Saturday, September 18, 2010

Anthony Hayward

Anthony is a rapper who works at the Lux Lounge in Rochester, NY. I am working on a project about him along with Casey Staff, Maria Sikic, and Janet Zimmerman for a multimedia class we are taking.

Today, we met Anthony, took a few photos, and began to interview him.

Anthony playing a banjo he bought recently. He plans to try to incorporate it into his music.

Even the tattoos Anthony knows were a mistake are a big part of who he is. Here, he shows us the star tattoos he got with ballpoint pen ink when he was 14.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

9/11 in New York City

Michael Conti and I drove down to New York City from RIT on Friday the 10th to cover September 11th protests around ground zero.

We got to our "hotel" at about 3am.

As it turns out, $48 per night gets you a closet in chinatown.

There were several groups of protestors the next day. The first ones I came across were 9/11 "truthers."

The largest rally of the day was organized those that oppose the group that plans to build n Islamic Center at Ground Zero. They also sparked a counter-protest several blocks away that attracted around 1,900 people. Police were mainly monitoring the roads between the two groups to make sure they wouldn't combine. While a handful of members of opposing groups did show up to the other protest to spark arguments, both rallies were largely uneventful.

One man left the counter-protest and entered the cordoned area for the anti-mosque crowd. He walked around saying "Allah Akbar," and was immediately became a huge source of controversy. While one man repeatedly screamed "Fuck Islam, Fuck Towelheads," most others were more civil. The majority recognized that he was attempting to spark controversy and simply told those around themselves to ignore him, but were also willing to engage in heated arguments.

Within a few minutes, a police officer grabbed his arm and led him out to cries of support from surrounding rallyers.

A different group of people tried to stage a counter-protest in the middle of the crowd as well. They were also led out by police officers, but on the way a man snatched and broke one of their signs, and a woman grabbed one of their sticks and broke it. In both instances the surrounding police officers were able to keep the counter-protestors safe, but only under threat of assualt charges against both parties.

A New York City police officer argues with the leader of the counter-protest about whether or not she has the right to tell them to leave the anti-mosque rally.

The woman responsible for attacking the counter-protestors rejects the NYPD's attempts to stifle her. "My family died in the 9/11 attacks. They don't understand what I'm going through."

She refused to be identified by name.

Lucy Shaw stands with the sign that was broken when she was attacked.

The majority of people in the anti-mosque rally were undisturbed by the counter-protestors. The two groups were kept far enough apart that there was very little mixing of conflicting ideas.

One of the favorites of the anti-mosque crowd was a man wearing a fake beard and a turban with a fake bomb in the top. He refused to identify himself as anything other an "a concerned citizen." He said his reason for being there was to show people that the United States has nothing to fear from Islam.

One man was roaming the crowd with a Qu'ran that he offered pages from. He advertised it as the nicest toilet paper money can buy. Members of the crowd were encouraged to take sheets, tear them up, and show them to people.

A woman holds out a page of the Qu'ran that she shredded in protest of the planned Mosque near the site of the World Trade Center.

Several men from a church in Florida came up with a cross. They both lived in the city, and the man in the foreground was a part of FDNY on 9/11. They were here to promote tolerance. Though they thought the decision to build a mosque near ground zero was "ill-informed," they did not disagree with it. They were more concerned that the country is fractured over the issue.

"There was no crime in the city for 4 months following the attack. Why did it take such a tragedy to bring us together?"