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Charges Against Metropolitan Museum Protesters Dropped

The Illuminator projects “Koch = Climate Chaos” on the facade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (image via Occupy Museums)
The Illuminator projected “Koch = Climate Chaos” on the facade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 9, 2014. (image via Occupy Museums)

The charges against three members of the Illuminator crew who were arrested following an action at the Metropolitan Museum in September 2014 and charged with “illegal advertising” have been dropped. Confiscated by the NYPD at the time of the arrests, the projector that helps the roving protest-mobile shine its messages of justice on institutions from the Guggenheim and New York Public Library to the US Department of the Interior has also been returned.

“The charge was the illegal posting of advertising — there were a couple of tickets as well, but that was the charge itself — and it was dismissed very swiftly,” said Kyle Depew, who was arrested along with Grayson Earle and Yates Mckee on September 9, 2014, after the Illuminator took part in an action organized by Occupy Museums to protest the unveiling of the Met’s renovated and renamed “David H. Koch Plaza.” “We had to show up on the day, and we found out at the window that the judge had dismissed the case already.”

Getting the confiscated projector back from the NYPD did not go as swiftly.

“We had to run around to try and reclaim our projector,” Depew said. “It took a total of two months and 10 days to get our projector back.”

The Illuminator's message during a recent action in Boston (photo via illuminator99/Twitter)
The Illuminator’s message during an action in Boston on January 2, 2015 (photo via illuminator99/Twitter)

Since the projector’s return, the Illuminator and its crew have resumed their actions, taking part in the protests in New York City in November and December following the non-indictments of the police officers who killed Mike Brown and Eric Garner. Most recently, the vehicle took to the road to take part in an action in Boston dubbed “Kick It Over.”

“I was just in Boston doing a projection with Adbusters at the American Economics Association Conference, doing some projections on the building where the conference was taking place,” Depew said. The action was organized by “radical students in economic studies who are pushing and protesting for pluralism” in economics curricula.

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