Nazi-themed Trump billboard in Arizona to remain in place throughout presidency

Nicole Rojas
International Business Times
Pro and anti-Trump protesters clash in Berkeley
Pro and anti-Trump protesters clash in Berkeley

An anti-Trump billboard in Arizona featuring the president staring out from an image of dollar-sign swastikas and nuclear mushroom clouds has caused a stir in the red state.

California-based artist Karen Fiorito said she has received death threats since the new billboard was unveiled in Phoenix on Friday (17 March).

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"A lot of people are feeling this way and I'm just trying to express what I think is on a lot of people's minds these days," Fiorito told 12 News.

"Something that really concerned us was this idea of a dictatorship where things were going in a certain direction."

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On the back of the billboard is the word "unity" in English and sign language in the back. It was commissioned by La Melgosa, a Phoenix-based art gallery, the Arizona Republic reported.

Fiorito had previously been commissioned by La Melgosa to create a similar anti-president poster when George Bush was in power.

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She told reporters that her latest billboard piece was "even more powerful" given the current political environment.

"I was given the opportunity to say what I want," she said. "And that's what I did."

Fiorito added that she felt the dollar-sign swastikas were appropriate because they symbolise "politics and money and politics".

Despite death threats, site owner Beatrice Moore has offered to keep the art up during the rest of Trump's presidency, the Huffington Post reported.

The billboard received mixed reactions among Phoenix residents.

"We just drove up coming to eat pizza and got out to look out at it," Shawneece Durham said. "It's kind of deep. It speaks volumes to what's going on."

Ruben Gonzalez, the owner of the 11th Monk3y boutique which is located below the billboard, said he supported the message but hoped there would be no violent backlash.

"I think the message is, resist. It says 'money-hungry world domination,'" Gonzalez said. "Most people are wowed. I just don't want my windows bashed in."

Neighbour Jeff Whitman said: "It's pretty drastic, I thought swastikas were very crude and violent," according to AZ Family.

He told the Arizona Republic: "Maybe put some thumbs-down around Trump but I don't like waking up to the Nazi signs."

State senator Steve Smith, a Republican, called the piece "offensive." Smith acknowledged Fiorito's First Amendment rights to produce the billboard but questioned her message.

"I'm wondering why it hasn't been up the past eight years, considering President Obama has amassed more debt than every previous president combined," he said.

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