People gathered on the National Mall across from the White House in Washington, DC to add their signatures to an open letter to Trump rejecting his policies, Friday, February 3, 2017. A light installation was created with messages from over 5 million people world-wide to show the new administration that the people will light the way forward with love.

Nevertheless, We Persist: A Year of Resistance

The United States has erupted in protests, rallies and marches since the Trump administration took power on January 20, 2017. As the Resist movement continues to grow, an array of events take place across the country. Nowhere is this more visible than in Washington, DC. Fraught with fear, uncertainty and deep mistrust, this is a critical time in U.S. history. There is a sense that it is up to the people to create change; illustrated in the fact that in large numbers they continue to show up and take a stand against the policies of the current administration. This body of photographs is comprised from a number of different events and gatherings that have taken place since the inauguration.

The title of this project is a play on Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's attempt to silence Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren on the floor of the Senate as she strongly denounced Trump's choice of Jeff Sessions for U.S. Attorney General. McConnell stated after his rebuke, "She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted." The resistance in all its variations is a constant and present movement, the likes we have not seen against a sitting U.S. president. The people persist daily in showing their rejection of xenophobic, racist and anti-human rights policies of the current administration.

I was compelled to photograph the Resist movement while attending the Women’s March on January 21, the day after the presidential inauguration. As I made my way through the densely packed crowds, it was clear that something significant was taking shape. The following day it was reported that over 500,000 people descended on Washington, DC in support of the values of the march. I decided then that I would photograph this movement as much as I could. It continues to be powerful and moving to be a witness to those who consciously make the decision to resist. In light of the attacks on the fundamental rights of the people, I realized it was important to give voice to those I was photographing by asking them three questions: their name, where they were from and why they were taking part at a given event. My desire is that these portraits not only act as historical documents of this time in U.S. history, but that they illustrate the diversity of the American people and why they believe it is necessary to resist.

A woman is seen at the first Anti Immigration Ban rally in front of the White House on Saturday, January 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. Thousands gathered to protest Trump’s executive order banning immigration by refugees and foreign nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries into the United States. Demonstrators marched from the White House to the U.S. Capitol chanting “Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here!”

A crowd is seen at the first Anti Immigration Ban rally in front of the White House on Saturday, January 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. Thousands gathered to protest Trump’s executive order banning immigration by refugees and foreign nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries into the United States. Demonstrators marched from the White House to the U.S. Capitol chanting “Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here!”

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), right, speaks at the first Anti Immigration Ban rally in front of the White House in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, January 29, 2017. Thousands rallied in protest against Trump’s executive order banning immigration by refugees and foreign nationals from seven mainly Muslim countries into the United States. Thousands demonstrated and marched from the White House to the U.S. Capitol chanting “No hate, no fear, refugees are welcome here!”

A woman is seen holding a homemade poster at the first-ever Women’s March on Washington on Saturday, January 21, 2017. It is estimated that over 500,000 marched, and well over 1 million people world-wide. People came together to proclaim unity and to stand firm on the principles of human rights. “Women’s Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Women’s Rights.”

Serena Williams, originally from Seattle, WA but now living in the District, is seen with her poster at the March for Our Lives Rally on Saturday, March 24, 2018. She had this to say, “I’m here because this has always been something very important to me. My dad is actually from England, and I work in International Affairs and it’s just completely unfathomable to me the way that this country cannot wake. And to see something that is so… it should be so clear. It should be easier than this. And I’m not optimistic for change at the same time. I think we have a duty to be here, and to make our voices heard. So that’s why I’m here.”

March For Our Lives is a student-led movement to end gun violence in the United States. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Washington, DC to demand that peoples’ lives and safety become a priority and to put an end to gun violence in communities and schools immediately. Over 800 sibling marches took place across the U.S. and internationally.

Brenda Whitebull, from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, marches in the Protectors of Justice contingency in the frontline of the Peoples Climate March in Washington, DC on Saturday, April 29, 2017. When asked why she was attending the march she said, “I’m here to continue to make a change, to fight for our rights as human beings. To fight for Unchi Maka, Grandmother Earth. She has a voice, and we are her human voice. We have to continue because she has a spirit, just like our water, our plants. Everybody has a spirit. Everything has a spirit on this land. And we have to remember that, and those spirits are what goes in to our bodies whether it be food or water.” The Peoples Climate March took place on the 100th day of Donald Trump’s presidency. Marchers surrounded the White House in a silent sit-in to recognize the damage caused by the Trump administration over the last 100 days.

