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What happened in Baton Rouge this weekend?

After a week of violence and outrage, tensions were running high at the protest in Louisiana on Saturday. We recap five defining moments of the demonstration

It was a decidedly dark seven days for race relations in America last week. The shocking and disappointing events that unfolded ended with seven high-profile deaths in three different American cities.

A protest took place in Baton Rouge, the capital of the US state of Louisiana over the weekend as people marched in response to violence at the hands of police. Information released by Baton Rouge law enforcement said that 102 people were arrested on Saturday night.

Tensions have been high since the brutal killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile as their deaths and the shootout that killed five officers in Dallas, Texas played out on social media and news outlets for all to see. From one girl’s brave show of peace amidst the chaos to ultra-militarised police there were several moments that stood out from the demonstration. Here’s a round-up of the most powerful pictures and videos that captured the protest.

THE PHOTOGRAPH EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

A picture of a woman, who has now been named as 28-year-old Ieshia Evans, has gone viral. In what appears to be a silent standoff with police, Ieshia is photographed standing perfectly still as two policemen in heavily protective gear charge towards her to arrest her for standing in a public highway. The ‘iconic’ photo has since been compared to Marc Riboud’s photo of a Vietnam war protester in the 60s and Tiananmen square.

HIGHLY MILITARISED AND INTIMIDATING DISPLAYS OF POLICE FORCE

Many are commenting on how police have acted towards peaceful protesters with some asking “Is this Baghdad or Baton Rouge?”. This footage shows a number of young protestors being thrown to the ground as the police advance on private property towards demonstrators armed with nothing but posters and mobile phones. The woman who owns the house has since spoken out saying she gave the protesters permission to be there and was pushed by officers while she tried to explain.

SOLANGE KNOWLES’ PERSONAL FOOTAGE 

A number of celebrities took part in the demonstrations and made statements in solidarity with protesters. Namely, Solange Knowles who said she felt uplifted by the speakers at Baton Rough who were “all under 17-years-old”. But she too felt the police had responded too forcefully towards the young crowd. Later she tweeted: “As I walked back to my car I personally saw @BRPD pulling huge assault rifles out on peaceful protesters”. And retweeted a girl who claimed that she and her boyfriend were chased down the street by police with assault rifles.

A PROMINENT BLACK LIVES MATTER ACTIVIST WAS ARRESTED 

DeRay McKesson, the prominent Black Lives Matter leader, was released from jail Sunday following his arrest during the protests. McKesson was actually live broadcasting the protest on Periscope at the time, describing the behaviour of police. McKesson and others were outside police headquarters in Baton Rouge when officers arrested him. The Advocate reported that an officer said: “You with the loud shoes––if you step back into the street you'll be arrested” referring to the red shoes McKesson often wears at protests.

ONE YOUNG PROTESTER EXPLAINS WHY PEOPLE ARE TIRED 

A young unidentified girl had a very emotional exchange with police as dozens of riot police stand by. In the exchange she appeared visibly upset with her voice cracking. She questioned the heavy presence of police and said to the officer that there was “blood on these streets” and that there had been for 300 years, yet her and the other protesters had remained peaceful. While she cried she also mentioned having lost three brothers to violence and added: “If I have to die by my colour I will but my kids after me are going to walk the streets freely just like everybody else.”