[By Veronica Lawlor in New York City, USA] In the U.S., the days since the American presidential inauguration have been busy times for urban sketchers. Every day it seems that the new president signs another executive order, or nominates another contentious person for cabinet or court, and protests follow. Along with many of my fellow urban sketchers, I have been documenting the protests and trying to keep up. This is a blog about urban sketching, so I don't want to get too political here, but I will say that I have not been opposed to any of the issues for which we march as I have been drawing. Following are a few reportage illustrations from these events.
(To keep from flooding this blog, I am going to post a few images from several events, with links to my personal blog for anyone who would like to see more.)
On Saturday January 21, the day after President Trump's inauguration, 500,000 women and allies marched in Washington DC in protest. The sea of pink hats and passionate voices flooded Independence Avenue from the Capitol building on, and was echoed in marches across the country and around the world. It was the largest demonstration in United States history. (See my full post HERE.)
Texas women mixed with Afghanies, in a peaceful and hopeful call for unity and protection of American ideals. Halfway through the week, those ideals were tested, and there was an emergency rally in Washington Square Park to support free immigration. No ban, no wall! was the cry. (I posted a few drawings from that demonstration on USK and HERE.)
Despite the protests in NYC and elsewhere, a few days later, the president signed executive orders calling for a 90 day travel ban on visitors from seven Muslim majority countries to the US, and an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees seeking asylum here. The response was swift: airports across the US were filled with demonstrators, calling upon the administration to release those travelers held there in limbo, as they had been traveling at the exact moment the ink dried on the order. On Sunday, January 29th, there was a march and rally titled: We Will End the Refugee and Muslim Ban!
In the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, New Yorkers gathered to support their immigrant population:
And marched together...
In between documenting these protests, I found some time to enjoy the diversity of New York City, at the traditional celebration in Chinatown for the lunar New Year.
For me this year, the party in Chinatown meant so much more. It was not only a New Year's celebration, but a celebration of American immigrants of all nationalities. ( More on that HERE.)
I feel (and fear) that there will be many more demonstrations and rallies to document in the weeks to come. It is a contentious time here in the United States, and times like these demand to be recorded.