Editor’s note: all individuals shown in these images gave their consent to Upcomer to be photographed for this story.
Before the hundreds of Activision/Blizzard workers arrived for the 10 a.m. Activision Blizzard walkout, a few employees hopped out of an SUV and started putting out snacks and water for other participants, lining the perimeter every 100 feet with refreshments in preparation for a long day in the hot sun. There was also a prepared booth across the street with all of that and more, including sunscreen, first aid, a dog watch zone and a long line of porta-potties.
Eventually, the people on the sidewalk overflowed into the grass along the south side of Blizzard’s campus.
Some of the organizers of the Walkout addressed their coworkers, their supporters and the press, using a megaphone to be heard across the crowd.
“We believe, as employees, we have the right to hold our leadership accountable,” they said before launching into a short speech in support of all who showed up and relaying information on the resources available to them.
As the day went on, people made signs for cars passing by to showcase their desires as employees and humans. In response, cars honked in support of the movement all day long.
A while later, chants for justice surged through the western section of the Activision Blizzard walkout, and the eastern side began writing encouraging messages and desires for change on some “Blizzard blue” hearts.
Later, some employees grabbed multi-colored chalk to write out #ActiBlizzWalkout on the street between red lights, with other attendees counting down the crosswalk timer for them so they could stay safe and avoid obstructing traffic.
Another employee put a blue heart in the street at the Blizzard Entertainment entrance.
Food trucks arrived to take advantage of the assembly, and one, single counter-protestor reared his head in an attempt to disrupt the peace. But overall, the whole event was a very calm, simple display of coworkers supporting each other in a fight for equality. People shared stories, they bared their lives and countless Discord friends met for the first time in real life after 18 months locked indoors due to the pandemic.
“I thought you’d be taller,” one employee said. “You just sound tall, I guess.”
“Really?” their co-worker laughed. “I guess I have a tall voice.”
Below are many of the signs made by the employees in attendance. All photos were taken by Parkes Ousley with express consent from those holding the signs.