Chicago Auto Show SHUTDOWN

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Activists, Street Performers Undermine Auto Industry's
$15 Billion Brainwashing Campaign

February 1, 2005
Contact: Dan Korn, 312-505-9307
For Immediate Release

Hundreds of performance artists and bike builders will pedal from Daley Plaza on Saturday, February 12, at 12 noon to the Auto Show Entrance at McCormick Place to carry out a peaceful Car Show Shutdown Festival.

The Car Show Shutdown festivities will include:
  - Unveiling and test driving of sporty, safe and super-efficient vehicles of tomorrow.
  - A live performance by the Chicago Car Alarm Symphony.
  - Levitation and exorcism of McCormick Place by a pastor from Church of Christ Without Cars.
  - Oversized Puppet Parade depicting auto industry titans.

Each year, more than 200 Chicagoans die in automobile crashes and nearly 15,000 are maimed and injured, according to Chicago Police Department statistics.

The auto industry has a long history of sabotaging safer, more efficient forms of transportation. Back in the 1930s, electric street car systems provided clean, cheap and convenient urban transportation. General Motors' role in purchasing and dismantling 100 street car lines in 45 American cities has been well documented and demonstrates the extreme lengths the auto industry will go to promote its lethal products.

Our auto industry enforced dependency on cars negatively impacts us all in numerous ways. Chicago's children suffer asthma hospitalization rates twice the national average, according to the American Lung Association, as automobile emissions continue to be the major contributor to our city's poor air quality. Chicago families spend two to three times as much on transportation as their European counterparts due to the high costs of car ownership. Forty percent of Chicago's land area is wasted on asphalt to accommodate cars. Drivers waste millions of hours stuck in traffic gridlock each year.

To convince us to buy their dangerous and expensive products, the automobile industry spends over $15 billion annually on advertising, the most of any industry in the United States. Part of this huge advertising budget includes the Chicago 2005 Auto Show.

"It's time to hold the auto industry accountable for their role in thousands of needless deaths and injuries in Chicago," said Becki Retzlaff, a festival organizer. "It's time to shut down the Chicago Auto Show!"

In conjunction with the Car Show Shutdown festivities, anti-auto artists will be celebrating the opening of the 8th Annual Critical Mass Art Show the night before the shutdown, Friday, Feb. 11, 6pm, at High School Gallery, 1542 N.Milwaukee 3rd floor. For more information on the Car Show Shutdown Festival and the Critical Mass Art Show see or call Dan Korn at 312-505-9307.

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