STOP POACHING NOW! ~ Protesting against the hunting of Elephants and Rhinos for ivory in China

Yesterday (Oct 2), we traveled to Koreatown to stand before the Chinese Consulate in attempt to urge Xi Jinping to make ivory hunting illegal, as he pledged he would. “Show us your timeline!” They cried. When we arrived, many citizens gathered to discuss the ideals of the cause and how irate they were that humans could be so blind and dismissive of the torture these poor animals are going through. “EXTINCTION 2025!” A poster read.

“Picture time!” Shouted the organizer, prompting the media and other cameramen to take as many shots as they needed. This process took a while so I utilized the time winding in and out of the crowd taking pictures of people with their game faces on, outfits that honored the tortured animals, and a short video of a song a woman sang and (I presume) wrote to commemorate the passing of these poor animals.

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I went back and forth between my executive producer and the crowd to make sure I was at hand if she needed me for filming COTS (citizens on the street) for our documentary, Outdated Democracy (ODD, for short). We came for that reason, though my curiosity for the event at hand drew most of my attention. Trying to keep it short, the question of the day for our COTS was, “Why do you think most Americans don’t vote?” With another matter at hand, the citizens were not as engaged as we’d hoped and most of their answers were vague and common.

The march began. By the time we got to the busy street of Wilshire Ave., the chants and songs began again. “Stop poaching now!” Was the main go-to chant/phrase that shook the school kids above us in a classroom. The school boys cheered us on as we marched by, proud that we were heard by someone. A great sense of instant gratification. All this time, police were patrolling the block to make sure we didn’t disrupt the other citizens on the streets and sidewalks. Pictures of angry cops were the target of many protesters to prove that rebels rule, a chance to show the world no one would get in their way.

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When we arrived back after our block of marching and otherwise, the organizers staged a die-in. It was explained to me that a ‘die-in’ is where the protesters lie on the street [in front of the Chinese Consulate building] and pretend to be dead in honor, in this case, of the elephants and rhinos that have suffered this tragic fate. A minute of silence ensued. Time for myself and my camera to jump in one last time. I was filmed saying a dead elephant’s name for, I presume, a promo video for this event and future events this weekend.

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Thanks for reading!

~R

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