Sunday, December 14, 2008
Joseph Rakes was seventeen years old the day of the protest at city hall. He is the young man portrayed in "The Soiling of Old Glory," attempting to spear Theodore Landsmark with an American flag. Rakes says "blind anger motivated me... When the busing started, it was, 'You can't have half your friends'- that's the way it was put towards us. They took half the guys and girls I grew up with and said, 'You're going to school on the other side of town.' Nobody understood it at [age] fifteen."
Rakes' actions at City Hall Plaza led to a conviction for assault with a deadly weapon and a two-year suspended sentence.
Rakes is currently a labor forman living in Maine. He said in a recent interview "The picture-it says what it says, but it doesn't tell the whole story. You know, there's nothing I can do about it. I just move on in my life."