F the Police! #2, Defend Dont Defund Rally, DTLA, ©2020 Reginald Foster

Yup. I’ve said it before. Street photography is kinda random – ya’ just never know who or what you’re going to run into on any given day. This past Saturday, I encountered both…

Who: Two opposing sides of an issue

What: The protest against the defunding of the LAPD

Defend Dont Defund Rally, DTLA, ©2020 Reginald Foster

So…my plan for the day was to shoot a series of images for another project I’ve been putting together. But, that went out the door when I turned onto Spring street on the way to one of my favorite parking spots. The crowd, the noise, the signs..Oh Yeah! Another protest was kicking off in DTLA! Since this was a random encounter, I had no clue what it was about, but I figured it’d be worth at least a few shots.

We Luv LAPD, DTLA, ©2020 Reginald Foster

So, I parked and made my way back to 1st & Spring – the event was happening in front of the police headquarters building. It turns out this wasn’t so much a protest as it was a rally in support of the LAPD. Most of the crowd was there to demonstrate against the “defunding” of the police department. Now, I won’t get into what “defunding” actually means, because, well, I’m not sure. It seems to mean different things to different people/groups. I’ll assume you’ll do your own research to refine your thoughts on what it means and the implications. Then we can talk. Anyway, the rally’s slogan appeared to be “Defend Don’t Defund LAPD!” And, of course, as these things go, a different, somewhat smaller group of Black Lives Matter protestors were there to offer, let’s say…an alternative perspective.

F the Police #1, DTLA, ©2020 Reginald Foster

Although it was a peaceful demonstration, each side did its best to out chant and out speech the other. Bullhorns, portable PA systems, and loud voices were the order of the day. When one group would chant “Defend Don’t Defund!”, the other would respond, “Black Lives Matter!” At various times members of each faction would meet in an informal DMZ in the middle ground and energetically debate the merits of their position. Nothing, however, could compete sonically with the soundtrack being played on loop across the street by the BLM supporters – NWA’s “Fuck the Police!”. Yup, you guessed it…that was their slogan/theme song for the day and it was LOUD.

BLM Supporter, DTLA, ©2020 Reginald Foster

At the end of the day, there was no actual or expected mutual agreement on the defunding of the LAPD by the opposing sides. That’s just the nature of large scale demonstrations. Their purpose is to provide visuals, and a voice to a particular perspective on a particular issue. Listening to, actively discussing, or even acknowledging an alternative viewpoint aren’t usually high on the priority list. Right?

Defend Don’t Defund Rally, DTLA, ©2020 Reginald Foster

Was this event worth a few shots? Most definitely! The visuals were great, the energy was off the charts, and I learned a bit about a different perspective. (I am trying to be reasonably objective here, after all.) Generally, I think the demonstration was successful in that attention was drawn to the issue, viewpoints were voiced, and no one was physically hurt. A note of discord begins to creep in if I allow myself to think this is just one more clash of seriously opposing opinions that ends in a stalemate; the opinions most came with are the same ones they left with. OK, however true that may be, I also believe that demonstrations like these and (hopefully) the resulting dialogue will act as enablers for the lasting social change called for since the George Floyd killing and America’s awakening. OK…maybe not so objective.

A Different Sound of Music, DTLA, ©2020 Reginald Foster

So, please, check out the images. I hope at the very least, they’re interesting, at best, thought provoking. Feel free to drop a line in the comments to let me know what you think. And Please…Stay Positive, Work for Change & Stay Safe!

RESPECT! , DTLA, ©2020 Reginald Foster
Dueling Tee-Shirts, Defend Don’t Defund Rally, DTLA, ©2020 Reginald Foster
The Debate at the DMZ, DTLA, ©2020 Reginald Foster
The Defend Don’t Defund LAPD Rally, DTLA, ©2020 Reginald Foster
The Defend Don’t Defund LAPD Rally, DTLA, ©2020 Reginald Foster

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The Defend Don’t Defund LAPD Rally, DTLA, ©2020 Reginald Foster

Equipment Used

  • Leica M10
  • Voigtlander 35mm f1.4 Nokton Aspherical
  • Fuji X-Pro 3
  • Fuji 16mm f2.8 WR
  • Fuji X100 V

© 2014-2020 Reginald Foster, All Rights Reserved. All Photos and text are the property of Reginald Foster and PhotoFerret1.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Reginald Foster is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Reginald Foster and PhotoFerret1.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Reggie

One thought on “ Defend/Defund LAPD Demonstration ”

  1. Incredible photos which must leave some AP folks salivating, especially the photo of the juxtaposition of the opposing views with the “cowboy” waving the flag. Your comments hit the mark on how I feel. Yes…strangers shouting…and hopefully moving toward some tiny perception of each others viewpoint. Maybe…One of my favorite lines that I am still able to remember (LOL) is “Only connect!…Live in fragments no longer ” from Howard’s End by E.M Forster. A solution to many ills of the world. Glad you were diverted that day! Keep it up.

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