3493 And Counting

Submitted to Democracy
Uploaded 31 Jul 2008 — 5 favorites
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© David Lay
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

“I’ve gotten a lot of middle fingers. “The first one was from a North Olmsted police officer.”

Lakewood, Ohio resident Michael Pomerantz has gotten reactions from hugs to shouted obscenities, all because of the count of Americans dead in Iraq he keeps on the back of his van.

Everywhere he goes, whether the Cleveland Metroparks where he walks his dog in the morning, or traveling outside of Lakewood to the art fairs where he shows his paintings, the body count attracts attention. He has been interviewed by news outlets, hugged by little old ladies and bitterly confronted by complete strangers.

“As I was watching the numbers reach 500 then 700 and 800, I thought, that’s a lot of people,” he said. “We lost 1500 in the first Iraqi war and many people thought it would be the same amount. So I thought, what would be the best way to draw attention to that? Rather than an angry sign with a blatantly political message, I thought, let’s just put the number out there. When I first started displaying the sign people didn’t want to give me the thumbs up because it was like applauding the deaths,” he told me. “Now it’s clear I’m only pointing out one of the many facts indicating what a terrible mistake this war is. I might just as easily have put up the figure of $500 billion.”

(Democracy: Protests)

4 responses

  • john cline

    john cline said (31 Jul 2008):

    ANY photo is good for democracy...freedom of speech is the key....so asking if a photo is good or bad for democracy is really kind of pointless.

  • Bob Carney

    Bob Carney gave props (1 Aug 2008):

    It's an unfortunate by product of freedom and democracy

  • Gail Anderson

    Gail Anderson gave props (2 Aug 2008):

    really great photo. understated and powerful

  • Griffith Chris

    Griffith Chris said (4 Aug 2008):

    How's that song go? You've got to stand for somethin' or you'll fall for anything...

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