New York City is a strong, fierce, and vibrant city. With recent threats targeting our beautiful metropolis, MAMA wanted to create an important message of solidarity and resilience. Times Square is the center of New York City; not only is it the playground for many of MAMA’s street team and activation staff, but it is also the home of the theatre industry. 300,000 people cross through Times Square every day and the last thing we, as New Yorkers, want is to feel afraid in this epicenter of commerce, arts, and adventure. So today we’re sharing an important message from one of MAMA’s brilliant, fearless promoters, Allison Martin. If we allow terrorist threats and fear to alter the way we live our lives and pursue our dreams, the terrorists have already won. Let us show the world, we are #Unafraid!
We have also included a transcript of Allison’s speech:
I work in the middle of Times Square. I am there almost every day, surrounded by strangers. I think all New Yorkers know that there is a level of risk associated with living in this city that was targeted so devastatingly just over a decade ago. That awareness takes on a special poignancy when you spend your days in the center of it all– the place where we ring in the New Year, the largest transit hub in the city, possibly the most famous intersection in the country.
In light of the newly released ISIS video targeting Times Square, let me make one thing clear- I AM NOT AFRAID. Terrorism is a tactic of the weak, the cowardly who hide themselves behind shadowy threats, forged passports, and radical “religious” falsehoods. The greatest weapon they have is fear, and the greatest defense we have is a refusal to subscribe to it. This video is not a warning, it is an empty threat. It’s only purpose is to frighten us; to paralyze us with fear and cause us to look with suspicion upon the strangers that surround us; to feel distrust toward anyone who is different from us. “Men do not beat drums before they hunt for tigers.” An attack on Times Square would not be preceded by a warning. The purpose of this threat is to dissolve our unity.
I love my city. I love living in this place where people from every conceivable background live in relative harmony and cooperation. I love the way I see people create community here, how they lift each other up in hard times, and how they bounce back together in the wake of hardships.
I love my job. I love the opportunities I have to connect with people, to love them as best I can in the brief, fleeting moments that we have together. I love the strangers that surround me. I do not look on them with suspicion. I will go to work tomorrow, like any other day, and I will smile. I will dance. I will feel safe. I AM UNAFRAID, and I will continue to live my life and send as much love into the world as I can.