This introductory chapter explains how social activism in New York has been able to appropriate new meaning to the city's landmarks, specifically the joint protest of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) and the Women's Health Action and Mobilization (WHAM!) against a domestic ban on abortion, held on top of the Statue of Liberty. By selecting the Statue of Liberty as the site of their protest, these activists ensured that Americans would rapidly understand the connection they were drawing between individual freedom, misunderstandings of American exceptionalism, as well as women's reproductive autonomy. In relation to this, New York's many landmarks gave a range of unique venues for activism. Demonstrations, marches, strikes, acts of civil disobedience, and even poster campaigns provided global reach as print, broadcast, and online media inform the greater public.
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