Hands Up Don’t Shoot

As most people wind down into holiday mode, I’m winding up in documentary data.  I have family very near Ferguson Missouri, and I also have friends in Oakland, NY and other places that are protesting the court decision.  No matter where you fall on the political scale, what is very apparent is that these riots and protests are nothing like the ones from even ten years ago; now we are all hyperconnected if we want.  For many, even if we don’t want. But for those who aren’t taking advantage, there are many ways you can find out what’s going on at any time, and I thought this would be a good example of how to plug in.

MSNBC has a great set of images in their gallery of the riots, which are far more destructive than I thought they were, that you can find at msnbc:


Another great set of images can be found at PBS:

James Cartmill, of Veterans for Peace, holds an American flag upside down, to indicate distress, during a demonstration in Oakland, California November 24. Photo by Elijah Nouvelage / REUTERS


One of the things I find so gratifying is how technology CAN be a hub of information for people.  News, for better or worse, has started to spread beyond the newsroom and card carrying journalists and has started to be be infiltrated by apps like Instagram. I’ve got photographer friends on the ground in places like New York and Oakland, where protests are happening.  Seeing pictures pop up as they take them makes me feel connected to what’s happening.  You can use hashtags like #handsupdontshoot #ferguson at instagram, twitter, and more.  I have some screen shots below for you, but remember my dear students that these images are copyrighted.  You can go to their individual websites, which I add as captions below each shot, or just start plugging hashtags into your app.

Image by victoriabean24, Victoria Bean at  http://ello.co/victoriabarton
Image by victoriabean24, Victoria Bean at
Image by AntonioCostello, website at www.antoniocastello.us
Image by AntonioCostello, website at www.antoniocastello.us

Twitter feeds can sometimes be overwhelming when things are happening, but it’s great for getting live feedback of events while they happen:

Example of Twitter feed for #handsupdontshoot
Example of Twitter feed for #handsupdontshoot

It’s nice to see how photography isn’t just selfies, lolcatz and memes; it CAN be used to inform, connect, and expose society.  Something else to be thankful for.

2 thoughts on “Hands Up Don’t Shoot

  1. The destruction of people’s property that had nothing to do with the shooting, prosecution, investigation or the Grand Jury decision (i. e., innocent bystanders) notwithstanding, this feels different than other protests. I think this is the beginning of something.

    Perhaps it is this very thorough coverage (you speak of) by people with many different agendas as well as no agenda at all beyond capturing documentary photos, that will effect change maybe of the MLK, Jr. magnitude.

    Certainly we’ll be examining the documentary imagery for a very long time.

    Or is it too close to the Presidential election cycle for significant change.

    Time will tell.

    Thanks for the heads up.

    1. Agreed, destruction of property shouldn’t be politicized…but I find it interesting that most news blips I hear about don’t mention how the city is on fire! I think that info helps people get a more well-rounded view, but as you say, time will tell…

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