Anti-terrorism posters were changed on two New York City subway cars to include an anti-President Donald Trump posters.
The “If you see something, say something” posters that encourage subway riders to report suspicious packages, was converted by activists to include a message of resistance, the Gothamist reported.
The artist changed quotes from people featured in the actual anti-terrorism ads to reflect the artist’s message.
“I felt like a hero reporting what I saw,” a poster with a woman identified as Melissa C. read. “But what scares me more than an unattended package is an unattended politician. We have to keep an eye on how our representatives vote and hold them accountable.”
Another featured a police officer named Officer Chin.
“It’s important to report suspicious activity,” Officer Chin, who name was changed to Chen in the ad because the artists didn’t want to attribute his quote to one officer, said. “I feel weird telling people this when I know ratting out a fellow cop for unethical behavior or brutality could make my life a living hell.”
The artist told the Gothamist his reasons for the fake ad campaign on the condition of anonymity.
“I think it’s great that they are doing the See Something Say Something campaign. I don’t think it’s Orwellian, and I think it’s responsible to be vigilant,” the artist said. “But given the state of the world that we’re in, I wanted to do something that took that conversation and elevated it so that people could be vigilant beyond what’s directly in front of their eyes.”
“Yes, terrorism is a real issue,” he said. “But aren’t the behaviors of our government… and these ideas of how the media is straying into fake news, aren’t all of these things contributing to an atmosphere that makes us more unsafe, that gives rise to terrorism, that makes us panic?”
The artist, and helpers, dressed as Metropolitan Transit Authority workers to install the posters.
Beth DeFalco, a spokeswoman for the MTA, told the Gothamist that the posters are illegal, and that the people used in the ads are being portrayed as having a political belief that they may not have.
“The fake ads will be removed and anyone found posting them could face fines and penalties,” she said.
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