What if you threw a riot and nobody came?
So I’m back from the first official day of the G8 summit protests.
The official plan: A protest march, starting in Forsyth Park at 10am, followed by speeches and music in the park afterwards.
The expectations: 30,000 to 100,000 protestors from around the country. Possible violence.
The preparations: Boarded up windows. Downtown businesses closed. 10,000 to 25,000 cops mobilized from around the country. Metal barriers erected around public building. Georgia in an official “State of Emergency.”
The outcome: 100-200 protestors, mostly local punk kids and the “hippie” crowd. Something like 300-500 reporters and camera crewmen. A straggling sort of march is held, a couple people speak, and everyone goes home.
And I manage to get detained by the police and searched for half an hour! More on that after my little “photo essay.”
The media converge on Forsyth park, looking for protestors.
Are you a protestor? Can we talk to you?
Setting up the stage.
Where’s all the protestors?
There’s one! Everybody get in line to interview the protestor!
There’s another two! So, that makes three protestors… and a couple hundred reporters.
Even the Army’s filming this event!
Wait, here come some more! These guys have BANNERS. They’re serious.
More banners! Let the rioting commence!
There they go…
The protestors and camera crews converge in the middle of Forsyth.
This girl’s banging on an “Anarchy Drum.”
These guys are serious. They even got dressed up. The guy in the middle is wearing a dress. A peace dress.
Getting some good shots here…
“Pro-Life Anderson” arrives on the scene!
These ladies have a message.
It’s just not an event until the “Stop the Lie” guy shows up.
“Anywhere from 30,000 to 100,000 protestors are expected.”
The guy in the back has a Che Guevara quote he needs to share with you.
Pro-Life Anderson holds forth with a young lady who’s not having it.
This man surely has something interesting to say.
Some more protestor dudes. What can I say?
This guy’s phone conversation went roughly: “Yeah… no, hardly anyone’s showed up. No, it’s pretty much deserted. Yeah, I guess it’s good practice!”
Those guys in the masks are supposedly “anarchists.” At least, that’s what I heard.
Georgia Peach! No, I’m not sure what’s going on on that sign.
It’s a clearing house for anyone with a sign!
A local news crew. Their conversation (roughly) – Him: “I think a lot of them stayed home because of the police presence.” Her: “That’s no way to be a protestor!”
I smell a Pulitzer here!
These giant dollar bills are pretty clever. They say things like “The United States of Anarchy.”
Japan’s NTV crew flew all the way here for THIS?
This reporter was from Britain, I think. He had some sort of damn accent.
Quick, something’s happening! The protestors are sitting down in a circle! Get the cameras over here!
They’re playing “Duck Duck Goose!” Thank god we flew all the way here to cover 12 kids playing “Duck Duck Goose!”
This picture doesn’t even need a caption.
He’s saying (roughly,) “Everybody move this way! If we don’t start this parade by 10am, we’ll lose our license!”
She’s saying (roughly,) “And what was most remarkable about the protest wasn’t the amount of protestors, but the amount of news coverage.”
These guys take issue with the concept of capitalism.
The parade begins!
The police have blocked off Drayton.
There go a couple dozen kids marching down the street.
It’s a “Hummer” powered by bikes! This is cool, no joke.
The Army stands by, in case the mob runs wild.
That’s Dick Cheney on the sign.
The mounted police stand by, in case anyone attempts to stray from the parade route.
We’re filming a couple dozen kids walking down the street!
The news crews rush to get the opinion of the locals.
Hey, look at those crazy kids, walking down the street!
Just give me a reason!
Reaching the end of the parade route.
You can hardly see it, but that’s about two dozen riot police hiding in the background.
Back at the stage. “Ladies and Gentleman, don’t take the brown acid…”
Bigger than Woodstock!
Public speakers incite the crowd to violence.
The picture that almost got me arrested!
An hour or two after the parade, local bands play a public concert for the throngs.
And we go out with a bang.