Wes Givens of Plumerville, AR is seen holding up part of a large Rainbow Flag at the rally following the Equality March for Unity and Pride on Sunday, June 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. After the flag was folded Wes walked up to me and shared the following, “I was a plaintiff from Arkansas. I was on the the Supreme Court steps the day of the hearing. And on the steps the day of the ruling.” He is referring to the Supreme Court ruling of Obergefell v. Hodges on marriage equality. When asked why he was there at the march and rally he said, “Because equality. I was actually the first plaintiff to get a divorce. And so I’m talking for don’t stay in an abusive marriage. If you have trouble, even though you’re gay, you can start over. I’m 55 and my husband ran off with a man 15 years younger, and I thought my world was over. And I turned it around!” Wes also shared that he’s a certified cowboy.
The Equality March for Unity & Pride is a grassroots movement which seeks to mobilize the diverse LGBTQ+ communities to peacefully and clearly address concerns about the current political landscapes and how it is contributing to the persecution and discrimination of LGBTQ+ individuals.

A vast crowd is seen at The Women's March in Washington, DC on Saturday, January 21, 2017. The day after Donald Trump's inauguration as 45th U.S. president it is estimated that at least 500,000 people marched in The Women’s March on Washington, and 1 million people world-wide. People came together to proclaim unity and to stand firm on the principles of human rights. “Women’s Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Women’s Rights.”

Becky, from Maryland, chants in protest at the March for Truth DC rally held on the National Mall on Saturday, June 3, 2017 in Washington, DC. When asked why she attended the protest she said, “I’m in support of this because I’m not in support of him. Or the GOP. They’re traitors.” This was Becky’s first protest.
The aim of the protest is to raise the voices of the people and let elected leaders know that Americans want answers. Collectively people rise together and call for a fair and impartial investigation, for the pursuit of truth, and for the restoration of faith in the electoral system and the Office of the Presidency. The goals of the protest are four-fold: An independent commission must be established, and Congressional investigations should be properly resourced and pursued free of partisan interests; As much information should be made available to the public as possible, and as soon as possible; Congress should require Donald Trump to release his tax returns to clarify his business interests and obligations to any foreign entity; If crimes were committed or if collusion is discovered, it must be prosecuted.

A woman holds a US flag at the first Anti Immigration Ban march on Saturday, January 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. Thousands of people marched from the White House to the U.S. Capitol to protest Trump’s executive order banning immigration by refugees and foreign nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries into the United States.

A woman is seen at the first-ever Women’s March on Washington on Saturday, January 21, 2017. It is estimated that over 500,000 marched, and well over 1 million people world-wide. People came together to proclaim unity and to stand firm on the principles of human rights. “Women’s Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Women’s Rights.”

A woman is seen in a Statue of Liberty costume at the first-ever Women’s March on Washington on Saturday, January 21, 2017. It is estimated that over 500,000 marched in today’s march, and well over 1 million people world-wide. People came together to proclaim unity and to stand firm on the principles of human rights. “Women’s Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Women’s Rights.”

Maddie Smith, from Maryland, is seen at the anniversary of the Women’s March on Saturday, January 20, 2018 in Washington, DC. I photographed her earlier in 2017 at the March for Truth DC, so it was a great surprise to run in to her in such a large gathering. I asked her why she came to this event and she offered, “Because I support democracy, the rule of law and everything that Lady Liberty stands for.” Thousands of people gathered at the Lincoln Memorial for the anniversary of the Women’s March DC, and for March on the Polls with the goal of advancing peaceful and positive progress in communities across the country, and ensuring all women and their allies persist in civic and political roles moving into 2018. Sister marches took place around the country and around the world.

A man listens to speakers at the first-ever Women’s March on Washington on Saturday, January 21, 2017. It is estimated that over 500,000 marched, and well over 1 million people world-wide. People came together to proclaim unity and to stand firm on the principles of human rights. “Women’s Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Women’s Rights.”

Kevin Warren of Indianapolis, IN is seen from behind holding his poster as he listens to speakers at the rally following the Equality March for Unity and Pride on Sunday, June 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. I asked him why he attended the march and he replied, “Well, we’re here to obviously march on Washington, and we’re representing Indiana. We started a political action committee two years ago called Pence Must Go. This is just part of it and we’re bringing it to DC.”

Sue Kozel, a nurse from Annapolis, MD, flies the Earth Day flag at the March for Science on the National Mall on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, 2017 in Washington, DC. When asked why she attended the march her response was “I’m here for the planet, just for the planet. We gotta take care of her, that’s for sure. I too am an athlete for the earth, a cheerleader. You have to take care of her.”

