The Protest Nine :

How long ago it seemed that our country was on the verge of a new revolution. Now that time seems so distant, as well as the hope for a change in our nation's policies.

In the months preceding the invasion of Iraq, hundreds of thousands of protesters swarmed the streets of San Francisco to voice their opposition.

I expected a wellspring of emotion and rage. What I saw instead, was a circus.

Street vendors lined the avenues, selling goods as if this was a fair. Organizations as varied, contradictory, and frequently absurd as "Vegetarians for Peace" would shuffle through the streets, yelling competing slogans that were heard by no one, except the people they marched with.

And the media that I was also a part of. So many of us were there that as the protesters marched forward, the line of cameramen swept the path in front for them.

You will not see these pictures in the papers or on TV. They were conviniently edited out in order to portray the protest as spontaneous or filled with a clear purpose. It wasn't either.

As I photographed, I became ever aware of how my pictures were not reflecting the truth of the matter, of the march's unfocused nature and overt need to evoke the purer political atmosphere of the 1960s, when protests occured in earnest.

These images have sat on my hard drive for a year now, as I've been uncertain as to how to show them. I have decided that the best way to maintain context, is to show not only the photograph I have selected, but the photos leading to it.

Essentially, this is a series of photographs surrounding a photo selection. Through this wide canvas, the viewer can see what lead to my decision, see the chaos, and the confusion.

And while even these selections reflect conscious choices, they make no attempt to deceive the viewer that they themselves are monolithic images.

It has been a while since the world has remembered the time before the invasion of Iraq. These pictures are here to help remind us of what it was like.