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Posts Tagged ‘obama’

FiveBlocks has upgraded to a new computer and media software.  Soon FiveBlocks will be on a new website; we were hoping to have the new platform up with the new system and all at once but alas…it will be a bit still.

What FiveBlocks will do is keep the postings up as before and hopefully with less time in between until one day you come by and you will be on the new site.  

Thanks for enduring the long pause with us….hopefully it was harder on us than it was on you but if we do our job right no one will have to worry about that again.  One of the exciting things we have planned is video on the new site…and it really looks great…so plan to be a little homesick if you live far away but then it will give you some ideas of new things to visit or just a few laughs if you already live here.  More on other surprises and things we have planned…later…

In the interim, it’s not like we haven’t been busy so check out the latest Photo Round up…

 

FiveBlocks

 


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Saddleback Football and another close call…he ran for a TD on this..

 

 

 

Day of THe Dead at San Juan Capistrano Library.

Day of THe Dead at San Juan Capistrano Library.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes on 8 sign on Crown Valley parkway on election day.

Yes on 8 sign on Crown Valley parkway on election day.

 

 

Soth County Democratic Headquarters in San Juan Capistrano on election day.

Soth County Democratic Headquarters in San Juan Capistrano on election day.

 

 

Fall Fest (halloween) in Aliso Viejo.

Fall Fest (halloween) in Aliso Viejo.

 

Roller skating in San Clemente.

Roller skating in San Clemente.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 "Mini" the San Juan Chihuahua at "Dia de los Muertos" at the San Juan Library.

This is “Mini”, the San Juan Chihuahua…she is waiting for another bite of mango from her owners at San Juan Library’s “Day of the Dead” celebration.


 

 

 

 

 

The Great California Shake-Out drill at Saddleback College.

The “Great California Shake-Out” earthquake drill at Saddleback College.

 

 

 

The Hookah Craze.

The Hookah Craze.

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Irvine Valley College presents a contemporary sculptural show by 4 artists through October 17th, including "Africanus" by Patrick Crabb(foreground).

IDLE HANDS:Irvine Valley College presents a contemporary sculptural show by 4 artists through October 17th, including

Shots of the week…an essay of sorts…
Surplus goods are piled around Saddleback College's warehouse in the village on Wednesday in preparation for auction on November 1st.

SURPLUS:Surplus goods are piled around Saddleback College

Heads up.

Heads up.

Washougal Film Festival Winners.

Washougal Film Festival Winners.

 

BaRock the Vote at Saddleback.

BaRock the Vote at Saddleback.

 
American Art Song

American Art Song

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Father Sillers of St. Mary's turns 98

Father Sillers of St. Mary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joey Sellers leads the Saddleback Jazz Big Band.

Joey Sellers leads the Saddleback Jazz Big Band.

The Sandy Rancher V-tourney in Ladera Ranch.

The Sandy Rancher V-tourney in Ladera Ranch.

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Flag Color

Flag Color

 

 

 

I saw democracy at work on Saturday.

 

I began checking the news early on Saturday to see what the attendance and traffic would be for the Obama/McCain Interview event at Saddleback Church.  I imagined that it would be bad so I listened to the radio but the best info came from the reader comments on the warm up article in the OC Register Online edition. 

 

I was assigned by the OC Register to shoot a candidate for San Juan Capistrano city council.  He is a local guy and is affiliated with a group that is against the war in Iraq, among other things (ANSWER Coalition-Act Now to Stop the War & End Racism).  He was to participate in a planned protest in front of the church.  I got my shots of him and essentially completed my assignment.

 

I had asked the staff photographer if he wanted any other shots, as I knew the Register would surely have assigned staff from the daily to cover it.

 

“…Well, keep your eyes open and if you get anything good and different then send it in…it should be pretty tame as all the security will keep a lid on anything out of hand…but you never know…”

 

By 5pm, the protest was a little tired.

By 5pm, the protest was a little tired.

 

 

The candidate I was assigned too, didn’t get there until later on and so I took the time to get whatever peripheral shots I could, just in case I needed them.  My general area was a wide intersection at Portola Parkway and Saddleback Church’s entrance.  It has those cross walks that are so long you almost need a water fountain in the middle to make it from one side to the other. 

 

It seems that the OC Sheriff assigns the different groups, different corners so that there is not a collision of “injustice” and a general all around melee over territory.  I don’t know, but I am going to assume that they must all get together at the Sheriff Department and draw straws to see where they will go.

 

Homemade sign of the times.

Homemade sign of the times.

A little privacy.

A little privacy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is an entire culture based on a “protest/activist” lifestyle that I had no idea existed.  These people are hardcore and even though they are on opposing sides, they seem to know each other.  Almost like that old cartoon where the sheep dog and the wolf take the bus to work everyday with their lunch boxes and get off at the same bus stop; they fight it out in the sheep pasture and then at 5, they knock off and go home on the same bus.

