PRESS RELEASE - THREE MUMIA? Artists Group Uses "Guerrilla Pop" to Question Capitalism San Francisco, April 24, 1999. On Saturday at the Civic Center thousands demonstrated for a new trial for former Black Panther member Mumia Abu-Jamal who has been on death row in Pennsylvania since 1982 for the murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner. A few blocks away at the intersection of Duboce Avenue and Valencia Street three dramatic black and white portraits of Mumia stare out from a billboard; below, in large bold letters is the enigmatic text "THREE MUMIA !!!!!!!!!". Some might think it should say "FREE MUMIA", but not those into guerrilla pop - the latest thing in public art. The billboard is the work of the organization Together We Can Defeat Capitalism (TWCDC), who pasted up the Mumia advertisement at several locations in the early hours of Friday morning. TWCDC's mission is to encourage discussion of the contradictions of late 20th Century capitalism and have some fun too. They aim to achieve this using a strategy they call guerrilla pop, which fuses hit-and-run undercover tactics with the wit and irony of pop art: Che Guevara meets Andy Warhol. TWCDC's previous guerrilla pop projects in San Francisco have included a parody of Citibank's "In Your Dreams" ad campaign and an advertisement on the BART subway system proclaiming "Capitalism - Stops At Nothing", which gained international attention. The Mumia billboard does not demand that people support Mumia, rather it asks that people think about what they see and what they are told in our image-saturated, corporate-dominated culture. The group believes that marches and rallies are fine as far as they go, but that more can be achieved by taking over the sites of information distribution in our culture and raising philosophical questions rather than presenting questionable answers.
A Together We Can Defeat Capitalism Project