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Protest the Closing of the Sanctuary
UAG Sponsored Event + On March 18th, 2008, from 5:30 to 7:00PM

Location: Troy City Hall
One Monument Square
Troy NY 12180

Photo Gallery: View here

A demonstration has been called for this Tuesday, March 18th, at 5:30 in front of Troy City Hall, One Monument Square, Troy, in support of the Sanctuary for Independent Media and against the abuse of public power to suppress art and dissent. The protest, which is being organized by a new ad hoc group calling itself the Capital Region Committee for Free Expression, will demand:

1. Stop Abuse of Code Enforcement Power
2. Reopen the Sanctuary for Independent Media
3. End Racist Fear-mongering
4. No Censorship of Art and Dissent

The protest is being called in response to Troy Code Enforcement's shutting down of the Sanctuary for Independent Media last Tuesday, the day after the showing of a controversial art exhibit there.

The exhibit, by Iraqi-American artist Wafaa Bilal, had previously been closed by RPI amid accusations that it was sympathetic to terrorism. According to the artist and his supporters, the opposite is true: the exhibit is intended to provoke thought about the roots of violence.

According to Committee spokesperson and Troy resident Jon Flanders, "Troy and other Capital Region residents want to let the city know it's unacceptable and unconstitutional to abuse the power of a city office to suppress an artistic expression of dissent."

The Sanctuary for Independent Media, housed in a 108-year-old building at 3361 Sixth Avenue in Troy, is a "telecommunications facility dedicated to community media arts," according to its web site. A spokesperson for the organization, Steve Pierce, said that until the controversial exhibit, the Buildings Department had given no indication of any problem with the schedule proposed by the Sanctuary over a year ago for correction of door specifications, which are normally grandfathered in older buildings until major renovations are undertaken.


You can find more on the UAG Board of Directors' stance on the issue, and our official response to the City of Troy, in the news section of our site's front page:
http://upstateartistsguild.org

You can read our letter to the City of Troy here:
http://upstateartistsguild.org/src/UAG_LetterToCityOfTroy031408.pdf


For more information on these recent events, and to make a donation to the Sanctuary for Independent Media, please visit the following sites:

The Sanctuary for Independent Media -
http://www.mediasanctuary.org

Letters written in response to the recent events -
http://freetroyletters.wordpress.com

First person account of last Monday's event -
http://www.dicianno.org/blog/2008/03/11/city-of-troy-ny-joins-in-censorship-of-american-iraqi-artist/

Video overview of the controversy -
http://www.youtube.com/user/TroyisFree

Read the full series of stories, up until now, from www.gamepolitics.com -
college-republicans-protest-iraqi-artists-jihad-game-mod
rpi-game-exhibit-nixed-over-terrorism-concerns-fbi-may-be-involved
rpi-controversy-continues-following-cancellation-of-artists-video-game-exhibit
republican-leads-protest-as-game-art-exhibit-is-expelled-from-rpi
troy-city-officials-wield-building-code-to-shut-down-game-art-exhibit
gp-reader-offers-first-person-account-of-rpi-video-game-controversy
aclu-may-sue-troy-ny-in-game-controversy
after-booting-controversial-game-art-exhibit-rpi-goes-after-college-republicans

Photo Gallery:
Protest the Closing of the Sanctuary Protest the Closing of the Sanctuary Protest the Closing of the Sanctuary Protest the Closing of the Sanctuary Protest the Closing of the Sanctuary Protest the Closing of the Sanctuary Protest the Closing of the Sanctuary Protest the Closing of the Sanctuary
Protest the Closing of the Sanctuary Protest the Closing of the Sanctuary Protest the Closing of the Sanctuary Protest the Closing of the Sanctuary Protest the Closing of the Sanctuary Protest the Closing of the Sanctuary Protest the Closing of the Sanctuary Protest the Closing of the Sanctuary
Protest the Closing of the Sanctuary Protest the Closing of the Sanctuary Protest the Closing of the Sanctuary Protest the Closing of the Sanctuary

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