Activists at a Latin alt-rock festival in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood disassembled a mock wall installation at a Home Depot promotional booth on Saturday (June 8), as Remezcla reports. Intended as an art project, the installation allowed Ruido Fest attendees to illustrate and mount decorative tiles—but at a Latin festival in the age of Donald Trump, the “wall” symbolism was poorly received. It didn’t help that Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus was an outspoken endorser of Trump’s candidacy, although he retired from the company in 2002.
Ruido Fest protestors first asked a Home Depot representative to remove the wall, artist and community organizer Amara Betty Martin told Remezcla. “I explained to him the climate that we’re living in and that this is an all-Latino festival… this art project—even though it seemed innocent—it was psychologically sending another message to the community,” she said.
Martin said activists also contacted festival organizers, but when they received no response, she put out a call for direct action. Activists dismantled the wall themselves, prompting a physical altercation with festival security. Home Depot representatives eventually removed the remainder of the installation. When the festival resumed on Sunday, Home Depot’s entire booth was gone.
“We were participating in the festival to show our support for the community, so this was an unfortunate misunderstanding. The project was intended to show attendees how easy it is to lay tile for bathrooms, backsplashes, and other applications,” a Home Depot representative said in a statement. Read Remezcla’s full report of the Ruido Fest protest here.