GOOD

Illuminating Brooklyn's Sky in Solidarity With Boston

For a world of peace, justice and equity, we must dissolve an isolating mentality and work together as custodians of our commons, the planet.




After the bombings in Boston yesterday, the security response was huge in New York. Manhattan was in lockdown, with police swarming everywhere, and people were told by the authorities to run and hide inside their homes. So we decided to stay in Brooklyn and project on one of it's most iconic and most loved buildings: the Brooklyn Academy of Music. BAM didn't know about it, and at first security was suspicious, but as soon as they saw the message, they embraced us with approval. Even police officers who drove by gave us a warm nod and beep. It was a sweet moment when we saw a plea for peace trump the rules.

The most beautiful thing about the location is that it's really a hub for many neighborhoods in Brooklyn. So rather than seeing people run inside their houses in paranoia and fear, the space became activated. And as soon as people saw the pictures on Facebook or Twitter, they rushed to the space to gather with the community—their neighbors—to mourn, talk, and share. That's a key thing that The Illuminator tries to do with its actions: to reclaim public space for the community.

As The Illuminator, we are a collective that operates the van and the projector, and the NY Light Brigade does the lettering. Monday night was Kyle Depew, Athena Soules, Lucky Tran, and Grayson Earle. The Illuminator was more or less created by Mark Read as a project of Occupy Wall Street, and performs creative actions to fight for social and economic justice.

Yesterday's action was in support of Boston after a time of real tragedy, so it was important for us to come together and respond in an inspiring, non-fear driven way. When we agreed to project something in response to the tragedy our entire outlook changed. It was cathartic for us, and from some of the responses we've received from folks in Boston, for them too.

As activists in New York, a constant conversation that we have is our reactions to 9/11—we had that initial beautiful moment of unity and outpouring of emotion in response to such a great human tragedy. We thought in this moment it was important to show solidarity as caring human beings, and help us remember what the ideal response should be. Dr. King put if best:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness,
Only light can do that.
Fear cannot drive out fear,
Only love can do that.

One of BAM's workers came over and said that he'd like to see "Togetherness is the Key" so we made that happen. Athena, from the Light Brigade (with the light signs) had changed up her lettering to "LOVE" so we drafted a quick "Peace and (down arrow)" which garnered a few smiles. At one point Kyle mentioned that he wished people would share feelings of grief and happiness more often, not just during tragedy, which is where the "It shouldn't take a tragedy for us to come together" came from.



The use of NY ❤ B (in the Red Sox typeface) was intentional as well. Much is made of the New York versus Boston rivalry, particularly in sports, but really in all facets of life. So we thought it would be powerful to take those symbols of sports and pop culture and remix them into a symbol of unity, because at the end of the day it's not about my city and your city; my state and your state; or my country and your country. For a world of peace, justice and equity, we must dissolve an isolating mentality and work together as custodians of our commons, the planet.

We as a collective will continue to project on walls for the foreseeable future. This action just sort of happened. We're not certain it will happen again but don't count it out.

Related: Help Save 'The Illuminator,' Occupy's Brightest Voice

Hang out with your neighbors on the last Saturday of April (a day we're calling "Neighborday"). Click here to say you'll Do It, and here to download GOOD's Neighborday Toolkit and a bunch of other fun stuff.



Articles
via David Leavitt / Twitter and RealTargetTori / Twitter

Last Friday, GOOD reported on an infuriating incident that went down at a Massachusetts Target.

A Target manager who's come to be known as "Target Tori," was harassed by Twitter troll David Leavitt for not selling him an $89 Oral-B Pro 5000 toothbrush for a penny.

He describes himself as a "multimedia journalist who has worked for CBS, AXS, Yahoo, and others."

Keep Reading
Communities
via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

Keep Reading
Business
via Haldean Brown / Flickr

In a typical work day, people who smoke take more breaks than those who do not. Every few hours they pop outside to have a smoke and usually take a coworker with them.

Don Bryden, Managing director at KCJ Training and Employment Solutions in Swindon, England, thinks that nonsmokers and smokers should be treated equally, so he's giving those who refrain from smoking four extra days to compensate.

Funny enough, Bryden is a smoker himself.

Keep Reading
Health