Inspiring Pictures of NYC Protests from the ’80s and ’90s

With the Women’s March in the rearview mirror and new talk about tax day protests, scientists marching on Washington and more, it’s clear we’re in a new era of mass demonstrations. Just in time,Whose Streets? Our Streets!‘’ a photography exhibit, looks back on New York City’s protest during the turbulent ’80s and changing ’90s. The exhibit shows some ugly or questionable moments too, including racist mobs, but the images we’ve included below are mostly images of resistance and dissent, whether in the form of rallies and marches or direct action and civil disobedience.

The protesters are standing up against police violence, institutionalized misogyny and labor exploitation.

Credits: The exhibit, currently showing at the Bronx Documentary Center in New York City, is co-curated by Meg Handler, former photo editor of The Village Voice, historian Tamar Carroll, author of Mobilizing New York: AIDS, Antipoverty and Feminist Activism, and Michael Kamber, founder of the Bronx Documentary Center (BDC). The exhibit was designed and produced by the BDC’s Cynthia Rivera and Bianca Farrow. Exhibition photographs are viewable at whosestreets.photo.


Squatters attempt to defend their building by blocking the street with overturned cars and trash before an expected attack by the police on East 13th Street. © Andrew Lichtenstein

Squatters attempt to defend their building by blocking the street with overturned cars and trash before an expected attack by the police on East 13th Street. © Andrew Lichtenstein