Firsthand Account: Reverend Billy & The Stop Shopping Choir Launch HONEYBEELUJAH! in Times Square
Last night in Times Square, Reverend Billy & The Stop Shopping Choir, launched their new campaign, HoneyBeeLujah!, with an hour-long action/performance in which the Reverend delivered the Choir's new manifesto, about big corporations' role in climate disruption and, specifically, the plight of the Honey Bee.
The event began in front of the U.S. Armed Forces Times Square Recruiting Station. Then the activist-performers, adorned and accompanied by hundreds of Honey Bees handmade by Savitri D. and the Choir, moved throughout what Reverend Billy calls the "Stonehenge of Logos" at New York's most famous intersection. Check out the Reverend's firsthand account below!
OPENING NIGHT: HONEYBEELUJAH! ON BROADWAY
by Reverend Billy
April 18, 2014
Friendly zzzzombie tourists that ultimately we must persuade and more than persuade -- and Batman, Elmo, cops on horses, hoofers from musicals, workers from NBC, MTV JPMorgan -- rushing into and thru a choir covered with big bees.We open most of our campaigns in Times Square with the 1st Amendment as our permit. Started yesterday with the "Breaking into Public Space." Savitri had dressed Sister Dragonfly in the queen bee's royal finery, gold hooped skirt, nectar-colored high collar and a bee hive crown. The Queen cried, "IF YOU KILL ME, WE ALL DIE!"
We chose the army recruiting station as our backdrop, because the RoboBee project was started by the notorious DARPA Pentagon researchers, who want to replicate flora and fauna, turning nature into an ecosystem of robots that surveil or bomb, Robo-everything, Drone World, a Philip K. Dick thriller --- brought to you by the ultimate American corporation.
The RoBoBee inventors now get their money from the National Science Foundation, or from Monsanto probably, but we wanted to bring the point home that there are people who see the bee as demystifiable. But the Honey Bee secrets of navigation and organization should remain a secret beyond us. An animal for our faith, not our army. And children, THE CLOSER WE GET TO REPLICATING NATURE THE CLOSER WE ARE TO BEING KILLED BY NATURE. Isn't it obvious? There must be a good reasion for this.
Tourists, the quintessential consumers, stood there listening for the most part, with half smiles on their faces. Parents let their kids hear our apocalyptic politics. We said "replacing the Honey Bee is impossible." Praying and singing the praises to the miracle of this animal. WE CAN DO THAT RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW!
And so I don't know if they joined in, precisely. I know that we started a campaign last night that will take us to the end of our lives. The queen bee wailed, as we broke into our new song "I got apocalypse fatigue, my honey bee and me, where's my home hive gone? Where's my sweet, sweet tree? A thousand flowers touching me, they know I know the queen, they touch the hive through me. They see my tree in a dream."
The Times Square event is the first of numerous "swarmings" Reverend Billy and the Choir will conduct to raise awareness about the "Big Ag" complex of mono-culture farming. They will perform in and around the property of Monsanto and Bayer, Home Depot and Lowes-the corporations that drench the land with bee-killing pesticides and GMO crops-leading up to, and over the course of, the run of their HoneyBeeLujah Show May 4 - June 22 at Joe's Pub at The Public (425 Lafayette St, NYC).
Photo Credit: John Quilty