This photo is of a person named Sundance - a drug addict in Vancouver concerned about the gentrification happening before the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. By Photographer Jennifer Osborne of Vancouver, Canada - who is currently living in Italy.
If there's one day in your life that will always be with you, and you could not choose it, rather, chance, fate, destiny or coincidence chose it for you, what would you want it to be?
Lately, I've been thinking that one day has defined my life for the past two years, and I don't see that reality changing any time soon. I was arrested for standing on a streetcorner in downtown Hartford for taking photos on January 3, 2007.
Turns out I was on a terrorism watch list manufactured by the Connecticut State Police. For a pacifist, that is kind of an absurd principle. But everyday since it happened, I have thought about it, in some form or another.
Yesterday, Thursday, November 13, 2008, I thought about my arrest a lot, because aside from discussing with my friend the tax implications of any potential award I might get from my lawsuit for fale arrest, I was photographed.
Jennifer Osborne, who has this blog, works for Colors magazine, out of Italy, and she was in Hartford yesterday to take pictures of me.
Colors, which more than a decade ago, I think started out of a partnership with Benetton clothing, contacted me a few weeks ago. At first I thought it was a hoax. A revolutionary visual framework like Colors wants to write about me?
I love Colors, and was only too thrilled. Turns out their next issue will focus on one topic (like all their issues do - whether its war, birth, immigration, cities, one topic per issue): the absurdity of the war on terror, and how it has impacted people.
Apparently, one of the writers came across my story online, and they think what happened to me was pretty absurd. I'm glad they agree. So Jennifer stopped by condo last night to photograph me in a suit and tie.
I told her the whole story - she said, wow. Kind of crazy. Thing is, I'm worried that Obama doesn't think what happened to me is crazy.
Reading an AP story yesterday that maybe more than a million people will attend the upcoming inauguration, I became concerned that Obama will continue the ridiculousness of the high security state.
The inauguration has been designated a National Special Security Event, giving the U.S. Secret Service the lead in coordinating all law enforcement agencies to secure the event. There are 58 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies working together.
Those 58 law enforcement agencies will most likely work under the auspices of a fusion center, like the Connecticut Intelligence Center which fingered me as a possible danger.
Understanding that white supremacist groups are out there, and not happy about Obama's presidency, and that it is the duty of the Secret Service to protect Obama from such threats, I don't want them mixing up pacifists, and peaceful protestors in with that mix.
Understanding the difference between danger and dissent is a vital job, and I want assurances that when I go to the Inauguration, I won't be on a list. I know they are making up a list, and the Secret Service and its fusion center will have to make a chart of every white supremacist group in the country and try to get visuals on the most dangerous members, and look for them in a crowd of a million.
Not an easy job. But I think it would be an easier job if law enforcement didn't worry about Code Pink and the Green Party, who want to see an end to the war.
But is anything that threatens the two party system is considered an equivalent threat? I hope not. This morning, it made me think that Haile Selassie was wrong. The Ethiopian emporer, considered the second coming of Jesus by Rastas like Marley, wrote the words to reggae's 'War,' immortalized by Marley.
"Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned," according to Selassie, the African continent will not know peace. And everywhere is war. And I always expanded the meaning of that Selassie speech from 1963, to the UN, into a global statement, not just about Africa.
But with Obama, a black man at the helm of the world's largest military power, racism seems to be surmounted, at least as far as ascending to the presidency, yet he will continue to prosecute a war against black and brown people.
Colors, Selassie, Obama ...