Posts tagged with "Public Protest":

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Construction workers protest developer behind DS+R, SOM towers

Hundreds of construction workers crowded New York City's Park Avenue on Wednesday during rush hour in protest against Related Companies, developer of New York’s $20-billion Hudson Yards project. Hudson Yards is the massive real estate development on Manhattan's West Side that has towers by DS+R, SOM, and KPF along with DS+R and Rockwell Group's The Shed and Heatherwick Studio's Vessel. As part of the #CountMeIn movement to fight against open shop or non-unionized workplaces, 37 people were arrested at the scene according to Crain’s New York. The demonstration shut down the street at 345 Park Avenue, an office tower home to the headquarters of the National Football League where billionaire Miami Dolphins owner and Related chairman Stephen Ross works. Protestors called for Ross’s resignation from his new seat on the NFL’s social justice committee, which seeks to appease the professional players who oppose the league’s ban on kneeling during the national anthem. Crain’s said that the #CountMeIn protestors—who claim Ross is anti-union—wore teal T-shirts designed to mimic a Dolphins’ jersey that read “Step Down Steve” in orange lettering. The large-scale gathering is the biggest public display so far from organized labor groups in their ongoing dispute with Related, which wants to use nonunion labor for the second phase of construction at Hudson Yards. Crain’s reported the company filed a $100-million lawsuit earlier this year to undercut the efforts of the city’s strongest labor organizer, the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, in negotiating new union opportunities for the construction of the upcoming towers at Hudson Yards. The real estate and construction powerhouse believes union workers abused their hours on site and caused inflation over the last five years while working on the first phase. Crain’s wrote that Wednesday’s protests were seen by many as a personal attack on Ross and that he’s discriminating against laborers by condoning racism, sexism, and union-busting. Targeting Ross’s new position on the NFL’s social justice committee is an avenue for the union groups to bring greater awareness to this ongoing fight.
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After causing a storm in the U.K., Baby Trump is coming to America

If one Baby Trump balloon caused a commotion in the U.K., what will four do in the U.S.?

Americans may soon find out as activists announced this week that they have raised enough money through a GoFundMe campaign to create not one clone of the 20-foot-high Baby Trump balloon but four, and send them on a “border-to-border” tour of the United States.

As of Wednesday, the campaign to bring the original balloon to America had raised $23,695 in five days from 1,059 people, more than five times the $4,500 goal. So much money poured in that the campaign is no longer accepting donations.

“Your response has been tremendous,” the organizers said on their website. “We have met our initial GoFundMe goal for purchase of BT! The additional funds will be used to support the @babytrumptour.”

The American tour is a joint effort of Didier Jiminez-Castro, a social worker and activist from Hillsborough, New Jersey, and Jim Girvan of Branchburg, N. J., part of a group called the People’s Motorcade, which stages weekly protests at the Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, N. J.

On Wednesday, Girvan announced the plan to “deliver” four Baby Trumps.

”We’ve gone from a single baby to expecting quadruplets,” he told NJ Advance Media.

The organizers say on their fundraising site that they were inspired by the group in the United Kingdom that launched the first Baby Trump balloon to protest President Donald Trump and his policies during his visit last week to England and Scotland.

“Baby Trump is not just a piece of humor,” Jiminez-Castro told NJ Advance Media and NJ.com. “It is also a symbol of the administration. It’s symbolic of the children that are in cages. It’s a symbol of racism, and we know that he hates to be ridiculed.”

The design has been credited to a British activist named Leo Murray, who came up with the idea for the balloon, and a graphic designer named Matt Bonner, who works for a firm called Revolt! and executed the concept.

The balloon depicts Trump as a pouting orange baby in diapers with tiny hands and his signature combover, clutching a smartphone. According to  its Crowdfunder campaign, the goal was to portray Trump as a “big, angry baby with a fragile ego and tiny hands.”

Tens of thousands of people marched in central London as the balloon flew over Parliament Square, and it later popped up in Scotland. Trump told The Sun in London that it made him feel "unwelcome.”

The American organizers initially sought to raise enough money to bring the original Baby Trump balloon to New Jersey and fly it near Trump-owned golf courses there, including the one in Bedminster. After the outpouring of support, they expanded their plans.

