News & Politics

Our Photographer Reported on Dozens of Protests Last Year. Here’s Why She Keeps Going Back to Them

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Washingtonian photographer Evy Mages has attended protests in DC ever since Donald Trump’s surprise election. “People come from all over the United States to our city and they come to be heard,” says Mages, who notes that the new administration came to Washington at a time when partisanship is high and political divisions are deep, leading to “passionate responses.” 

As a photojournalist I have the the responsibility to share these stories with our readers,” Mages says. “DC is the center of the protests, so Washingtonian has a unique opportunity to cover these visible manifestations of our country’s strife.” Mages’s photographs often focus on signs aloft with monuments in the background, a reminder not only that every moment passes, no matter how much emotion it carries, but also that Washington, DC, was designed with protests in mind. “Journalism is under attack, truth is often denied, and facts are questioned,” Mages says. “A photograph is truthful and undeniable. That is more important than ever.”

Inauguration Day, January 20

A far-left group calling itself Disrupt J20 caused property damage and scuffled with police.

Women’s March, January 21

Some 500,000 people flooded the streets. Similar marches were organized in dozens of cities.

No Muslim Ban, January 29

Protesters outside Trump’s hotel after he signed an order banning visitors from seven majority-Muslim countries.

Pro-Trump Rally, March 4

A few hundred Trump fans gathered on the Mall and marched to the White House.

March For Science, April 22

Thousands of scientists and friends, including TV’s Bill Nye, protested cuts to the EPA and other agencies.

Free Speech Rally, June 25

White-nationalist speaker Richard Spencer’s rally featured Confederate flags at the Lincoln Memorial.

Party At McConnell’s, June 26

Activists staged a gay dance party outside the Senate majority leader’s DC home.

DACA Defenders, September 5

People blocked traffic after Trump announced plans to end a program protecting young undocumented immigrants.

A version of this article appears in the December 2017 issue of Washingtonian.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. He lives in Del Ray.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.