Government Maplewood South Orange

#MAGA Takes on #PussiesUnited in South Orange-Maplewood Street Sign Sticker Battle

The pussy hats stickers affixed to street signs in South Orange and Maplewood as a protest of the Trump administration  have gained an accroutrement in at least once location near Third Street and Sloan in South Orange — a red Make America Great Again cap sticker.

The black pussy hat stickers — designed as a subtle protest of the Trump administration — have appeared on signs throughout South Orange and Maplewood in the past month. A group of local artists and activists have claimed responsibility, documenting their work on the PussiesUnited Facebook page. The black pussy hat stickers have been affixed to about 25 pedestrian crossing signs in Maplewood and South Orange (and two in Millburn). The group expressed plans to add the pointy-eared hat stickers to more signs throughout the towns and perhaps other nearby towns like Bedminster.

The campaign gained some news attention when both local ABC and CBS affiliates picked up the story.

On the Village Green News & Views Facebook group, many local residents expressed support for the gesture by “liking” and “loving” the post, while others expressed confusion (some thought they were fox ears). Still other residents hadn’t even noticed the stickers until they read the article. Finally, some residents were outraged at the vandalism and the potential cost to the town to remove the stickers and expressed anger that Village Green did not reveal the names of the artists behind the stickers.

The mayors of both towns said they did not support the pussy hat stickers — although both have clearly expressed their differences with the Trump administration (see Welcoming Community and Sanctuary City ordinances).

Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca told Village Green that the stickers were “defacing public property and will not be permitted. Furthermore, pedestrian safety is a priority of the Township Committee and changing the pedestrian crossing signs can be dangerous.”

South Orange Village President Sheena Collum told CBS that she “personally believes in the message, but cannot support tampering with street signs as village president.”

DeLuca told CBS that he hoped the protesters would self-police and remove the stickers on their own. Already the pussy hat stickers on a sign at Baker and Valley have disappeared but it’s unclear whether they were removed by the artists, removed by others, or simply washed away.

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