|well...well... it's that time of the year again. Time for the Asian Heritage Street Festival... happening today. I alway use this occasion to commorate this bizarre incident four years ago. It was a very traumatic incident which I cannot forget. The following is a repost of the incident.|
I have been photographing Asian American community events since I started seriously photographing in 1968. I have attended and photographed this annual event since the very first one. The event is like a big party with food, music and a great sense of community.
I was more than happy to contribute my images when asked by Tamiko Wong, Program Director of Asian Week for their website.
After taking this photo, the woman on the left demanded that I delete the image. That I did not have her permission to take her picture.
Being a public event, I was in my right to photograph anything and anyone I want. She accosted me for two blocks with threats, profanity and even attempted to confiscate my camera.
After walking around the fair, I returned to the stage area to continue photographing and enjoy the music. The woman apparently told her stage crew friends about me. I was approached by this staff person, Macela Padilla, of the Asian Heritage Street Celebration, who me that I cannot photograph.
I tried to explain to her that this is a public event and that I was within my right to photograph freely. But she did not take that take that for an answer.
She began yelling at me and accused me of photographing people's crotches. (?!?!) "What integrity is there to photographing people's crotches?", she asked. I assume the woman made up that story to just to get back at me.
As Marcella Padilla was yelling at me, the woman in the middle then made another attempt to confiscate my camera out of my hands. While fellow photographer Frank Jang looks on.
Barney Garcia of the Asian Heritage Street Celebration made this gesture at me as I was photographing.
The word was now out among the stage crew about me. I continued to enjoy the music and photograph the event. The staff was in high alert of this photographer.
After taking this picture, the woman on the right, Sonia McDaniel, came over to swear at me then took my picture with her cellphone. Sonia McDaniel later posted my picture on Yelp
saying I was a pervert who photographed upskirts.
"Great fair, but in crowded places beware of Pervs who will take pictures up your skirt! See photo section for guy with camera!", wrote Sonia McDaniel
I was ready to get a lawsuit going on this. Yelp took down the picture.
Then this man from the stage crew comes over and tries to pick a fight with me. I thought I could talk some sense with him being that he was an older person. Instead he began pushing me around.
After a strong warning he backed off and only had his middle finger.
He threatened to break my camera and called me a pussy.
His wife holds him back.
Thus saving him.
I think she's trying to say 'putang ina mo'.
"ah told ja mo'fo not ta take ma pitcher!"
Please don't get me wrong, I still believe this is a great annual event and I will continue to attend it. It's just sad that they have such uneducated people running this event. The organizers have to let their staff know that this is a public event and anyone with a camera can photograph freely in a public event.