My fellow Nightshades' adventure in NYC has led me to want to share this one group. Reverend Billy and The Church of Stop Shopping may be the coolest live performance/activism/evangelical group that I know off. They are all about spreading awareness about rampant consumerism through the awesomeness of live performance, and you know how us Nightshades feel about that.
So, sign their petition to save NYfuckingC public space! Public space is your right! Even if you're just a group of tourist trouble-making bike gang bloggers...
We, the undersigned, believe the historic Pavilion at Union Square must be kept public space for use by the people of New York City. The Pavilion's priceless legacy as a platform for children and families, musicians, and progressive political activists must not be subverted by a backroom deal to turn it into a restaurant. The Union Square neighborhood is saturated with restaurants, yet New York City is starving for public space.
The First Amendment, invoked in public space, is a community's greatest weapon against repression and exploitation. Emma Goldman and Paul Robeson and countless activists have demonstrated this at Union Square, winning the 40 hour work week and other freedoms we now take for granted. A high-end restaurant on the site of the Pavilion will have a chilling effect on the essential demonstrations and organizing that take place on the north side of the Square to this day, and will swindle the families and people of New York City out of yet another commercial-free space for community use.
We call on the City and Union Square Partnership to preserve and invest in the Pavilion as a public space for the public good, and terminate their plan to convert it into a restaurant.