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Critical Mass(media)

by Brad Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 6:17 PM
bkayal@aol.com

Can't make it to LA? Why not bring LA to you?

I was in Philadelphia the other week with the Philly Independent Media Center but had no way of making it out to Los Angeles this week. As I write this the protests in LA are in full swing. The flags are being flown and the police are reloading their plastic rounds.

And I sit here....restless and looking for some way to show support for everyone in LA. I turned on the tv to see if there would be anything on other then useless political drivel. As far as I can tell CNN thinks that Larry King is far more interesting then political unrest and tear gas. While protesters in LA risk their bodies for their causes the rest of the country is fairly content at letting these events go by unnoticed.

I think it may be time we bring the energy, and maybe more importantly, the art of this new movement a little closer to the rest of the country.

What I'm calling for is a huge media/art campaign for the rest of us. The ones who can't make it to LA.

Hear me out.

Consider this scenario:

The world is waking up Friday morning. The convention is over and the last of its worthy news in in the morning papers. No one is expecting what happens next. As commuters start their drive to work in a small Pennsylvania town they are greeted by a huge banner draped over a bridge that reads, "HUMAN NEED NOT CORPORATE GREED". It slows traffic as everyone looks as they drive by. Many of the commuters wonder about this odd message. They recall seeing the same slogan somewhere before. Then they remember where they saw it. They saw it on the news, in the hands of one of those protesters in LA, but what is a sign like that doing in PA?

Imagine if this event happens all across the country...

What if it's not just one banner in some small Pennsylvania town but instead morning commuters all across the country are being bombarded with messages like,"STOP CORPORATE CAPITALISM STOP THE PLUTOCRACY" or "FEARBUSH" or "IS THIS DEMOCRACY?" or "NEW SCHOOLS NOT PRISONS" or any other phrase that will get people to think. The mainstream media will eventually catch on that this even isn't an isolated incident and that there are reports of banners and signs being taken down by police everywhere. The mainstream media may even report this to their viewers.

And what would this accomplish?

Suddenly the rest of the country is involved. People who have been dismissing this whole movement will start to feel that it's getting bigger (and closer) then they first realized.

So this is a call to anyone who can no longer sit still (because I know I can't). Go find some white bedsheets and some poster boards and take your message to the streets. Take some photos and post them here (or email them to me). Let's make this coming weekend a weekend full of art and change! (from sea to shining sea)

My Disclaimer: I truly believe that art can be the driving force behind change. I, although, do not support vandalism. I recognize that a part of this movement believes that vandalsim to public property is a political statement and I respect that belief. I would lie to see people spray painting on bedsheets and draping them over corporate billboards rather then spray painting on the billboards themselves (no matter how enticing it sounds). I believe that mainstream media will have no choice but to work for us as long as they can't discredit us as petty vandals. I know many people may disagree with how I feel we should get things done but I truly believe we can't let our message be muffled by our actions.

So....who's with me? Please add your own ideas and actions to this. And if you do take action please don't feel afraid to post them here (it would also be great to see newspaper articles written about your banner here...just to see the mainstream response).

email: bkayal@aol.com

Good Luck...

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