A Powerful Visual History Of The Protests Of 2017
Photojournalists capture pictures to tell countless kinds of stories. But this year, many shared a similar theme of public protest.
Whether it was women marching on Washington or independence protestors in Catalonia, the sheer number of gatherings represents a “new normal” for this kind of freedom of expression, says Pancho Bernasconi, the vice president of editorial photo news service Getty Images.
“This year was one that was absolutely full of protests, domestically [and] internationally,” he says. That includes rallies against police brutality in St. Louis, and NFL players taking a very public knee during the league’s televised national anthem, in order to continue highlighting racial injustices.
In the U.S., protest movements have been growing in their organization and sophistication since the Black Lives Matter movement coalesced in 2014 . “There’s this cycle. People pay attention, and then we pay attention,” says Bernasconi. While Getty complies an annual “Year in Focus” gallery of important cultural moments, those generally fall under broader umbrellas like news, sports, entertainment, or in memoriam.
The organization’s trove of protest images, however, seemed both important and massive enough that Bernasconi agreed to share them separately with Fast Company. “I think protests are an important part of a modern democratic society, and it’s our responsibility to make people aware that these things are going on,” he says.
When viewed together in the slide show above, Getty’s images provide a powerful visual history for the rise of resistance in 2017. Here are a dozen moments that have been shot and shared around world.
January 20, 2017: Donald Trump is inaugurated the 45th president of the United States, sparking protest from some on that same day in downtown in Washington, D.C. [Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images]
January 21, 2017: The Women’s March on Washington draws an estimated three times as many people as the inauguration. [Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images]
January 28, 2017: People flood the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York after the president signs a travel ban against Muslims and refugees. [Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images]
June 17, 2017: Venezuelan protesters continue to rally against their government in the streets of Caracas, while facing an economic crisis that’s led to food shortages and deadly clashes with police. [Photo: Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images]
July 10, 2017: At least 100 people are arrested during a sit-in on Capitol Hill targeting Republican Senator Jeff Flake from Arizona, a vocal supporter of healthcare reforms. [Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]
August 11, 2017: Despite strong community opposition and massive counter protests, alt-right hate groups marched in Charlottesville to protest the city’s decision to remove of statue of Confederate general Robert. E. Lee. [Photo: Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post via Getty Images]
September 11, 2017: Millions of independence-seeking demonstrators gather in Barcelona for National Catalan Day, ahead of an October vote for the region’s succession. [Photo: David Ramos/Getty Images]
September 17, 2017: Protests continue several days after former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley is acquitted of first-degree murder in the shooting Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. [Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images]
September 18, 2017: The arrests of more than 100 people rallying against the decision to acquit Stockley prompt more demonstrations outside the city’s jail. [Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images]
September 24, 2017: Colts players kneel during the national anthem before an NFL game in Indianapolis, joining other teams around the league in acknowledging continued racial injustice. [Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images]
September 29, 2017: Pro-independence celebrations continue in Barcelona ahead of the succession referendum, although the Spanish government eventually declares the vote invalid and cracks down on protestors. [Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images]
October 19, 2017: Counter-protestors clash with alt-right hate groups ahead of a scheduled appearance by white-nationalist Richard Spencer at the University of Florida. Chants of Go Home. Nazis! disrupt the speech. [Photo: Brian Blanco/Getty Images]