of Silence brought more than 80,000 to south Seattle.

The past 30 days have been some of the most momentous in our county's history -- and definitely in my adult life. Starting with the George Floyd protest in Seattle on May 30, nearly every day has seen some kind of protest, march, or other Black Lives Matter event. Tens of thousands of men, women and children of all ages, races, and cultures have participated. It has been a somber, but exhilarating, time in our city's and our country's history.

I'm honored that I've been able to cover a few of them for the Real Change newspaper -- the George Floyd Protest on May 30, We Want to Live March led by youth on June 7, the 80K strong March of Silence on June 12, and the Charleena Lyles Memorial gathering on June 18.

Covering the events -- as opposed to participating in them -- has broadened my approach to photography significantly. Being on assignment has forced me to keep my eyes open for as widest range of image opportunities as possible and has given me a much broader perspective of the events than I would have had by simply participating.

It was amazing to experience the power of youth leading the We Want to Live rally and march in south Seattle on June 7.

Over the next few days I'll be posting my images and sharing my impressions of each of the events. I'll spare you the politics and focus on the images themselves.

I won't pretend "objectivity" -- I've been a huge fan of the BLM-specific events. They've been angry, moving, peaceful and on-message.

While I had a massive adrenaline rush with the passion and sheer density of the crowd in initial George Floyd protest, I was turned off by the turn of events with the violence of the police response and the small core of protesters who clearly used the event as a cover for their own destructive agendas.

The May 30 George Floyd Protest in downtown Seattle was taken over by violent responses by the Seattle police and protesters with their own agendas.

We are in the middle an historical moment. Navigating the challenges of race and justice while trying to survive a pandemic and a right-wing president who works only for his own self-interest is clearly one of the greatest challenges we have ever been up against as a nation. I am proud how the street is responding, even as I'm horrified by the events and institutions that have forced us to respond. Having the opportunity to capture this moment with my camera has been one of the greatest experiences of my life.

Charleena Lyles was a 100-pound mother of three with a history of mental illness when she was shot seven times – twice in the back – by two police officers in her Seattle apartment.y 7 shots -- including 2 in the back -- by two police officers in her apartment..

© 2016-2020 MARK WHITE  |  mark@mjwhitephotos.com I 206.409.1247

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