Behind the Pictures

Political Funeral

Political Funeral, 1993

"Jon wanted a political funeral, so James Baggett and his friends went and picked up the casket and walked out the door with the damn thing."
Devil in a Blue Suit

Devil in a Blue Suit, 1997

"Today is the same anger, today is the same feeling of frustration for the injustice going around when somebody dies because he cannot breathe, and nobody gets anything."
Subway Shutdown

Subway Shutdown, 1987

"It was the first time where I had seen that the New York City Police were completely taken back and surprised by the level and extent of the organization."
Injured Protestor

Injured Protestor, 1988

"I think from that particular night there were 125 people that ended up in the hospital. That's a great photograph that really sums up the evening."   – Clayton Patterson
Operation Rescue

Operation Rescue, 1992

"Even though I felt what they were saying with their presence was aggressive, their nature and their way of protesting was very quiet and mellow."
Die In

Die-In, 1991

"It wasn't just ACT UP members, it was a much bigger group, and that was, I think, part of why it was so visually stunning. It was massive."
Police Killing

Killed By Police, 1992

"[The NYPD] were more concerned about somebody writing that on the wall as opposed to addressing the injustice that was taking place."
Jesuit Murders

Jesuit Murders, 1991

"I actually was there on the morning that their bodies were discovered at the Catholic University. They were people that I knew."
Amadou Diallo

Diallo Murder, 1999

"I was looking at them and thinking, if any of these people arrest me in the middle of the night and I have to have full faith in them, that's quite scary."
Police Brutality protest

Outrage, 1992

"The context was that this was the first time that people within the Dominican community rose up in response to the police brutality that they were facing."
Political Funeral

Anti Nuke Rally, 1982

"In the background you see a bunch of people carrying mylar mirrors. And that's very cool because what they're saying is, 'dig yourselves.'"
Dyke March

Dyke March, 1993

"This was a bed that we rolled down 5th Avenue, and we felt like it was important to have some sort of public display of affection."
Toxic Avengers

Toxic Avengers, 1992

"The toxicity of the area was huge. So, this was the day of the New York City Marathon and I actually felt bad for the runners."
Political Funeral

Webster Decision Protest, 1989

"In retrospect, what the Wester Decision did is it opened up the possibility for states to restrict abortion rights, and it turned out we were right."  – Victoria Wolcott, activist
Pro War

War Homecoming, June 1991

"It was a ticker tape parade, and ticker tape parades are celebrations and that wasn't something I thought was worthy of celebration."

Mourners, 1992

"People were completely angry and mobilized against what they perceived to be an injustice in their community."
St Patricks Parade

St. Patrick's Parade, 1993

"[The St. Patrick's Day Parade] became the sort of focal point for political organizing in the United States early on. It wasn't green beer and leprechauns."
Political Funeral

Iraq War Photo, 1991

"A picture of someone holding a sign, at that time, felt very cliché and easy. But when looking at 25-year-old pictures the signage becomes much more important."
Crown Heights Riots

Racial Unrest, 1991

"I was working at the Village Voice...probably in the darkroom printing...and we heard that there were some riots in Crown Heights. I remember thinking, I have to go, I have to go."
Sandoval Funeral

Willie's Funeral, 1992

"The casket was open...and I was ready to take the picture when just within a split second, his daughter Yakima...walked up, put her hand on her dad's head, looked at me and walked away You see the stunned look on her face this young woman who's just lost her father."
Education Rights

Education Rights, 1991

"I believe the popular chant from the day was, "Education is a right! Fight, fight, fight! It's frustrating because education is even more necessary today and I think young people are having an even harder time."
Political Funeral

Before Gentrification, 1986

"I hope they can explore what's happened in Tompkins Square Park in late '80s, early '90s because it's a legacy that's continued."
Political Funeral

Tunnel Shutdown, 1995

"I had gotten arrested many times as an activist but also as a press person, so you have to make those decisions whether or not you're going to do that, that day."
Political Funeral

Flower Vendors, 1992

"They come from a culture that has a very dynamic visual and theatrical tradition of street protest."
Political Funeral

CUNY Strike, 1991

"What's really significant is that the windows had been papered over and occupied by the students which is a hallmark of a serious student strike."
Political Funeral

Anti-Gentrification, 1984

"What they would do is hold these rallies at night in the evening because a lot of parents worked, and they would bring their kids...who would come with their double-dutch ropes...but meanwhile they'd be talking about the issues."
Political Funeral

Tompkins Arrest, 1993

"The homeless is also protestor too. Sometimes the police reacted too, too much. "
Political Funeral

Tompkins Square Park, 1989

"At those times many people were arrested for nothing. I witnessed a lot."
Political Funeral

Fundraiser Disruptors

"There was a fundraiser for [President George H.W. Bush] at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel...and activists snuck inside."
Political Funeral

Prayer Vigil, 1992

"When it's members of Operation Rescue and they're holding up a cross, it's a fairly aggressive gesture."
Queer Rights

Queer Nation, 1992

"There was a very homophobic woman on the side yelling stuff at them... and I remember people really laughing at her and mocking her."
Squatters Rights

Squatters' Defense, 1995

"The police showed up with a tank and removed that car and forcibly removed the squatters. It is a picture that is meant to be in the spirit of resistance and fighting for your community."