A Historic Year of Protests

I grew up going to protests. Every year my mother would make sure we were always at a communal gathering to commemorate April 24th, which is the day the martyrs of the Armenian Genocide are remembered. As a result, protesting is a right I was brought up to value and something I fiercely defend today.

During the last year there’s been historic waves pf protests in defense of many causes, most notably justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and dozens of other Black people victimized by US police and prisons. Even most Pride Day events last year were more political than the watered-down versions we’ve become accustomed during the 21st century, and surprisingly most were aligned with Black Lives Matter protests — a very welcome change.

Armenian communities around the world were watching the attack by Azerbaijan and Turkey against the Indigenous population of Artsakh in the mountains of the Caucasus, and the various military campaigns ignited protests in Los Angeles, New York, Paris, and everywhere Armenians lived — it was something we haven’t seen for over a generation.

I remember attending so many protests this past year, sometimes to cover them, other times to participate, but I always remember each one as powerful experiences that filled me with hope. I’ve never left a protest fully deflated because I always find strength in seeing so many people unifying with a belief in making positive change. This was a year of dreaming and working for a better world.

This is a selection of images I took during this historic year.

Pride Day, lower Manhattan, June 28, 2020
Black Lives Matter protest march across the Brooklyn Bridge on Juneteenth, June 19, 2020
Protest that shut down the front entrance of the Museum of Modern Art’s on 53rd Street as part of Strike MoMA’s Week 7 action, midtown Manhattan, May 21, 2021
Protest against the New York Times’s coverage on Artsakh and its biased reporter Carlotta Gall, midtown Manhattan, October 2020
From the big pro-Artsakh protest that started at Rockefeller Center and marched through midtown Manhattan until it stopped by network TV stations on the Upper West Side, October 10, 2020
Pride Day, lower Manhattan, June 28, 2020
Black Lives Matter protest in Washington Square Park, Greenwich Village, Manhattan, June 19, 2020
Always love spotting historical protest references like this young protester walking up Broadway in the Village, Manhattan, June 19, 2020
Pro-Palestine protester as part of Strike MoMA’s week 6 actions at the Museum of Modern Art, midtown Manhattan, May 14, 2021
These Recognize Artsakh posters appeared all over the streets of lower Manhattan and many parts of Brooklyn and Queens on October 26, 2020
Artist friends protesting on George Washington Bridge, which connected New York and New Jersey states, on October 25, 2020
On the Brooklyn Bridge, June 19, 2020

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