500 Protest Smithsonian in New York

About 500 protesters converged on Manhattan’s Museum Mile this weekend, demanding that the Smithsonian restore the David Wojnarowicz video, “A Fire in My Belly,” to an exhibition on same-sex desire in Washington, D.C.

“This is to send a very loud and clear message to the Smithsonian: Put the piece back now,” said Bill Dobbs of the direct action group Art+, which started to organize the protest about 10 days ago. “The yanking of the video sends a very chilling message, and it raises the larger issue of how cultural institutions deal with sexual minority people and culture.”

Organizers said that it had been years since an art exhibition protest in New York City. Another protest took place in Washington, D.C. earlie this month. There has been an outpouring of voices, including the Andy Warhol Foundation, op-ed columnists and bloggers, which have decried the act of censorship.