MoJo Photo Editor Honored for Shot of Occupy Mayhem

Occupy protesters flee an attempt by Oakland police to entrap them.Mark Murrmann

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The shot above, by our photo editor Mark Murrmann, has been selected for inclusion in American Photography 29, a highly prestigious juried competition and photo book that leans toward edgier work. “Regarded as the books of record,” the competition website notes, they “are still produced in all their defiant, large-format, luxurious, hard cover glory.”

The winning photo was part of his series from a January 2012 Occupy protest in downtown Oakland, California, where tensions between protestors and police were at the boiling point. Mark, who had to run from the riot cops along with everybody else, offered this play by play:

It was another prime situation in which to be kettled—narrow streets, with large condos on all sides. And this time it happened: A line of police moved in from Telegraph, not letting anyone in the crowd out. Another line moved in from the opposite direction. I got cut off from the main protest, along with a few Occupy medics. We made our way around to Telegraph, on the other side of the kettle. A block away, in the kettle, a flash grenade went off. Two girls on bikes pleaded with police to be let out. Then, a large group of protesters broke down a recently re-erected chainlink fence enclosing a vacant lot next to the park. Protesters flooded the lot, breaking free of the kettle. The march resumed up Telegraph Avenue.

In the end, he managed to avoid arrest (unlike at least one of our reporters). Murrmann enjoys shooting punk rock shows in his spare time, so he’s pretty comfortable amid mayhem. He’s also got a sharp eye for light, motion, and composition—the resulting work is artful, gritty, and visceral. Here’s another batch he shot on the fly when a bunch of Occupy protestors decided to take over a Bank of America in San Francisco’s Financial District. In any case, it’s an honor well deserved.

Police respond to an Occupy protest at BofA in San Francisco.

Police respond to an Occupy protest at BofA in San Francisco, Nov. 17, 2012. Mark Murrmann

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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