THERE IS NO SPACE FOR PROFITEERS OF STATE VIOLENCE!
Join us THIS FRIDAY, March 22nd to launch 9 Weeks of Art + Action, a diversity of strategies and tactics addressing the crisis at the Whitney Museum of American Art and beyond. The objective is to remove Warren B. Kanders immediately and advance the remaining demands of the staff of the museum, as the beginning of a decolonization process. RSVP on FACEBOOK
Let us remember what brought us here: 100 Whitney staff members taking a stand and demanding the removal of Warren Kanders, the Whitney Vice Chairman by day and an international weapons dealer by night. We stand in solidarity with the workers, because we do not entertain profiteers of state violence. Period.
Warren Kanders is the CEO of Safariland. Safariland manufactures tear gas used against migrant families at the Mexico/US border, water protectors at Standing Rock, Black folx in Ferguson, Palestinians during the Great Return March, +++. Safariland isn’t “over there.” The NYPD purchased $7.3 million of weapons and gear from Safariland in 2016 to continue targeting, assaulting, and murdering people of color in our own backyard.
Bottom line: SAFARILAND IS KILLING US! WARREN KANDERS MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE! As Indigenous, Black, and Brown peoples, state violence is no stranger to us. As our blood fills Warren Kanders’ bank account and spills onto the floors of the Whitney, we, too, must rise up and take a stand.
Warren Kanders is only the beginning of the crisis at the Whitney. We begin with the fact the we stand on un-ceded territory of the Lenape people, and ask: What about the occupied land? What about the pipeline buried next to the Whitney? What about the working class queer communities of color displaced from the Meatpacking district? What about the rising rent prices in the neighborhood leading to the gentrification of Chinatown and Bushwick? +++
The Whitney Museum is only the beginning. Cultural institutions are key players in the settler colonial project and racialized captialism. In 2016, the Brooklyn Museum hosted Brooklyn’s 2016 Real Estate Summit WHILE exhibiting movement-generated art around issues such as gentrification in “AgitProp.” Next to “AgitProp” was “This Place,” a 6 MILLION dollar photography exhibition, which artwashes the occupation of Palestine by visually erasing the conflict, Palestinian people, and their histories. What about the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, funded by one of the largest drug dealers of our time: The Sackler Family. Richard Sackler not only profits off the sell of OxyCotin, but is responsible for developing, testing, and releasing the addictively lethal drug onto the public. When scientists warned him of the drug’s abuse potential, Sackler responded with, “How substantially would it improve our sales?” The American Museum of Natural History refuses to repatriate the SKULLS of the Herero peoples acquired via genocide. And MoMA The Museum of Modern Art where a key board member, Larry Fink, is CEO of a company that is the 2nd largest shareholder of private prisons, responsible for over 70% of all immigration detention including families separated at the border. The examples are numerous and plentiful. +++
Throughout the 9 Weeks, we (the many, many POC-centered, community-based collectives and organizations) will map out these connections between lands, spaces, communities, and struggles using a diversity of strategies and tactics. Additionally, we welcome autonomous actions that decenter the museum, center our struggles and movements, and draw the necessary connections using decolonization as a framework.
On Friday, we will begin with tear gas.
PARTICIPANT GROUPS AND COLLECTIVES IN THE 9 WEEKS
Art Space Sanctuary
Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network (B.A.N.)
Chinatown Art Brigade
Decolonial Time Zone
Equality 4 Flatbush (E4F)
Insurgent Poets Society
Global Ultra Luxury Faction (G.U.L.F.)
Mi Casa Es Su Casa
Mobile Print Power
Movement to Protect the People
New Sanctuary Coalition
NYC Shut It Down
NYC Solidarity with Palestine
Queens Anti-Gentrification Project
South Asia Solidarity Initiative (SASI)
Take Back The Bronx
The People’s Cultural Plan
The Whitest Cube
War Resisters League
We Will Not Be Silent
Within Our Lifetime