On the anniversary of the Women’s March today, art activists in 12 US cities are lining up to protest the culture of misogyny perpetuated by the president Donald Trump. From San Francisco, CA to Montpelier, VT, women and men wearing brick-patterned worker jumpsuits are standing in formation to create a “human wall.” Bright patches across their suits immortalize Trump’s stickiest sexist barbs—”Miss Piggy,” “Nasty Woman.” and the incendiary “Grab them by the pussy.”
Organized by a volunteer group called Public Displays of Affection (or PDA) their silent protest is called “Brick x Brick.” After joining the Women’s March in Washington, DC last year, Brick x Brick staged a protest with other artists inside Trump Tower last June. Initially launched as an anti-Trump protest during the 2016 election, Brick x Brick now has a renewed charge amid the #MeToo movement that has prompted women to call out instances of sexual harassment across industries.
“When #MeToo happened, we knew we had to “build” again while the movement was regaining momentum,” explains Sarah Sandman, a TED fellow who co-organized Brick x Brick. “While the media continue to shed light on sexual harassment, gains for justice cannot be made if Donald Trump is not held accountable for his words and actions,” she explains. The US president has disputed the testimony of 19 women who have accused him of sexual misconduct.
The choice of the jumpsuit is intentional, says Brick x Brick co-director, Andrea Lauer. In the same way the knitted pink pussy hats emerged from Trump’s locker room expletives, Brick x Brick recasts the working class (and traditionally male) jumpsuit as a uniform of defiance. “The garment serves as a symbol for the incarcerated, the blue collar labor force and also a symbol of the need for women to fight for equality in World War II,” she explains.
Starting at 1pm EST today, Brick x Brick teams across the US will streaming their protests via Facebook Live.