On Friday, July 21, banners hung across Evansville expressing support for those arrested during the protests against Donald Trump’s inauguration in Washington, D.C. on January 20 of this year.
The banners appeared during a week of solidarity called by the Crimethinc Ex-Worker’s Collective. According to the announcement for the event, the week of solidarity was called to coincide with a hearing in Federal Court in Washington D.C. on July 27, in which a judge will hear a motion to dismiss the multiple felony charges against the more than 200 defendants in the case. More information on the case is available at defendj20resistance.org.
The banners, which were dropped at various points along the Lloyd Expressway as well as along the Greenway Passage on the Evansville riverfront, made use of a new marketing campaign, “Evansville–e is for everyone,” created by Evansville’s business leaders in an attempt to re-brand Evansville as friendly to commerce and development. The new brand, which many worry is an attempt at fueling gentrification in the city, has appeared in shop windows and city buildings throughout Evansville in recent months.
The modification and use of this new brand in support of protesters facing government repression is an example of détournement, a tactic of political subversion in which the symbols and images of those in power are altered to be expressions of resistance. This tactic has a long and rich history, from the Situationist International to Adbusters.
A banner over the westbound Lloyd Expressway at Highway 41 reads, “E is for every charge dropped. #DefendJ20.”
Banner that reads “Solidarity with J20 Defendants / Protesting is Not a Crime /#DropJ20 / defendj20resistance.org” hangs over the eastbound Lloyd Expressway on a pedestrian bridge near Vann Avenue.
Banner, which reads “E is for End State Repression #DefendJ20,” hangs next to the Greenway Passage at Evansville’s downtown riverfront.
Banner that reads “E is for Early Signs of Fascism / Resist Gentrification / Defend J20 Protesters” drapes from the pedestrian bridge over the eastbound Lloyd Expressway near St. Joseph Avenue.