As the “Occupy Wall Street” movement gains steam, we are seeing all kinds of signs and symbols indicating “there’s something happening here.” Photographer M. Scott Brauer captured one of those indicators in Boston Wednesday. Whereas the Tea Party has had a perceptual lock on American political activism since 2009, with the Colonial Gadsden flag as their self-claimed flag, calling card and wallpaper, the fact a progressive activist would unfurl it in front of this high-profile building in the Boston Financial District filled with major bank, brokerage and investment outfits — in effect, taking it back from the libertarian and conservative right — provides a dramatic statement.
Of course, anybody could get their hands on another “don’t tread on me.” The fact that this progressive groundswell is almost a month old now, however, is expanding at the rate it is, and is starting to draw analogies to the Tea Party phenomenon and even the Arab Spring, invests this imagery, at this point-in-time, with a sense of a rebalancing of the political scales. On top of that, it’s a dramatic warning shot that all political and cultural conventional thinking will be contested.
PHOTOGRAPH by M. Scott Brauer/dvafoto.