Video thanks to David Edwards
Billboards that read "Dying for work," and "Hope you're happy, Wall Street" greeted commuters and residents in Las Vegas, Nevada on Wednesday, but what really got their attention were the dummies hung with nooses underneath the billboards.
911 switchboards were inundated with phone calls from concerned citizens reporting possible bodies hanging from signs around the city. The first report was regarding one of the billboards on Interstate 15 and Bonanza that read "Dying for work," with a dummy dressed in a business suit hanging by a noose.
The billboard space appeared to belong to Lamar Advertising. The company said the space was not purchased by any company.
Trooper Jeremie Elliott said, though, the billboard appeared to be a publicity stunt.
Later in the morning, FOX5 learned of another billboard location on S. Highland Avenue with a hanging mannequin. On this billboard, the words "Hope you're happy Wall St." were written with a similar mannequin underneath.
Nevada Department of Transportation was called to take down the I-15 advertisement.
The Occupy movement was a natural suspect for the Fox News affiliate, but they denied taking part in the billboards.
Later in the day, Occupy Las Vegas released this statement in response to the dummies seen hanging from billboards around Las Vegas Wednesday morning:
"The City of Las Vegas woke up to reality this morning, when a series of billboards adorned with hanging dummies and political messages were discovered around town. Some consider these displays to be an act of vandalism, while others see them as a brilliant piece of street art.
No matter which opinion you hold, the fact remains that - like the problems of homelessness, unemployment and suicide - these signs cannot be ignored. They are gigantic, they are complicated, they are painful, and they are telling you that our city - like our society - is in serious trouble. The truth has a way of pushing through, like grass through a sidewalk.
Here are some of those truths:
Clark County has the second highest rate of adult suicide in the country right now. It has the fifth highest rate of child suicide. and thanks to the governor's draconian education budget, the Social Work programs that used to supply volunteers and interns to help such people have been de-funded. The Clark County suicide hotline number is 'not in service at this time.'
While we here at OccupyLV do not know the identity of the artist responsible, we applaud their creative spirit and respect their dedication.
In a society continually hammered by waves of economic devastation, soul-sucking corporate shibboleths, humiliating governmental policies and a militarized police force which serves the interests of the 1% by trampling freedom of speech and assembly, it is not surprising that radical consciousness will find its expression through various forms of art.
More surprising is the fact that it took so long to appear."