Last night was a crazy night here at OccupyDC.
As a couple thousand people gathered inside The Washington Convention Center to participate in the Defend the American Dream Summit several hundred protesters from OccupyDC marched on the center. I was in the press room on the third floor when I could hear chanting outside. Glancing out the window, I took the first shot you see here…then hustled down to the street to get more shots.
Having gotten all the shots I could of the crowd at street level, I started to head back upstairs to the press room. Terrible mistake. Several dozen protesters had tried to crash the doors of the convention center and the cops were blocking all the
entrances…not letting ANYONE inside. So what are you supposed to do when you find yourself trapped outside in the middle of angry protesters? I don’t know what you’re SUPPOSED to do, but I kept taking photos.
I was trapped outside in the middle of this crowd for about an hour before I was able to find a cop that would acknowledge my media pass and hold the door open about 8 inches so that I could slip
back inside without any of the protesters coming in with me. Meanwhile the crowd outside the doors was growing — both in temper and in size. I stood around the lobby a few minutes trying to figure out what should be my next move. Not being the sharpest tool in the woodshed — as my old man used to tell me — I kept shooting.
Not wanting to be inside after all — I mean if there’s a choice between being trapped inside with a couple thousand yuppies crapping in their pants or outside with several hundred angry protesters — it’s an easy choice — right?
So I headed back out — well tried to. Now the cops had left and the protesters were blocking the doors not letting anyone inside back out!
But finally I get back outside and back into the thick of things. Protesters are running all around the center…blocking exits…rushing from entry to entry as the need for more warm bodies is called for.
As I was standing on the curb shooting, one lady about 8 feet infront of me was hit by a car. The medics responded and took her to the hospital and as of this morning, there’s still no word on her condition.
Sorry if this blog is not written clearly — I’m in a rush to finish it and get back to the convention center. Never know what might be happening today!
Click here to see more of the protest around The Washington Convention Center.
Jerry Nelson is a nationally recognized photojournalist. His work has appeared in many national, regional and local publications including CNN, USAToday, Upsurge, Earthwalkers and Associated Content. Nelson travels the country seeking out the people, places and things that make America unique and great. Nelson currently is in Washington D.C. pointing his camera at OccupyDC and freelancing for The Washington Times the second largest paper in the nation’s capital.
CLICK HERE to see more of Nelson’s work or to hire him for a shoot.