Several years ago, I was visiting a relative in a town where one of the Occupy protests was taking place in. His son, a freshman in college, was studying film and wanted to make a documentary for a project.
I told him that he should make a documentary about the Occupy protests and he jumped at the chance. I offered to help him lug equipment around since I was going to be there that week anyway.
What we found, instead of a bunch of people that were basically trashing the streets when the media had been reporting that there was nothing going on aside from a bunch of people doing drugs and crapping in the street.
A furloughed photographer who documented protests starting on May 31 expected to find white supremacists behind widespread looting but instead found anarchists, according to a New York Times opinion column.
Jeremy Lee Quinn started photographing a Black Lives Matter protest in Santa Monica, California, May 31 when someone notified him that people were looting a nearby shoe store, New York Times’ editorial board member Farah Stockman wrote in a Wednesday column. When Quinn arrived, he saw young people running out of the store carrying shoeboxes while a group of black-clad men wearing masks behaved like supervisors as the store was looted.
Quinn witnessed a black-clad white man break a store window with a crowbar the following day, though he didn’t take anything from the shop, Stockman wrote.
After reviewing videos of looting across the country, Quinn noticed similar groups of masked black-clad supervisors, so he dressed the same way and attended a protest, Stockman wrote. Quinn thought the supervisors would be tied to white supremacy groups, instead, he found a group of “insurrectionary anarchists.”
A @nytimes editorial board member, @fstockman, ran opinion piece promoting de-bunked protest conspiracies + racist “outside agitator” tropes, who’s main source is a conspiracy theorist + YouTube comedian that defends Kyle Rittenhouse + follows leader of the Proud Boys. A thread. pic.twitter.com/BYO73B3rQp
— It’s Going Down (@IGD_News) October 1, 2020
Quinn decided to march alongside groups of “black bloc” anarchists across the country to learn more about them, according to Stockman. He said that though he respects their optimistic goal to create a society free of hierarchy, some of their tactics made him uncomfortable since they could aid President Donald Trump’s reelection.
Anarchists advertised the protests on social media, drawing “cultlike energy” to events in Portland, Oregon, and Washington, D.C., Quinn told Stockman. He marched with protesters who launched fireworks at a federal court building in Portland, Oregon, and with protesters who heckled diners in Washington, D.C.