Excerpt from a great post at The 23 Apples of Eris:
..."NPA City Outdoor operates over 500 illegal street level billboards in the 5 boroughs of NYC. Despite this the city has been either unable or unwilling to deal with this problem directly. As engaged citizens the participants in this project have taken it upon themselves to remedy this problem. In doing so they have realized their potential as public citizens by taking it upon themselves to create an environment that is a direct result of their actions.
In an effort to illuminate the illegal advertising issue in New York, over 100 participants from as far as Toronto and France, took it upon themselves to reclaim these spaces for public communications and realize their potential as public citizens concerned for our shared public environment. In an action coordinated by PublicAdCampaign, participants eliminated the illegal content by whitewashing over all the NPA ad locations below 23rd street, then returning to the newly liberated locations to create public works of art and commentary.
The first non violent civil disobedience project happened on April 25th 2009, and resulted in the whitewashing of over 120 illegal ads and the creation of countless public works. There were 4 arrests in the first action. The second project on October 25th whitewashed 116 illegal billboards and was poised to release over 114 public artworks on the city when NPA responded by reposting their illegal content and patrolling the streets for our participants. The second project resulted in the arrest of 5 individuals. All of the arrested have had their cases dismissed and locked because NPA failed to sign the depositions, preferring to sweep the controversy under the rug as quickly as possible."
If I could just repeat myself a little bit:
Public spaces are public property. We all modify our environment by living in it. The sounds and smells and rhythms of the neighborhood are an organic reflection of its occupants. Putting up posters is just like trimming the hedges or mowing the lawn.~ more... ~