Thousands gathered in the nation’s capital as scientists and science supporters across the world participate in the first-ever global march for science. More than 600 locations world-wide participated in this event.

Students from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe are seen as they lead the way at the Native Nations March in Washington, DC on Friday, March 10, 2017. The march organizers call on all peoples to stand in solidarity with indigenous rights. Indigenous Rights mean Climate Justice. Indigenous Rights protect water, air, and land. Indigenous Rights go hand in hand with improved human rights for black and brown communities.

David Barrows of Washington, DC is seen in front of the White House at an emergency rally wearing a Trump mask on Thursday, June 1, 2017. When asked what he was doing there he said, “I’m here to try to do what I can to save our planet from their plans of destruction. There’s no way the planet is going to survive all this greed and war, all these bombs falling, all this exploitation of tar sands, all the ruination of Indian lands and all the rest of it. So it’s up to the people to stand up to tyrannical government. We have a better chance here than anybody else, so we need to do it.”

Two hours after Trump announced the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, people gathered at the White House for an emergency rally to protest this decision. The Paris Agreement was signed by 196 countries. The US, along with Nicaragua and Syria, did not sign. Climate change is considered by many the planets’ biggest issue with frontline communities being the most affected. Frontline communities are the poor, communities of color and Indigenous people.

Joe Bates, left, and his son Matthew from Fairfax, VA are seen from behind at the March for Truth DC rally held on the National Mall on Saturday, June 3, 2017 in Washington, DC. “I’m here because Trump is the most despicable president we’ve ever had in the history of the United States. And I think we the people need to show that we’re not going to stand for it,” offered Joe.

People seen at the March for Our Lives Rally on Saturday, March 24, 2018 in Washington, DC. March For Our Lives is a student-led movement to end gun violence in the United States. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Washington, DC to demand that peoples’ lives and safety become a priority and to put an end to gun violence in communities and schools immediately. Over 800 sibling marches took place across the U.S. and internationally.

Mike Myers of Arlington, VA is seen at the March for Science on the National Mall on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, 2017 in Washington, DC. He attended the march “to support non-partisan research and to keep politics out of the process of discovery.” Mike has worked in government funded research, most recently with DARPA on the engineering side. He joins thousands who have gathered in the nation’s capital with scientists and science supporters across the world who are participating in the first-ever global march for science. More than 600 locations world-wide held March for Science events.

Danielle May, left, and her sister Hailey May, center, are seen as they listen to speakers at the March for Truth DC rally held on the National Mall on Saturday, June 3, 2017 in Washington, DC. The sisters came from New York City to attend the protest. Danielle spoke for both herself and her sister offering, “We are here because we have seen an assault on our institutions since the election. We are here to find out the truth, not necessarily just Russia meddling into our elections, but also every institution we’ve seen so far with the appointments in the Trump administration, including our Attorney General Jeff Sessions, including the other appointees to national security and other matters. We think that investigations are warranted and that whatever information is uncovered needs to be clearly expressed to every American citizen. This can no longer be behind closed doors. We all need to know.”

Marla Mahkimetas, center, a member of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, is seen marching in the Protectors of Justice contingency at the Peoples Climate March in Washington, DC on Saturday, April 29, 2017. She and her people are fighting the Back 40 proposed open pit mine on the border of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. “We are here to teach non-indigenous people about the connection to our earth and water,” she said. “And with that connection, if you know that connection, as indigenous people that is our innate knowing, and our innate responsibility to teach that. People with that connection will no longer destroy the earth or the water.” The Peoples Climate March took place on the 100th day of Donald Trump’s presidency. Marchers surrounded the White House in a silent sit-in to recognize the damage caused by the Trump administration over the last 100 days.

A woman is seen making photographs with her cell phone at The Women's March in Washington, DC on Saturday, January 21, 2017. The day after Donald Trump's inauguration as 45th U.S. president it is estimated that at least 500,000 people marched in The Women’s March on Washington, and 1 million people world-wide. People came together to proclaim unity and to stand firm on the principles of human rights. “Women’s Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Women’s Rights.”

Phil Little Thunder, a traditional dancer and indigenous activist of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, dances at the Tipi Camp near the Washington Monument following the Native Nations March in Washington, DC on Friday, March 10, 2017.

Maddie Smith of Maryland, center, is seen at the March for Truth DC rally held on the National Mall on Saturday, June 3, 2017 in Washington, DC. When asked why she attended the protest she said simply, “I’m pro-Truth.” Her sign, written in both Russian and English, states "Even My Cat Wants the Truth."

