Liberty Street Protest
Liberty Street Protest. In the summer of 2004 artist/photographer Glen E. Friedman had gained permission from his long-time friend Russell Simmons to make a huge political statement in the windows of his property across the street from the World Trade Center site in New York City, just before for the Republican National Convention. Artists' Chris Habib and Shepard Fairey assisted with design and execution. All the 27 signs (measuring approximately 8' x 4' each) remained on display through September 10, 2004. From September 10 through the Presidential election of 2004 only the top row of signs remained. By the end of November 2004 only the last two signs (the peace symbol and one that stated "Dissent Is Patriotic") remained. These last two signs were in place until January 2007, when the Democratic Party took power back in the United States Congress, thanks to the American peoples' frustration with the war in Iraq, at which time the current owners of the apartment removed the signs.
The signs read: NO WAR (5x), NO MORE LIES, (Peace symbol image x3), DISSENT IS PATRIOTIC (x2), OIL WAR, TRUTH MUST BE TOLD, (Martin Luther King Jr. image), WE STILL DREAM, APATHY KILLS, STAND UP, (Fist image x4), SPEAK OUT.
The Artist Statement
"Since the original window displays went up in mid-July, thousands and thousands of visitors to the Ground Zero/former World Trade Center site have read the messages of the LIBERTY STREET PROTEST. While most visitors from all around the world and from the five boroughs are happy to read and support the positive messages, some complain that the texts are not respectful to the "troops," or to the people who perished at the site. These critics are, deliberately, misreading the signs.
However one believes that these architectural monuments of global capitalism were "brought down", what remains indisputable is that lives have and are being sacrificed across the globe in the name of a war machine that disrespects all life, and it is in the name of those who have perished that this government is manufacturing the war on terror. The "military industrial complex" is in full effect and imposing the fascist unconstitutional Patriot Acts on a nation of mostly unsuspecting people.
The oligarch's agenda, which uses big business and governments to control the world's resources, does not include the welfare of people or care of the human plight, only of their corporate profits. It is selfish and short sighted. Manipulating the events of 9/11, should not be used as an excuse for corporate gain or global domination by ANYONE.
We are New Yorkers who lived through the events on September 11, 2001. We are American citizens. Our messages honor the core values of communication, love, and understanding. It is every free thinking person's duty to speak out against these bullies who force average citizens to forget about their own worth and pride in the society they helped to create.
This protest is one example of a few folks getting together to voice an opinion, exercising their First Amendment rights. It is an opinion which has been stifled out of fear. A fear which is generated by a government that wants absolute control over its citizenry, when ideally it should be working towards harmony with the people.
As stated in the previous notes: The current Republican administration is perhaps the most arrogant, abusive, power-hungry government that has existed in U.S. history. Most Americans can't stand them. They "stole" the election, they are headed towards global destruction for corporate gain, and it is the responsibility of every citizen to speak out against them!
Another goal of The LIBERTY STREET PROTEST is for the president or future president to be confronted with a strong anti-war message when he comes through town. Be assured that this message is directed at any and ALL legislators, individuals, or governments who support war."
Title of the Work
The title "Liberty Street Protest" was derived from the street on which the installation was displayed, facing Ground Zero. The building is located at 114 Liberty Street. This was directly across from where the World Trade Center once stood.
- official artist web site
- official LIBERTY STREET PROTEST web page
- DOWNTOWN EXPRESS "The W.T.C. as a backdrop to the G.O.P. convention"