“Given your generous response, we will be purchasing more than one Baby so we can go coast to coast, border-to-border,” they stated online. “Our goal is to make Baby Trump available to various locations around the country. Dozens of locations have reached out to us. Therefore, we are building a Team to manage the tour to make sure that Baby gets as much exposure as possible.”

Apart from making a political statement, the balloon is a successful combination of graphic design and temporary art, which literally rose out of events and served as a visual marker and magnet for thousands of peaceful protestors.

It is one of the most publicized works of art since Kristen Visbal’s Fearless Girl statue appeared overnight in lower Manhattan just before International Women’s Day in 2017. Like Fearless Girl, it became a social media phenomenon.

Much of its success was due to the design. The face is a shade darker and redder than the rest of the body, but the skin is lighter around the eyes, a reference to Trump’s penchants both for tanning and ranting. The bean-shaped body has a definite stodginess to it—a jab at Trump’s weight. The smartphone signifies his Twitter habit.

The organizers say that the Baby Trump balloons they launch in America will be just like the first one.

“In acknowledgment of the creative investment made by our compatriots in the U. K, “ organizers said, “we are working closely with them to use their design and not a knock off.”

They told donors that all of the funds raised are being deposited in a dedicated account to be used for purchasing the balloons and covering the cost of permits, security, publicity, and “babysitter gear,” among other expenses.

The organizers are currently seeking suggestions for areas and events to take the four balloons. According to NBC, activists from California, Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Utah have already expressed interest.

Supporters can follow the group’s progress on a Facebook page and on Twitter. If all goes according to plan, the activists say, the balloons will be ready by mid-August.

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Artists protest funding cuts to the arts at Trump Tower

On President Donald Trump’s birthday, New York City artists held performances inside Trump Tower’s not-so-secret public gardens to issue a call-to-arms against the White House's proposed budget cuts to arts funding. The performances, which took place earlier today, are part of a rising trend where activists now use Trump Tower’s public gardens as spaces for political activism. The gardens and atriums inside Trump Tower were a part of Trump’s 1979 agreement with the city, which led to the creation of 15,000 square feet worth of public space in exchange for a zoning variance to build an additional 20 stories. The agreement also stipulated that these privately-owned public spaces (POPS) be accessible to the public from 8 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily. “Today in an act of resistance, we take back what is rightfully ours, the public space inside Trump Tower, and use the power of art to protest this administration,” said New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, who is also chair of the committee on cultural affairs. “There is an assault on the arts, culture, and thinking in this country right now.” Trump’s budget proposes eliminating federal funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. “We gather as artists and citizens to celebrate our country's commitment to the freedom of expression and the exchange of ideas between all people,” said Lucy Sexton, an artist at the event. Performers used art as a way to cover a wide range of subjects that have been topics of hot conversation in Trump’s administration, including climate change and Russia. Trump himself was also a topic of interest, in performances like Brick x Brick, where participants wore brick-patterned jumpsuits adorned with statements of misogynistic violence made by Trump. The performance was a way to “demonstrate disdain to Trump’s policies,” according to Caterina Bartha, the event’s curator, adding that it was “a gift to New Yorkers who attended the free performance and a call to people across the country to fight to save the arts from Trump’s axe.”
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BIG Reveals New Concrete Plan For Kimball Art Center After First Design Rejected by Public

Thanks in large part to public protest, Bjarke Ingels' plans for a twisted, log-cabin-like box for Park City's Kimball Art Center have been dramatically changed. Earlier this month Ingels' firm BIG unveiled a new design: a concrete wedge lifting 46 feet above the corner of Main and Heber Streets. "The building seems to rise with Main Street and the mountain landscape, while bowing down to match the scale of the existing Kimball," Ingels said in a statement. The former plan (pictured below), chosen in 2012, was 80-feet-tall. Its exposed wood facade paid homage to the area's early settlers and to the city's historic Coalition Mine Building. Besides echoing the local topography, Ingels told the Park City News that the new poured-in-place design "draws on the encounter between the modern functionalist architecture of the Kimball Garage (the museum's original home) and the regional vernacular style of the mountain architecture." Some locals had complained that the original design didn't mesh with the city's context, and that its height would impact property values. When asked how he felt about the Kimball's decision not to pursue his original design, Ingels replied: "The Kimball and BIG did the only thing possible, and now I think we have arrived at a design that can be just as striking a contribution to Part City's streetscape, if only a lot more intimate in scale than our first sketches."