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Adding Art To The Protest

The Occupy Wall Street protest is a month old, and the Houston movement is taking an artistic approach to get the word out now.



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As a show of solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City, groups gathered in cities throughout the U.S. including Houston.

Two weeks after a couple of hundred protestors marched to Houston City Hall, only a handful of followers remain. They’re now located on the Bagby Street side of Tranquility Park next to city hall. They’re now expressing their focus on corporate subversion to democracy with art.

Maria-Elisa Heg is one of the organizers of the Occupy Houston Art Project. She says art is crucial to any movement, any revolution.

“As an artist, I feel that the addition of creativity to a political movement adds not a lightness, but kind of a freedom to people’s activities. It’s not as somber. It’s so much more enjoyable when there’s art involved, because it’s beautiful. There’s beauty to this movement.”

She says after the protest at city hall, Occupy Houston took a strategic approach to getting its message across, and with a steady stream of support:

“This is a very diverse movement as far as the age range goes, and what I found is that over the course of our lives, we’ve really been excluded from the political dialogue. We’ve been written off as shallow, self serving, lazy, addicted to internet, very very uninterested and uninvolved. That’s not true. Here we are and we’re awake!”

View photos on Flickr

Wiley Robertson is one of the artists participating in the project. He says he’s happy to lend his support.

“Yeah, it’s pretty good. And like I said, it’s my first time coming out here. It’s good to see Americans, people doing stuff, not putting up with all the chicanery corporate what have you. You know, it’s always good to get out, get out, promote your work, oh yeah.”

Organizer Maria Elisa Heg says proceeds from the art sale will help keep the movement going for gradual change.

“The co-opting of poitics, the lack of a limit on campaign donations from corporations, things of that nature. But hopefully, havng the ability to make that change will lay the groundwork for much comprehensive changes and systemic reforms that we can make happen in the world.”

And much like the movement that began in New York City, Occupy Houston says it plans to remain entrenched downtown for the foreseeable future.

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