I found this photograph moving around Facebook and I thought I’d post it. I thought the Occupy protests were winding down, but based on this chaos, I’d say I was quite off the mark.
The focal point of the image is the young man guarding himself against a police officer, as well as on the overwhelmed and scared woman with the camera. I feel like this image represents three main elements of the entire Occupy movement really well.
The young man represents the generic Occupier: the recent college graduate, possibly a hipster, who feels the need to stand out against the current regime and say that he doesn’t approve of the current status quo. His hands are up to shield himself against the night stick, but the look on his face isn’t necessarily one of fear. There is determination there, a confidence that comes out if you stare a little longer at him, and you can see that he isn’t just going to defend himself against the police officer, he is willing to take him on.
The police officer is not only representative of police presence and the issues that have come out of that during Occupy, but the illustration of faulty government itself. The police are supposed to protect citizens, just as the government is supposed to benefit the people, but clearly the police were not protecting anyone but themselves in Chicago today, and clearly the system is not working for the governed because groups like the Occupiers and the Tea Partiers exist.
Finally, the woman with the camera represents media, more specifically social media. Before social media took off, people heard about things like this through news articles or segments done by professionals. Ideally, the news is supposed to be unbiased but it rarely is. Now, with social media, people who were actually there in the moment can show their own evidence to anyone they want at lightning speed for free. With these kinds of resources, the moments like this will always be available to the public and the truth will never be forgotten.
The Occupier, the current system and social media. Put them all together and what do you get? Based on this photo, a real Charlie Foxtrot.