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May 4, 2012


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It takes a photographer as sure and serious as Getty’s John Moore to pull off a photo like this combing a phalanx of NYPD cops prostrating a protester in such proximity to the rear end of the iconic Merrill Lynch/Wall Street bull that it infers (playing off the expression, and enmity, of the cop in the foreground) that the Occupier is excrement.

(Also love the red bit of cloth there. Hints of blood from the bull or fallen matador.)

(photo: John Moore/Getty Images caption: Police arrest a protester who tried to jump onto the Wall Street Bull during a May Day protest on May 1, 2012 in New York City. Occupy Wall Street has joined with unions during the May Day protests, a traditional day of global protests in sympathy with unions and leftist politics. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images.)

  • Catherine McCallum

    Wow. I got nuthin’.

  • Thomas

    What a great shot. Reiterates that behind the giant symbols the struggle for power is physical, is a fight with force, is a contest over territory. Who stands their ground and who is down and defeated. I like that the cop at the center has the put-upon posture of an overworked bureaucrat who doesn’t get the respect he deserves. “Come on, give me a break. We all know how this ends.”

  • DennisQ

    The cops haven’t developed a long game strategy because they think they don’t need one.  So long as protest is defined as outside the law, why then, the cops will just do their jobs!  However, they’re wrong about not needing a long game.  The protests are not going away, and neither are the conditions which give rise to them.  As the contradictions multiply, the cops will be seen more and more as enforcing an unacceptable status quo.  We’re seeing a repeat of the grand confrontations of the 1960’s, but this time the people being hauled off are not idealistic kids but serious grown-ups with a serious stake in the outcome.The cops cannot aford to lose the general good will of the populace.  The number of cops being shot and killed is already rising.  Beyond that, they need to function within the larger society as an integral part of it.  Break that link, and they might as well be our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, who are essentially bewildered at what they’re doing and why.The next turn of events will be a lot uglier, as Americans find themselves in the role of insurgents in our own country.  The more unattractive the cops make themselves, the less likely they will be to maintain their current pretense of being in control.  Some serious shit is going down, and the cops are unprepared for it. 

  • BooksAlive

     The red item reminds me of a Freedom or Liberty cap, based on the Phrygian cap. In the US, it is found on the state seal of Iowa and the seal of the US Senate. Wikipedia has examples in literature and a gallery. Here it appears in an advertisement:

  • Scarabus

    Shouldn’t forget that one nickname for the police is “bulls.” I too noticed the red thing. I made a more prosaic connection: The protestors are waving a red flag in front of “bulls,” both the Wall Streeters and the cops. Deliberately.

  • zdd

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