My day started off inauspiciously.
“Are you Chilean, are you Spanish? What are you?”
This was what the police officer who first offered to shake my hand (I politely declined), and then demanded to see my documents said to me. I guess I look particularly subversive today in yoga pants and on a bike. My nationality is irrelevant, and with the exception of spray paint and paint bombs (glass juice bottles filled with paint), I’m not sure what would have convinced him I was up to no good. At any rate, I didn’t have any of the aforementioned with me, nor did he check my bag, though I hear the commonly accepted approach is to throw all your stuff on the ground, so they can’t plant anything among your possessions. I was glad it didn’t come to that, because I didn’t particularly want to smash my camera.
“I’m from the United States. Is there something I should know? I thought we were permitted to circulate freely.”
“Well, then all the more reason for you to show me your ID. I used to live in LA.”
I did so, because I was dumbfounded, not because I think he was right to ask me for it. To every other police officer who eyed me on my way to the march, I repeated, “Ya me revisaron” (I’ve already been checked).
And that was the day just starting.
Here’s how it all turned out (photo essay on MatadorNetwork). I feel pretty good about how the photos turned out on this one.