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‘She was making her stand’: image of Baton Rouge protester an instant classic

Photo which shows Iesha L Evans standing still in the face of two Louisiana state troopers in riot gear has drawn comparisons to other historic protest images

As tens of thousands of people protest with renewed vigor following the police shooting deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling and react to the five Dallas police officers that were killed by a sniper, one photograph has emerged from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as a symbol of the civil unrest that has spread across the nation.

The image, taken by Jonathan Bachman for Reuters, shows a woman, who has been identified as Iesha L Evans, standing in a long dress in the face of a line of Louisiana state troopers dressed in riot gear outside of police headquarters. Evans looks calm and poised and almost seems to repel the two officers who are charging towards her.

She was reportedly one of 102 protesters arrested in Baton Rouge, along with the prominent activist DeRay Mckesson, who were detained on charges of obstructing the highway. Hundreds more were arrested across the country as protests continued in response to the police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana.

Bachman, a New Orleans-based freelancer, told the BBC that Evans broke away from protesters and stood in front of the officers.

I was on the side of the road photographing protesters arguing with police, he said. I looked over my right shoulder and saw the woman step onto the road. She was making her stand. She said nothing and was not moving. It was clear that the police were going to have to detain her.

He said Evans was arrested shortly after.

The picture was shared widely on social media on Sunday. A post on Facebook by the prominent writer Shaun King garnered more than 35,000 likes. The photograph drew comparisons to other historic images such as those showing the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989.

Evans is reportedly a nurse in New York with a five-year-old child. After the arrest she wrote on a Facebook page that appeared to belong to her: This is the work of God. I am a vessel! Glory to the most high! Im glad Im alive and safe.

Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) July 10, 2016

This photo was taken at the #BatonRouge protests. Wow. pic.twitter.com/ut4J6YkAGu

Tim McCormick (@tmccormick) July 10, 2016

extraordinary moment from Baton Rouge, photo by Jonathan Bachman @reuters https://t.co/x2fS9WV1px #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/zuNhKoXhRD

Jim Roberts (@nycjim) July 10, 2016

Powerful image of protester being detained near HQ of the Baton Rouge PD. via @reuters https://t.co/VVBnwixzqp pic.twitter.com/sM4QndNlfb

Johanna Fuentes (@jfuentes) July 11, 2016

Jonathan Bachman of @Reuters is doing such strong work in #BatonRouge. Powerful images. pic.twitter.com/rv89i2uDqW

Ryan Parker (@TheRyanParker) July 10, 2016

This photo made by Jonathan Bachman of Reuters from the protests in Baton Rouge is incredible. pic.twitter.com/E6JtoIEusr

David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) July 11, 2016

Mugshot released of Ieshia Evans, 35, whose Baton Rouge protest pic went viral (Jonathan Bachman of @Reuters) pic.twitter.com/bX9YGIVGkO

PlanetJuneberry (@planetjuneberry) July 11, 2016

@RohdeD @nprscottsimon @Reuters History and what we can bend at the root with love instead of fear humbles me pic.twitter.com/squqy5YKXY

Karl Sharro (@KarlreMarks) July 11, 2016

When you see this image you think thank God America won the Cold War and defeated tyranny
(JONATHAN BACHMAN/REUTERS) pic.twitter.com/ryVd3lGqIw

Witch of the Wilds (@Wild_Morrigan) July 11, 2016

Grace
Beauty
Defiance
Strength

Behold Lady Liberty #LeshiaEvans pic.twitter.com/0ALvAI47IN

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/11/baton-rouge-protester-photo-iesha-evans

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