Al Franken & Free The Hikers
If you are unaware of what Free The Hikers is, here is a short synopsis.
On July 31st 2009, Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal were hiking in Kurdistan and got too close, or accidentally crossed to the Iran border. Iranian forces captured them and they have been detained in Iran ever since. No charges have been pressed against them in the year since they have been arrested. What I find to be the most horrific part of the story is that the only female in the group, Sarah Shourd, is forced into solitary confinement for twenty-three hours each day.
Free The Hikers is a group organized by the families & friends of the detained hikers in order to raise political awareness to help free the hikers in captivity. July 31st marked the one year anniversary of their captivity. Rallies were held in Minnesota, Arizona, Texas, Washington D.C. and Paris France to bring awareness to the cause.
U.S. Senator Al Franken came to Duluth to speak at our local rally. I grabbed my Speed Graphic and did my best impression of a 1940's photojournalist. If you want more info on his appearance from accredited journalists, the event was also covered by Fox 21, Northland's NewsCenter and WDIO.
Al giving an interview with the local press.
Al Franken hugs Cindy Hickey, the mother of one of the detained hikers.
If I was sending these photos out over a wire for newspaper publication, the above three would be my picks. I wouldn't feel right though if I didn't include at least one quirky photo into the web site edit.
I grew up loving Al Franken's comedy on Saturday Night Live back in the early 1990s. Now he is in the powerful position as a United States Senator. Yet, these kids have no idea what is walking towards them for there is something shiny on the ground for them to look at instead.