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THESE STUDENTS ARE SICK AND TIRED OF GUN VIOLENCE: “That could be me, my friends, my family.”

Originally published in The Nation on April 26, 2018.

According to an investigative report published by the Washington Post, in the 19 years following the Colombine High School Massacre, more than 210,000 students in 213 schools have experienced gun violence, at least 131 children, educators and other people have been killed in assaults, and another 273 have been injured. In 2018 alone, there have been 13 school shootings. 

On the anniversary of this horrific tragedy, April 20, 2018, high schoolers from across the nation walked out of their classes to take a stand against gun violence. I had the amazing opportunity to hang out with kids from all over New York City who converged for a rally in Washington Square Park—hearing first-hand their fears, concerns and aspirations. This was a heartwarming and sobering experience. 


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WHO ACTUALLY BENEFITS FROM MEALS ON WHEELS? And why did the Trump administration think it was a good idea to cut funding for these vital programs?

Originally published in The Nation on March 30, 2018.

My grandmother Mimi lived off a dirt road in a village 20 miles south of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her family homesteaded to New Mexico in the early 1900s and she survived the Great Depression, two world wars (one of which she lost a son), the Korean War, the Vietnam Conflict, and the Gulf War. She used to compose the most beautiful quilts for the state fair, of which she always took home a ribbon. Her yard overflowed with rose bushes of every color and she tended to them with loving care. Mimi was an independent, self-sufficient woman hardened by time and experience. But after my grandfather’s Alzheimer's became too much for her to manage, he was placed in a home and she was then alone. Meals on Wheels volunteers paid her a visit everyday for 15 years, bringing her a hot meal, companionship and a sense of security that someone would be there to check on her well-being, god forbid something were to happen. Mimi died in her home, in hospice, at the age of 91 in May of 1997.


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SINCE STANDING ROCK, 56 BILLS HAVE BEEN INTRODUCED IN 30 STATES TO RESTRICT PROTESTS:
In the year since the last activists were evicted, the crackdown on journalists and activists has only intensified.

Originally published in The Nation on February 16, 2018.

In March 2017, I returned from a month-long, self-funded embed in Standing Rock where I was living and documenting the main resistance camp of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, just north of Cannon Ball, North Dakota. On Feb 23, 2017, law enforcement arrived with snipers situated on the roofs of Humvees, dressed in camouflage and armed with automatic weapons to systematically clear the camp. I was arrested while covering the militarized raid that took place there, moments after the image (above) of the two Water Protectors praying near the Sacred Fire - with weapons aimed at their heads, point-blank range - was made.

In addition, my camera, lenses, audio recorder, memory cards and cell phone were confiscated as evidence. With perseverance and support from NPPA's General Counsel Mickey Osterreicher and Matt E Kelley, a media lawyer from DC, along with many advocacy groups including the National Press Photographers Association, Committee to Protect Journalists, Native American Journalists Association, Online News Association, The Society of Professional Journalist  and State Senator Tim Mathern, I managed to get all of my gear back (data intact) literally hours before jumping on a plane back to NYC. I was charged with “Physical Obstruction of a Government Function,” which is a Class A Misdemeanor offense carrying a sentence of up to one year in jail and/or $3k fine. My trial is scheduled for July 27, 2018.