In a photo that is being declared as “legendary” by some, a Black Lives Matter photo is being compared to the civil unrest that killed 3,000 in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
The Black Lives Matter Movement’s Tiananmen Square Moment https://t.co/dKkhDBvpk1
— MzLadyEbony (@MzLadyEbony) July 11, 2016
The photo, taken by Jonathan Bachman of Reuters, shows a woman, her face calm but full of determination, standing in front of a team of police that seem to be in a hurry. The Black Lives Matter protester was apparently grabbed by police, similar to how “Tank Man” was grabbed in that legendary Tiananmen Square photo, but not much seems to be known about her, according to BBC.
Daily Mail reports that the woman has been identified as Iesha Evans, a 28-year-old New York resident employed as a nurse. She decided to go to Baton Rouge to participate in the protests there as a way of fighting for a better future for her five-year-old son. Her best friend Natasha Haynes had nothing but good to say about Evans, a first-time Black Lives Matter protester now being compared to the Tiananmen Square protester “Tank Man.”‘
“She’s a vision with a beautiful heart and peaceful stance in life,” Haynes said. “I’ve known her for 20 years. She was the maid of honor at my wedding. I’m a god-mother to her son. She’s everything to me and I’m just happy she’s safe, not hurt and – most importantly – happy that she got up and did something about injustices here in the States.”
— rahaeli (@rahaeli) July 11, 2016
Of the Black Lives Matter protester that is now being compared to Tiananmen Square’s “Tank Man,” Bachman, the photographer behind the image, said that the image was reflective of the nature of the protests in Baton Rouge, according to On Breaking.
“It wasn’t very violent,” Bachman said of the moment he took the shot. “She didn’t say anything. She didn’t resist, and the police didn’t drag her off. It’s representative of the peaceful demonstrations that have been going on down here. I understand that officers have been hurt in other cities, but down here it’s remained peaceful.”
It is believed that Evans was charged with obstruction of a highway, though nothing official has been released thus far as to what she has been charged with. She has been recovering in her hotel room following her release from jail.
The Black Lives Matter protester now being compared to the Tiananmen Square protester “Tank Man” said that while the arrest and processing was somewhat rough, there was an officer who ensured that all protesters being held were treated well while being held.
Evans also noted that she was grateful for the outpouring of concern she’d seen since the image of her confronting police in riot gear was released.
“I just need you people to know,” she said. “I appreciate the well wishes and love, but this is the work of God. I am a vessel! Glory to the most high! I’m glad I’m alive and safe. And that there were no casualties that I have witnessed first hand.”
The Black Lives Matter photo now being compared to the iconic Tiananmen Square “Tank Man” photo has resulted in something of an outcry online. There are some social media users who have said that there is no way the Black Lives Matter protester should be compared to the Tiananmen Square protester of 27 years ago.
— One-Pun Man (@blackbird7958) July 11, 2016
@gussilber Yip. Except the Tank Man was in real danger.
— Jonathan Witt (@Jonathan_Witt) July 10, 2016
Regardless of whether you think that the Black Lives Matter photo should be compared to the iconic Tiananmen Square image, the sight of Evans, looking calm and graceful, is incredibly moving. While she had been detained for her role in the protest, she is evidence that it is possible for protesters to be engaged in a peaceful protest to support something they believe in.
[Photo by Max Becherer/AP Images]