Larger than life! Gearing up for the March to Occupy GGP
This weekends actions were larger than life, literally. From a blown up demand letter to large scale projected animations, this past weekend was one of the most interactive, art filled and BIGGEST expressions of Occupy the Malls to date. As we gear up for the March to Occupy GGP on May 19th, the United Workers Action Team, a group of low-wage workers, artists, and activists have been designing creative tactics for getting the message out about the human rights abuses at the Inner Harbor and General Growth Properties steadfast refusal to acknowledge workers demands.
On Friday as tourists and harbor goers enjoyed a lovely Spring evening, an unusual thing happened. A light was cast on the Inner Harbor, exposing the reality of poverty-zone development on Baltimore. Greenpants, a Baltimore based group of artist, activists, and educators, came up with a brilliant idea to project an animation on the exterior of the mall that told the story of workers fight for work with dignity and fair development at the Inner Harbor. This mesmerizing projection was a perfect example of public art being used to open up space for conversations about development, poverty, and human rights.
The very next day, the Action Team unveiled a blown-up version of harbor workers demand letter (the one we’ve been dropping off at GGP malls across the country). Who knows, maybe GGP hasn’t responded to our letter because they couldn’t read the small font. But instead of bringing this letter to GGP, once again, we decided to instead bring it to the people. One by one, harbor visitors gravitated to the giant yellow letter and once learning of the abuses at the harbor they added their signature to the call for workers demands to a right to work with dignity, healthcare and education.
After several hours of educating consumers and gathering signatures, we walked up several blocks to the plaza outside the offices of the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) to join the Spring Development Forum. Organized by Another BDC is Possible, the Spring Development Forum was right up our alley. Leaders from across the city, working on a variety of social and economic justice issues, from worker’s rights to juvenile justice reform, came out to discuss how our current model of economic development benefits only a few and share how we can create a new model of economic development that truly benefits all.
This weekends actions proved once again that the message of Fair Development resonates with people from all walks of life. As we prepare for the March to Occupy GGP, we’re calling on all those who believe in the tenants of Fair Development, respect for human rights, public benefits over private gain, and sustainability, join us in this major action on May 19th.