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March on Crystal City

"US OUT OF EVERYWHERE" sign near Memorial Bridge“March on Crystal City” was an antiwar demonstration that occurred on March 21, 2009, protesting the Iraq War.  The event was sponsored by ANSWER Coalition, and was promoted as “March on the Pentagon”.  However, using that name for the event was a bit inaccurate.  While it is true that the march route took demonstrators through the Pentagon reservation, far more time and energy was spent in Arlington’s Crystal City neighborhood than at the Pentagon.  Thus when I went to write about the event, I took to calling it the “March on Crystal City”, not only to differentiate between this event and a 2007 Pentagon march that was also covered on Schumin Web, but also as a jab at the somewhat inaccurate way that ANSWER marketed their event.

This photo set was originally presented in Life and Times under the same title in an illustrated narrative format, as is typical for Life and Times photo sets.  It was released on May 23, 2009. I was inspired to remake this set for Photography after rereleasing a photo feature from the September 24, 2005 anti-war march in May 2019. In that instance, the original ran on the main page the day after the event, and the photo’s appearance was consistent with my style at that time.  The goal with the newer feature was to take that older photo, and present it again with the somewhat more refined style that I have today.  Rather than focusing on the entire costume, as I did in 2005, the new version zooms in more, and puts more emphasis on the subject’s face, making that more of a focal point.  I also didn’t like the way the color came out in the original, so I converted it to black and white, adjusted the contrast, and colored it.  I consider the result much improved over the original.  This set is an extension of this same line of thought, taking older material and creating a new presentation out of it now that I’m older, wiser, and a bit more refined.

In choosing what photo set to remake, I considered several different older sets.  The first criterion was that the set had to be at least ten years old, which eliminated anything 2010 and later.  The 2003 antiwar march was considered, but quickly eliminated because it already appeared in Photography.  I also considered a few Funk the War shoots, J27, and the original Pentagon march, but I didn’t feel like I could do what I wanted to do with that material.  I settled on the March on Crystal City set because it was ten years old, it was made with my Canon Powershot SX10IS camera, and the photography was relatively good for the time, with a lot of shots focusing on people.  My method of remaking this photo set was to forget that this was a remake, and treat it as if it were new material.  I pulled the original shoot out of the archives, and selected photos anew.  Thus while some photos may be familiar, some are previously unpublished.  My intent this time around was to focus more on the human side of the demonstration with the Photography format, and not just present a recounting of events, as would be typical for a Life and Times set.

While the photos appear here in the same style as the remade photo feature, converted to black and white with a color overlay, the photos are also available in full color on my Flickr account.

A woman carries a black flag during a radical feeder march Luke speaks into a microphone, documenting the event
Captain Jeff Herold of the Metropolitan Police Department, speaking with demonstrators
Masked demonstrators hold a banner near the World Bank A person helps carry a large banner as the group marches up the street
A person carries a pot of chili in a black bloc feeder march
A woman films the event with a handheld camera A man smiles for a photo in a pair of bifocal sunglasses
A man holds a sign near the main demonstration meeting point
A person holds a sign depicting Paris Hilton as president An ANSWER volunteer helps corral the demonstrators by forming a human chain with other volunteers
A woman hands out flyers for an upcoming demonstration in New York City
The black bloc marches with the mainstream demonstrators A man shouts during the demonstration
Activist David Barrows holds up a sign while wearing a "RESIST!" shirt
An ANSWER volunteer collects donations in order to help cover the cost of the march A couple marches together, on the way to the Pentagon
Counter-protesters from the DC chapter of Free Republic demonstrate on the sidelines
Two women demonstrate in clown makeup A masked woman waves a rainbow flag at the Pentagon
A demonstrator tunes out of the march for a moment in order to check their cell phone
Star banner being held up by a black bloc demonstrator A group holds an ANSWER banner as the march continues down Old Jefferson Davis Highway (now Long Bridge Drive)
A man walks in the demonstration
Two women hold signs at the end of the march in Crystal City A Code Pink demonstrator gives the peace sign from behind a large banner
A black bloc demonstrator holds a banner
A masked demonstrator sits on the curb at the end of the march in Crystal City A woman gives a peace sign for the camera during a pause in the march
A woman smiles for the camera during a pause in the march
A police officer in full riot gear stands along the perimeter of the demonstration A woman photographs the events in Crystal City
A man photographs the events in Crystal City

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