Portraits of Occupy Wall Street Protesters

Pockets, 19, From Washington D.C.

The widely covered peaceful protest, known as Occupy Wall Street, has been ongoing at New York's Zuccoti Park for over a month now. Like many people across the nation, photographer Eddie McShane wanted to get a firsthand look at the protest and the people putting their time and energy into this historic demonstration.

Despite living in New York City, the photographer hadn't visited the site of the protest until October 11, 2011. What he found was people, young and old, from all walks of life who had gathered to be heard. He invited these activists into a portable studio he had set up to take formal portraits without any distractions. McShane's photo series, entitled “The Occupiers,” is a collection of these portraits from his visit on October 11th and 14th.

McShane succinctly explains his takeaway:

“What I learned is that these people are not wackos, anarchists, or indigents. They are overwhelmingly working and middle class people of all backgrounds who feel that their government has failed them and does not represent their interests. They are there to protest corruption, not to tear the rich from their penthouses and drag them down in to the streets. They just want the basic promise of America; that everyone has a fair chance to live with opportunity and dignity. These people are your friends and neighbors, their children, and your own. They are Americans, they are Patriots, and they have a right to be heard.”

Travis, 32, From San Francisco, California

Chris, 47, From New York. Chris is handing out these purple headbands that represent all the colors of the American Flag when they are mixed together.

Guy, 18, From New York. He has been at The Occupation since day one.

Fetzer Mills, 51, From Waitsboro, North Carolina. Military Veteran, Arabic Linguist.

Tom, From Hastings, Michigan

Rebecca, 63, From San Francisco, California

Johnny Sagan, 31, From Brooklyn, Art Gallerist

Bri, 26 From Detroit, and Kevin, 25, From St. Louis, Missouri

Heidi, From New York City, Subway Busker

Ethan, 78, From Lansing, Michigan.

Dia, 21, From North Carolina

Michael, 24, from Maryland, living in Astoria, Queens

Nathan, 34, From Vermont, Lives In New York City. He is an attourney but cannot find work.

Reverend Ralph, 45, From Queens, New York

Yossi, 19, From London, UK

Daniel, 21, From Brooklyn. Daniel is expecting a child in a few months. He is at OWS because he wants to be able to provide better when the child comes.

Joe, 50, and his son Nicholas

Phaedrus, 40, From Pennsylvania, and Demetrius, 33, From The Bronx

Eddie McShane's website and Flickr


Pinar Noorata is the Managing Editor at My Modern Met. She is a writer, editor, and content creator based in Brooklyn, NY. She earned her BA in Film and Media Studies from CUNY Hunter College and is an alumni of the Center for Arts Education’s Career Development Program in NYC. She has worked at major TV, film, and publishing companies as well as other independent media businesses. When she isn’t writing, editing, or creating videos herself, Pinar enjoys watching movies, reading, crafting, drawing, and volunteering at her local animal shelter.
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