Woman In Iconic Baton Rouge Protest Photo: “They Were Like Soul-Less Soldiers”

Jonathan Bachman/Reuters
Ieshia Evans has given us our Tiananmen Square tank photo of the modern civil rights movement. The Black woman from Brooklyn stepped onto the scene of a July 9 protest in Baton Rouge, LA and instantly into history. Her poise when confronted with a line of armed and armored police is instantly iconic, the calm of a woman that knows she is about to be arrested for the best of causes. She spoke with VICE News about the photo, saying that she stepped out onto the street when one of the officers raised his gun into the ready position. "They were like soul-less soldiers," she tells VICE. "They were heavily armed, heavily padded down, suited and booted and they looked like they were ready for war." But she says she didn’t feel fear. Instead, she went out into the street to try to set a good example for her son. "The peace needs to be disturbed in order for our voice to be heard," Evans tells VICE. "Even medically, if something ails you, if you have a pain, if you sit there in silence you could potentially bleed internally and bleed out. So by sitting in silence you're doing the most damage." Evans has also posted a statement on Twitter about her arrest. The charges against 100 Baton Rouge protesters, including Evans and activist DeRay McKesson, have since been dropped.

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