UCAN recently took to the streets–quite literally–to continue our effort to muck up the plans of the Leucadia National Corporation, which is seeking to build a dirty, unhealthy coal gasification plant on the southeast side of Chicago. We employed a technique–mud stenciling–that was new to many of us to help convey our message that, though the mud we splayed all over Hyde Park’s sidewalks might have been a bit too gloopy for the landscaping tastes of some, it’s nothing compared to the dirt, smog, soot and potentially fatal health problems that a new gasification plant would bring to the southeast side of Chicago. We conveyed our green (though in this case probably more brownish-black) message through short slogans basted onto the concrete and flagstone in wet dirt, reminding passerby that “Green Jobs mean Clean Air for the Southside” and encouraging them to get involved with our campaign against Leucadia. The outcome of our project was generally agreed to be a new, interesting way to rally support for environmental causes and, despite the sloppiness cause by lugging bucketfuls of soggy earth around the Quads, ended up looking quite pretty. Hopefully with continuous exposure of their plans to dirty Chicago, UCAN will help make Leucadia’s name “mud” in the city of Chicago!
Thanks to the people who made the stencils, the team that put the dirt on the ground and, of course, the backyard which gave us all the mud we could have hoped for.