 

“..g’nite Fred…” the wolf says to the sheep dog as they punch their time cards at the roadside fence post…they get on the bus and the sheep dog responds “…Yeah, see ya’ tomorrow Frank…

 

The Core tools to any respectful activist group would be, a mass of people all wearing the same t-shirt, as large as can be gigantic signs, the all reaching omnipotent PA system and finally a fixer/liaison that works between other groups but especially with law enforcement.  The t-shirts range from just the simple affiliation to a group and printed on a fantasticaly bright color with cliché slogans that go back as far as the American Civil War, to the brash, aggressive and visually lewd pennant phrases of extreme edged politics.  The signs, match to some degree the t-shirts, but expand with more information, logos, websites and affiliations with other groups and cross groups and half groups and international groups…etc…

 

Old school-retro support.

Old school-retro support.

 

 

The PA systems differ only in how loud they are.  Some groups have large speakers set up and others have mobile rigs set up that vary in quality and effectiveness.  They are all loud and when the speaker set up near me fell over and ceased its transmission for a few precious moments, I recognized how precious it actually was.  The audio at the protest ranges from the never-ending chant with a beat to keep everyone with it to the same few sentences of a slogan, repeated over and over to the ongoing commentary by one individual on everything going on in the news all over the world to what is going on just a few feet from where he is.

 

Everybody has a say.

Everybody has a say.

 

 

I think an interesting study would be to attach a GPS tracking unit to the different fixer/liaisons from each group at a protest like this and then check it on a computer afterwards to follow their beehive type movements from the day; from above it would be seen like some kind of obscene alien etch-a-sketch. They are not really the generals running the show necessarily but wade through the trenches from one breech to another, patching up leaks and re-enforcing their group’s position and rights against the rights of other groups and law enforcement.  Deals on deals and promises are made and adjusted at a constant and frenetic pace.  They do not stop and their push is relentless like a Tijuana street vendor.

 

And now…the cops…I was curious to see what it would be with the Secret Service mixed in.  I shot the now infamous “Moon the Amtrak” break-up by the OC Sheriff about a month ago and I witnessed last Saturday the same calm, generous but firm Sheriff’s department respond to what could have been a big mess.  I shot on my own last week when Vice President Cheney came to San Clemente for a fundraiser and saw again an attitude on the part of the OC Sheriff’s department of very straight forward and yet reasonable direction for the demonstrators involved. 

 

In the name of Lady Liberty.

In the name of Lady Liberty.

In the name of Obama.

In the name of Obama.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The demonstration at Saddleback Church was definitely “operating” on a higher plain because the groups were very well organized and had experienced leadership; all the main issues in America today were well represented and the attendees were very aggressive in getting their point across.  What would happen?

 

I think the OC Sheriff’s department learned a hard and valuable lesson from the OP Pro/Huntington Beach mishap from 20 years ago; calm, determined and direct response on a personal level seems to be the order of the day and it’s very effective.  I think that the leadership in the Sheriffs department has always been capable to affect this type of response and has acted this way in general but there seems to a more determined effort that it is carried out this way every time; I don’t have direct knowledge that it’s the new Sheriff, but I think the theme is unmistakably her mark.

 

In the name of Jesus.

In the name of Jesus.

Politics is a vicious circle sometimes.

Politics is a vicious circle sometimes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to the task at hand…the protest warmed up as the time edged closer to when we all supposed that Obama and McCain would arrive.  Initially, there seems to be some kind of agreement or convention that each group will contain themselves to their assigned corners and not overtly or en masse encroach any other group’s territory.  Similar believing groups, yet smaller and with no prior authorization, will band themselves to whatever corner best represents them; the main group from that corner will absorb them and in general they are welcome but it seems, the un-spoken rule, is to not usurp the main frontline of the corner and take away prime signage from the lead group.

 

Its common that little pow-wows emerge behind the main show on the corners as information is exchanged about events past, present and future; little alliances of support are made and discussed and positions are evaluated along with taking photos of each other.  It’s a little flat water of calmness just steps away from the storm and then it happens…one group masses on the far corner and, with a green light, sets off in the crosswalk to the opposite shore; they all have the face of George Washington and his troops at the crossing of the Delaware River.  The Paul Reveres on the barricaded corner shout the alarm.

 

“…Here They Come!!!…They’re Coming!!!!…STOP THEM!!!!…Go Back To Your Own Corner!!!!…#!$^#$@^$#….&#$()&#….”

 

Collision of issues and thought.

Collision of issues and thought.

 

 

 

 

 

The edge of the curb becomes Normandy on this day in the hot sun and on this little corner in front of The Saddleback Church.  No one dies and no one is hurt, other than maybe a twisted wrist or a bruised arm.  The deputies are there in the mix and shout over the clash of the crowd to stay on the sidewalk; the bright t-shirts mix and mesh together and somehow blow out to one side and behind the covered wagons of the original group on the corner.  The push and shove slips down the street as each side proclaims their rights under the Constitution and their point of view.  A few from each side are locked in the middle and held there by the crowd; fingers point, teeth are bared and lips snarl their point, inches away from their opponent.

