Oh, that old Spirit Of Seattle. Turtles’n'Teamsters everywhere.
But, seriously, folks… the mood and solidarity between different parts of The Movement — folks like old-line unionists and environmentalists discovering common goals and realizing they were fighting the same fight against the same enemy — were palpably electric and invigorating in the months following Seattle, and none quite like the personally charged feeling I got when, just a couple of weeks afterwards, I saw the mobilization action call posted in alt.activism for the April IMF/World Bank Meetings in Washington, DC, for April 16, 2000 — the now-legendary “A16″. At last, no more watching for little shreds of TV coverage, of scouring another city’s IMC postings — the revolution circus was coming to my town, and I was going to actually be in it, and photographing and taping it, and telling the story of that week for everybody else out there… and, the wheatpasting. Oh, yeah, the wheatpasting was going to go big-time (during the run-up to A16, the posse and I were followed around the streets awhile by an NBC crew one night after giving a class in wheatpaste-mixing and postering to a bunch of student activists at George Washington University).
Seeing as how the newly-named Lamppost Liberation Front (our regular flypasting posse) were going to go big-time for a big-time event, the event and the mood called not just for a single poster, but a series, a complete iconography that signified concerned groups from all backgrounds uniting for social/economic justice, and all that other good stuff. Once again, I went for an image that everybody knows, usually used to symbolize humanity in some noble, artistic fashion or other. Also once again, I’m far from the first to rip off DaVinci’s famous Vitruvian drawing for analogy or satire, but everybody here thought the context was quite “fresh”.
This series also appeared on t-shirts sold to benefit the Mobilization for Global Justice. The t-shirts had their own special heroic history; maybe a couple of weeks before A16, the convergence space was raided and shut down by the cops and the fire marshal on trumped-up fire hazard (coleman stove brewing coffee) and explosives (coleman stove tank) charges and, in the process, a large number of the shirts were siezed. We managed to sell the rest, but it several months or so before we got our shirts back, meaning that there are a couple of small surviving batches of brand-new, unwashed, unworn A16 shirts out there at last report.
Blue-Collar Labor, medium-res jpg image 323k
Hippie, medium-res jpg image 323k
Office Worker no.1, medium-res jpg image 323k
Student, medium-res jpg image 323k
Office Worker no.2, medium-res jpg image 323k
Anarchist, medium-res jpg image 323k
Fast-Food Slave, medium-res jpg image 323k
Janitor, medium-res jpg image 323k
Environmentalist, medium-res jpg image 323k
Sushi Chef, medium-res jpg image 323k
Help! I’m a Cop! medium-res jpg image 323k
Continue reading "“A16″ Series" »