Jennifer Brinkerhoff from Maryland is seen at the anniversary of the Women’s March on Saturday, January 20, 2018 in Washington, DC. She had this to share about why she was in attendance at the march, “I’m here today because this is such an important time in the history of our country, not just for women’s rights but for all rights. I’m wearing a scarf of the American flag that I got handed last year at this march. And I’m wearing it because now more than ever we also need to be proud of our country, and to be proud that we are able to do what we are doing here today. So in solidarity with those 'shit-hole' countries, we have rights, we need to exercise them and we need to embrace everyone.”

Ross, of the Washington, DC area, is seen at the July 4th White House Flash Mob in front of the White House on Tuesday, July 4, 2017. He had the following to share when asked why he took part in this event, “I feel very strongly about the presidency being degraded by Donald Trump. He’s putting not just any political party, affiliation, or any particular group of people at risk, but he is, it’s everyone. All Americans should be concerned about the way things are headed. Just the un-presidential nature of his administration and… I could go on. You can look up what he’s done. Everyone knows. So, yeah, that’s why I’m here. And it’s Independence Day, so I thought it was an appropriate time to be out here.” Participants in the July 4th Flash Mob sang “Do You Hear The People Sing” from Les Miserable as a reminder to Trump that every day the resistance grows stronger, and that the people demand his impeachment.

Tamara Lee, from NYC, is seen at the Women’s March From #NRA2DOJ rally at the National Rifle Association Headquarters in Fairfax, VA on Friday, July 14, 2017. “I am … doing a research project on The Gathering for Justice, which is the umbrella organization that houses the Women’s March, also the Justice League New York. And I think the important thing is that we have to protect the First Amendment rights to be out here, so when we have a propaganda that labels us as not peaceful. This is a tactic that we’ve seen before and we do the same thing we did then, which is to stand peacefully and say who we are. Right? So we’re doing that. Also there is a problem in the country with the Second Amendment not being applied equally to black and brown folks. And we would like the NRA, if they are the organization that they say they are, to actually stand up for the rights of lawfully owning gun owners who are black and brown. So this is also about Philando Castile, which brings us to a larger issue. These are the intersectional issues that we’re looking at where race and equality and women’s rights, they’re all tied together. … And so if we can’t stand and resist this government peacefully then we don’t have first amendment rights. If we don’t have first amendment rights, you don’t have second amendment rights. And if we don’t have fourteenth amendment rights what are we here for? So that’s why I’m here.”
The Women’s March from #NRA2DOJ is a demonstration against the NRA taking no action in response to the Philando Castile trial verdict. Following the rally demonstrators marched 18 miles from the NRA to the Department of Justice in Washington, DC.

Karen Bralove, of Bethesda, MD, is seen in front of a long banner illustrating the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting at the Women’s March From #NRA2DOJ rally in front of the National Rifle Association Headquarters in Fairfax, VA on Friday, July 14, 2017. I have seen Karen, who is normally seen with her bull horn, at all of the events I have photographed since starting this project. This is the first time I had a chance to chat with her. The following is what she had to say on why she was at this event: “It is such a profoundly deep place for me. I am so enraged at the lack of decency. I am so enraged at the man and people in the White House. And now especially we’re here because of lax gun laws. And it is insane and makes no sense. I come with my bull horn because literally can’t help myself. I am just kind of driven to exercising my right to say this is not right. The Brady Bill should have been passed decades ago. Ninety-one people a day are killed with a gun. Dear gun owners we’re not trying to confiscate your guns, even though Donny said that in the campaign. He said, ‘they are trying to take away your guns.’ Sorry, we’re not doing that. We just want to register people. And just wondering why you think you need machine guns, AKs whatever they are, not sure why we need that for hunting and practicing. So that’s my story. I am enraged very deep down inside of me.”

Amineh Saffi from Arlington, VA is seen at the Muslim/Refugee Ban: A Year of Resistance rally on Saturday, January 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. She joined others in protest and said, “I am half Syrian and half French, and came to the United States at age of 10 in 2002. And now I am a US citizen. I am here today because I think that the Muslim ban and the refugee ban are against what constitutes America. We are a nation that was founded on the principle that people should be able to be free from persecution, and be able to practice their religion freely. And that nobody’s religion and ethnicity or nationality should matter in whether they’re respected in this country, and whether they get their human rights.” Hundreds gathered at the White House to stand in solidarity and protest the one-year anniversary of the first Muslim and Refugee Ban by the Trump administration.