 

Oh, Yeah?

Oh, Yeah?

 

Dust, weeds, signs and cameras now compete as the deputies wade into the middle and separate the wrestling match.

 

“…Calm Down…Lower Your Voice!!!…You Need To Step Back… YOU Are Too Excited, STEP BACK!!!…” the deputies wash down the angry fire and the crowd separates, only to regroup and blow out in another direction.

 

Taking a little walk.

Taking a little walk.

 

 

 

Almost like some kind of ballet, the crowd moves and bounces along, erupting again as sides clash and broadside each other with pronouncements and threats.  The deputies continue to inject themselves and stay with it until the fury is stamped out.  The groups are warned and deputies cajole the crowd to going back to their assigned corners.  Sergeants, lieutenants and captains march with the group from the outside, fine-tuning the broiling crowd to a simmer.  It’s calmer now, but not for long, another group begins its invasion, or maybe the same group or it’s the re-enforcements; it becomes to difficult to say; it doesn’t really matter and essentially it’s the same thing, over and over.

 

Emotion.

Emotion.

 

 

I saw a deputy on a bike get pushed off and if he hadn’t been quick, he would have been going home in an ambulance.  I couldn’t see the exact circumstances of what happened, but no sooner was he off the bike than he was after the person that pushed him.  No one was arrested.  The bicycle deputy and those that responded to his aid showed remarkable restraint.  Through out the day I saw deputies confronted and taunted and they continued with their mission, which was to keep the demonstration safe and without mishap.

 

A little Momento.

A little Momento.

 

 

Two men were taken into custody at one point and after negotiations with the “fixers” were let go.  They sat in separate squad cars and this seemed to cause the demonstrators to pause and reflect and things calmed down.  The crowd shouted for their release and they eventually were, although it appeared that they were cited b efore they were relaesed.  The men returned to cheers from the crowd and after about ten minutes I saw the deputies involved, fuse themselves into the crowd, to search for the men that had been taken into custody.  One on One, the deputy approached them and talked with them in an effort to “mend the fence”.  I couldn’t hear the conversation but the intent was obvious and seemed well received.

 

The "Fixer".

The "Fixer".

Asistant Sheriff Anderson getting it done.

Asistant Sheriff Anderson getting it done.

 

 

The day never came close to the tipping point, although heated at times.  To me it was simply democracy taking place and everyone played their part; it’s not always a calm path and I don’t think it’s meant to be.  I really like the fact that there were a lot of Sheriff higher ups present, including Assistant Sheriff Anderson.  He was right on the corner in the middle of it; relaxed and obviously very confident in himself and his men.  He had a rapport with the crowd and it did a job of calming everyone down.  I tried to get some shots of him interacting but the deputies on foot and horseback closed in to a degree where not even photographers could get in easily.

 

The "Fixer-Summit" on site.

The "Fixer-Summit" on site.

In the end I liked seeing democracy in action.  The Sheriffs department kept it safe and ensured the rights of everyone.  The camaraderie among the aligned groups was interesting to see.  It seems to me that many times people believe that democracy should be bound in a big leather book and stay in a shadowy courtroom and not be treated to the harsh light of day, but I disagree.  It seems to me that rather than bookish, pink and tender, democracy is rough, muscled and a little tired and dirty form being in the street all day; at least it should be that way if it’s doing its job for the greatest majority of its citizens. 

 

Democracy was definetly getting its job done on Saturday.

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I have been assigned by the OC Register to shoot at the Obama/McCain event at Saddleback Church on Saturday.  My position will be Portola Parkway and Saddleback Parkway and I am to get shots of the protesters that assemble there and especialy a local candidate for city council in San Juan Capistrano.  They don’t really expect a big clash but you never know…look for the photos on Sunday.

 

FiveBlocks.

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A poster of Presidential Candidate Barack Obam is displayed in the second floor window of an apartment on Balboa Penninsula in Newport Beach.

A poster of Presidential Candidate Barack Obam is displayed in the second floor window of an apartment on Balboa Penninsula in Newport Beach.

I was up on a job in Newport and had seen this poster on an apartment nearby.  Yesterday, I went up early and saw the shadow of a nearby telephone pole hit the building in an…interesting way.
Talking to someone over the weekend and I had mentioned that the Obama campaign is relying heavily on “images” of the candiate, instead of interviews and his actual position on many issues.  If you look at any front page newspaper photo, you can see the imagery is very strong. 
This poster is a part of a series that had different wordsprinted across the bottom and slightly different poses of the candidate.  i believe they are making t-shirts now as well.
Three months to the election, so only time can tell who will be the next President of the United States.

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