Photographing the Largest Protest in Puerto Rican History

Last week, somewhere between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Puerto Ricans marched along the largest highway on the island in protest against the governor Ricardo Rossello, and I was there. 

A week before, I hadn't head anything about these protests but I happened to stumble upon one outside of the governor's mansion in Old San Juan. I ended up sitting down at a restaurant nearby and I spoke to the waitress about the situation. Apparently, officials affiliated with Rossello had been charged with immoral/illegal use of government funds during the Hurricane Maria recovery. Text messages were then leaked with Rossello speaking with these individuals and speaking poorly of women, gays, and those who died in the hurricane. 

Although there is still a debate about whether Rossello himself did anything illegal, the leaked texts were the last straw to the majority of Puerto Ricans, and they wanted him gone. Puerto Rican's protested for 10 days around the island and in many places around the world until they decided to march along the largest highway on the island on Monday, July 22nd. 

I met up with Robert Moreno, and we went into the massive crowds together to document the event. Samyang sponsored the video above and asked that I shoot images with their Sony FE mount 45mm f/1.8. The lens was great but because I was trying to capture both video and stills, none of my pictures are particularly noteworthy. Luckily, other Puerto Rican photographers at this protest and others were able to capture some incredible pictures. These photographers deserve to have their work seen so I filmed a second video showcasing the best protest photos I had seen. 

Check out the photographer's portfolios below:
Abdiel Colberg
Alex Yavier
Andres Vila
Marcos Caballero
Ramón W Borges
Rolo Photo
Vidal Cruz

Big thanks to Samyang for sponsoring both of these videos. If you're looking for a fast, standard, prime lens for your Sony mirrorless camera, check out their 45mm f/1.8

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1 Comment

John Raison's picture

This is not about offensive texts. They were merely the straw that broke the camel’s back after decades of mismanagement and corruption drove PR into a ditch.

Now that it’s become apparent that using the hurricane as an excuse to bail them out of their preexisting economic catastrophe isn’t going to work, the population is ready to metaphorically string up their local politicians.