Two days after the ruling in Hobbs v. Jackson, which overturned Roe v. Wade, Texas Gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke hosted a “Rally for Reproductive Freedom” at an amphitheater near downtown Austin. As the crowd of about 2500 waited for the candidate to speak, two men with microphones and a small PA stood across the street proselytizing and, to be fair, agitating. A few people, one at a time for the most part, engaged them with varying degrees of civility. Soon, a small group began to counter the men. That group grew until the street was filled, and the two men were overwhelmed. Aside from stripping one of the men of his banner, the crowd was peaceful. The police escorted the two men out, and, to my surprise, did not interfere when about 500 people decided to march. It was over 100 degrees, and I decided to follow them only about halfway to the Capital two miles away.
On Friday June 24th 2022, in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the case of Roe v. Wade thus removing constitutional protection of reproductive freedom and allowing individual states to pass their own laws regarding abortion. That afternoon, about 2000 people braved triple digit temperatures in Austin Texas to protest that ruling.
While covering Pride events in the 1990s, I found myself drawn to the activists who participated, and I subsequently declared “Activists” a project in 1996. After four years of covering marches, rallies, and protests in cities on the East Coast, the work was shown in a Dallas Gallery.
The intention was for the project to end there, but, four years later, the Republican Nation Convention arrived in New York City. A long week of work provided enough material for another show, and, although there have been many gaps in the timeline, I was never again able to completely let it go of the project, and it comprises roughly half of my documentary work.
All of the events covered in this gallery have their own entries on the site, but here’s a collection of some of my favorites.