Resistance that Sticks

Via  The Electronic Intifada, the opening paras of the following piece by Abraham Greenhouse, a longtime Palestine solidarity and BDS activist based in New York City. Posting on Face Book yesterday on the Egyptian journalist arrested for modifying the anti-Muslin hate-advertisement seen below, brought in a lot of commentary, some of it puzzling. Yes, these activist stickers are “illegal” as they deface the private property of those who paid to put their hate-messages up. But the problem lies elsewhere: how can a judge claim first amendment rights for such a blatantly racist propaganda ad? And if injustice is made law, then breaking that law is just, no?

Passionate attachment: how people are using stickers for activism

Submitted by Abraham Greenhouse on Thu, 09/27/2012 – 12:19

An anti-Muslim advertisement in a New York City subway, modified by activists

(photographer unknown)

When I sat down to dinner at a quaint Italian bistro near Brooklyn’s Prospect Park a few weeks ago, one of my first actions was to slide my appetizer dish over to the left to make more room for the hot bread that had just been brought out. Except it didn’t slide. It didn’t even move a fraction of an inch. I tried nudging a few other objects on the table. Everything was stuck. It was so freaking humid out, the dishes, glasses, condiment tray, everything was adhering to the varnished table top, requiring actualeffort to remove.

A little bit of something sticky between two surfaces can have a disproportionate impact.

This got me thinking about one of those ubiquitous tools of the activist trade—the sticker—and the ways in which I’ve seen or imagined it being deployed in atypical ways to achieve a variety of effects.

UK politician Christopher Monckton is targeted by an activist’s sticker mocking his stance on environmental policy. Original image here.

(Mat McDermott / Flickr)

Since I began writing this, the use of stickers and sticker-like materials for activism got a sudden boost in visibility when a series of anti-Muslim advertisements by Pamela Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative appeared in New York City subways and were promptly modified by activists, receiving significant media attention.

NOTE: The following discussion does not constitute endorsement of any of activity described therein. Though innocuous, application of stickers to private property could potentially have legal repercussions, and statutes that are not normally enforced may be selectively applied as a means of stifling unpopular speech.

[ctd. here]

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Comment on “Resistance that Sticks”

  1. One man’s injustice is another man’s justice. That’s what the courts and elections are for. But if all the combatants are doing there is putting up posters and stickers it beats the hell out of rockets and martyrdom. Maybe it will ‘catch’ on.

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