Mark Vosburgh from North Potomac, MD is seen at the Muslim/Refugee Ban: A Year of Resistance rally on Saturday, January 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. He joined others at the rally and said, “I’m here because I’m protesting the President of the United States. His mysoginistic, impulsive, spiteful, zenophobic, racist, scheming presidency. And I’m urging for an impeachment.”Hundreds gathered at the White House to stand in solidarity and protest the one-year anniversary of the first Muslim and Refugee Ban by the Trump administration.

Khiyali K.P., a 14 year old high school student from Bel Air, MD is seen at the Muslim/Refugee Ban: A Year of Resistance rally on Saturday, January 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. She joined others in protest and said, “Well if the president does things that he is not supposed to and that warrant impeachment we clearly have to impeach him. So I am here to encourage that.” Hundreds gathered at the White House to stand in solidarity and protest the one-year anniversary of the first Muslim and Refugee Ban by the Trump administration.

Protestors present a large “NARCISSIST” sign on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the anniversary rally of the Women’s March on Saturday, January 20, 2018 in Washington, DC. Thousands of people gathered with the goal of advancing peaceful and positive progress in communities across the country, and ensuring all women and their allies persist in civic and political roles moving into 2018. Sister marches took place around the country and around the world.

Josie Kunkle-Schoen, 15, from Madison, WI, attended the March for Our Lives Rally on Saturday, March 24, 2018 in Washington, DC. She offered the following, “I’m here because I think that… it’s really scary, honestly… having dreams about having your school shot up and stuff is really scary and things are so accessible and it needs to be changed. There needs to be change.” March For Our Lives is a student-led movement to end gun violence in the United States. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Washington, DC to demand that peoples’ lives and safety become a priority and to put an end to gun violence in communities and schools immediately. Over 800 sibling marches took place across the U.S. and internationally.

Kestrel Coffee, a 19 year old college student from Falls Church, VA, takes part in the March for Our Lives Rally on Saturday, March 24, 2018 in Washington, DC. She had this to say, “I’m a student. You know, I’m a college student, but I’m a student. It breaks my heart every single time. I want to be an educator, and I want to be an influencer and I feel like there’s no way we can change the world unless we all come together and work hard at it. I mean, this is the only way to get things done. And, you know, I feel absolutely honored to be able to take part. And as a young person I feel like it’s so easy to be overlooked but no more.” March For Our Lives is a student-led movement to end gun violence in the United States. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Washington, DC to demand that peoples’ lives and safety become a priority and to put an end to gun violence in communities and schools immediately. Over 800 sibling marches took place across the U.S. and internationally.

Alex Sharkey of NYC (L), Olivia Kruger of NYC, and Matthew Nolan of DC (R), college students attending the University of Pittsburgh are seen listening to speakers at the March for Our Lives Rally on Saturday, March 24, 2018 in Washington, DC. I asked them each why they came to the rally. This is what they shared:

Alex: “I’m here to show my support, make a change, show that the people want change and that there needs to be something done.”

Olivia: “It’s just been too long and I don’t know… I can’t turn on the news anymore….” trailing off as she became emotional.

Matthew: “I think people like to advertise these shootings as a new thing. And thoughts and prayers go out but it’s not new. It’s something that our generation has been defined as. We’re freshman in college. We’re all 18 years old. This has been a constant thing in our lives, and it’s just something that needs to stop. I want to do whatever I can as an 18 year old… I mean these high school students down in Florida are doing amazing things. And I want to be doing stuff like that. That’s why I’m here, you know. I have to do something to make myself feel like I’m alive, you know. It’s very difficult to sit back and watch and that’s why I’m here.”

March For Our Lives is a student-led movement to end gun violence in the United States. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Washington, DC to demand that peoples’ lives and safety become a priority and to put an end to gun violence in communities and schools immediately. Over 800 sibling marches took place across the U.S. and internationally.

Ty’Shanna Johnson, a high school student from Washington, DC is seen listening to speakers at the March for Our Lives Rally on Saturday, March 24, 2018 in Washington, DC. She shared the following with me, “I’m here to help as much as I can. I hope to stop gun violence, because I grew up in a neighborhood where I witnessed people dying and all that. I lost a few friends. I lost my best friend. Lost everybody that I really was close to. I don’t want everybody else to go through that. So I’m here to support as much as I can.”

March For Our Lives is a student-led movement to end gun violence in the United States. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Washington, DC to demand that peoples’ lives and safety become a priority and to put an end to gun violence in communities and schools immediately. Over 800 sibling marches took place across the U.S. and internationally.