"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."
AIDS activist James Baggett and friends carry the coffin of fellow activist Jon Greenberg through the streets of New York City during a political funeral. Greenberg died from AIDS on July 12, 1993.
"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."
Demonstrators march in support of Abner Louima who was tortured in the 70th Police Precinct. The Haitian community and many others came to march against police abuses and brutality. Posters show pictues of Justin Volpe, the police officer who sodomized and tortured Abnar Louima.
"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."
Protestors walk the tracks, stopping subway cars at the Jay Street and Boro Hall Station, in the Day of Outrage demonstration after the Howard Beach racial killing verdict on December 21, 1987.
"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
Photographer Clayton Patterson discusses James Hamilton's 1988 photograph of an injured Tompkins Square Park demonstrator.
"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."
Operation Rescue protesters rally outside of Madison Square Garden during the Democratic National Convention.
"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."
ACT UP die-in at the LBGT Pride Parade.
"[The NYPD] were more concerned about somebody writing that on the wall as opposed to addressing the injustice that was taking place."
Demonstrations in Washington Heights in the wake of the shooting of Jose "Kiko" Garcia by an undercover police officer during a drug sweep of the neighborhood.
"I actually was there on the morning that their bodies were discovered at the Catholic University. They were people that I knew."
On the second anniversary of the murder of six Jesuit priests and their housekeeper and her daughter, people gather at the Salvadoran consulate to protest US policy in El Salvador and to remember the victims – priests, nuns and tens of thousands of Salvadoran civilians – brutally murdered for defending the poor during the Cold War.
"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 officers and detectives demonstrate in front of the Bronx Court House in support of the four plainclothes policemen who shot and killed Amadou Diallo as the grand jury called for their indictment.
"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."
Protesters demonstrate for several days in Washington Heights in the wake of the shooting of Jose "Kiko" Garcia by an undercover police officer during a drug sweep of the neighborhood.
"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.'"
Participants in the Nuclear Freeze Rally in Central Park, calling for an end to nuclear weapons. At the time, with 1 million participants, this was the largest single demonstration in United States history.
"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."
Two women kiss on a bed being rolled by activists along 5th Avenue at the first Dyke March.
"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."
Toxic Avengers draw attention to environmental racism during the New York City Marathon.
"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
Activist and former NYU student Victoria Wolcott (background, hands on knees) narrates the photograph by Nina Berman in which she and other pro-choice demonstrators in downtown Manhattan demonstrate against the July 3, 1989 Supreme Court Webster Decision which limited Roe v. Wade and was a turning point in the pro-choice movement. Twenty-four people were arrested in New York as they stormed the Brooklyn Bridge, including activist Mary Lou Greenberg (front, center) and Wolcott.
Wolcott is now a professor of history at the University of Buffalo.
"It was a ticker tape parade, and ticker tape parades are celebrations and that wasn't something I thought was worthy of celebration."
Supporters of the Gulf War counterdemonstrate against anti-war protestors at the Operation Desert Storm Homecoming Parade.
"People were completely angry and mobilized against what they perceived to be an injustice in their community."
Demonstrators mourn in Washington Heights in the wake of the shooting of Jose "Kiko" Garcia by an undercover police officer during a drug sweep of the neighborhood.
"[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."
Controversy at the annual St. Patrick's Day parade as a contingent from the Irish American group NORAID and sympathizers with Sein Fein and the Irish Republican Army commemorated the Hunger Strikes led by IRA prisoner Bobby Sands. Sands, an IRA prisoner in Long Kesh prison and an elected Member of Parliament, led a hunger strike of 10 men protesting British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's refusal to grant them status as political prisoners. The hunger strike ended with the deaths by starvation of 10 prisoners including Bobby Sands.
"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."
A protestor holds a photo taken in the war in Iraq at the Operation Desert Storm Homecoming Parade.
"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."
NYPD officers stand by after protestors overturned a squad car during rioting in Crown Heights following the accidental death of a child by a car in a motorcade of a local Rabbi.
"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."
Yakima Sandoval touches her late father Willie's forehead at his funeral after Willie died of AIDS-related complications.
"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."
A Hunter College student leads a chant at a city-wide rally at the World Trade Center protesting CUNY tuition increases.
"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."
Alphabet City before gentrification.
"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."
In a coordinated protest to draw awareness and build opposition to the proposed state and city budget cuts by Governor Pataki and Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, a coalition of hundreds of activists that included students and professors from the City University of New York, the homeless, health care workers, AIDS activists, the disabled and families of people killed by the police, blocked two bridges and two tunnels in Manhattan during the height of the rush hour. The most serious rush hour disruption occurred at the Midtown Tunnel where some 75 demonstrators shut down all six lanes feeding into the tunnel entrance.
"They come from a culture that has a very dynamic visual and theatrical tradition of street protest."
New York City street vendors who sell flowers, many of whom are Mexican immigrants, protest for the right to organize and to obtain licenses to legally sell flowers. They are being supported by a number of unions including the ILGWU.
"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."
Students sit on a car parked outside an occupied building on the City College campus during the CUNY student strike protesting proposed tuition increases and budget cuts.
"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."
A Committee to Save East Harlem anti-gentrification demonstration.
"The homeless is also protestor too. Sometimes the police reacted too, too much. "
During his eviction from Tompkins Square Park, a homeless man complains and is roughly arrested..
"At those times many people were arrested for nothing. I witnessed a lot."
During the forceful eviction of the homeless from Tompkins Square Park, some of park's residents burn their tents in protest.
"There was a fundraiser for [President George H.W. Bush] at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel...and activists snuck inside."
ACT UP members disrupt a fundraiser at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel attended by President George H.W. Bush to demand more funding and support for curing HIV/AIDS..
"When it's members of Operation Rescue and they're holding up a cross, it's a fairly aggressive gesture."
A member of Operation Rescue prays at a vigil during the Democratic National Convention.
"There was a very homophobic woman on the side yelling stuff at them... and I remember people really laughing at her and mocking her."
An onlooker confronts activists at a Queer Nation demonstration against homophobia.
"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."
Squatters attempt to defend their building on East 13th Street from an expected attack by the police by blocking the street with overturned cars and trash.