Thursday, July 17, 2014

Another Lens at the Oracle Protest/Counter Protest

Posted By on Thu, Jul 17, 2014 at 3:30 PM

The protest/counter protest held the morning of Tuesday, July 15 to block/welcome a bus load of Central American children who've crossed the U.S. border seeking refuge at least proved that some Arizonans are as delightful as those wonderful citizens of Murrieta, California.

It was also a wonderful opportunity to continue to show Arizona crazy land, like Republican Adam Kwasman's comments about a bus of children, assuming they were the refugee children when in fact they were YMCA campers. Well, that lovely video and interview found a spot on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show. Thank you Rachel.

There was goodness that came through on Tuesday—morsels of human kindness via social media. We're lucky to have some great photographers involved in different issues who seem to walk around this world with cameras permanently attached to their souls and happen to be there at just the right moment.

One Tucson photographer whose work I've long-admired is that of Joel Smith, a tireless worker for Border Action Network's water station project and other border issues. Over the years Smith has taken some wonderful photos from desert life to migrants while refilling BAN water stations on ranch lands across Southern Arizona to help migrants safely make their way across the desert.

The other pictures are from Bisbee photographer Jimi Giannatti of Pop Narkotic who went to Oracle with friend, Tucson writer Bryan Sanders. They seemed to anger some tea-bagger folk, and I think we're lucky they left in good health and Jimi with his camera in one piece.

Smith's photos captured a Tucson spirit that I know made a lot of people pretty happy, particularly the photos of some Mariachi Luz de Luna members with their fearless leader Ruben Martin Moreno—there in all their mariachi glory.

Mariachi Luz de Luna
  • Joel Smith
  • Mariachi Luz de Luna

joel12.jpg

For more images from Smith and Giannatti go to the jump.

Other images from Smith:

Retired Rev. John Fife leading counter protestors in prayer
  • Joel Smoth
  • Retired Rev. John Fife leading counter protestors in prayer

At least they spelled illegal correctly.
  • Joel Smith
  • At least they spelled illegal correctly.

This caption made me think that if something ever happened here and our kids had to walk south ...
  • Joel Smith
  • This caption made me think that if something ever happened here and our kids had to walk south ...

Man holding no political office Russell Pearce
  • Joel Smith
  • Man holding no political office Russell Pearce

Here are Giannatti's photos, typically beautiful of the Bisbee artist even though they are also alarming:

Bryan with megaphone in hand, reminding the “other side” that Jesus loves children” and “America is a country of immigrants” which of course we can all agree is extremist views.
  • Jimi Giannatti
  • "Bryan with megaphone in hand, reminding the “other side” that "Jesus loves children” and “America is a country of immigrants” which of course we can all agree is extremist views."

Welcoming the children with closed minds.
  • Jimi Giannatti
  • "Welcoming the children with closed minds."

This dude approached Bryan exclaiming, “You know It all starts with your ni#*er president! when all of a sudden one of his accomplices threw Bryan to the ground in an attempt to grapple the megaphone away from him.
  • Jimi Giannatti
  • "This dude approached Bryan exclaiming, “You know It all starts with your ni#*er president!" when all of a sudden one of his accomplices threw Bryan to the ground in an attempt to grapple the megaphone away from him."

Instantly, when I attempted to take photos of Bryan being accosted, they began surrounding me, trying to take my camera.
  • Jimi Giannatti
  • "Instantly, when I attempted to take photos of Bryan being accosted, they began surrounding me, trying to take my camera. "

As I continued to photograph, these guys came up telling me stop and put their hands on their guns as if they were ready to use.
  • Jimi Giannatti
  • "As I continued to photograph, these guys came up telling me stop and put their hands on their guns as if they were ready to use."

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