Exercising the First Amendment on the 4th of July

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

When I rolled over in my bed one morning 10 years ago, I didn’t see this coming. It was summer and I was done with school for the moment. Aside from, ‘What am I going to do with the rest of my life?’, my thought was ‘What’s there to eat?’

In passing, I’d met a vegetarian and it weighed heavily on my mind, ‘How did they make it work?’ I’d tried being vegetarian when I was around 11 or 12. It didn’t stick then, but it was something I couldn’t shake.

I debated going this morning. I’d been invited to a few protests and encouraged to leaflet in the last year or so. ‘Not my thing,’ I said with a shrug…if I even bothered giving a reason at all. If not an activist, with all the stigma it denotes, it’s up my alley to be a bystander, to chronicle events from the sideline.

With my camera in tow, and a beach towel, I told myself I was going to take a few photos and maybe lounge on the beach of Coney Island. Approaching, I snapped a few pictures, but before I knew it, I was asking for a sign.

Organized by Mercy for Animals, the peaceful assembly was to raise awareness about the plight of farmed animals in response to Nathan’s hot dog eating contest.

Find more pictures on my Facebook!

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