Banksy-Backed #WithSyria Vigils Coming to Dozens of Cities

Banksy's "#WithSyria" image. Courtesy the artist.

On Thursday, March 13 thousands of people around the world are participating in vigils marking the third anniversary of the beginning of the crisis in Syria, a cause to which elusive British street artist Banksy has not only contributed his support, but also an iconic artwork—an updated version of his “Balloon Girl” stencil. In a message explaining the artist’s support of the Syrian cause on his website, he alludes to the graffiti-related event that sparked the ongoing civil war:

On the 6th March 2011 in the Syrian town of Daraa, fifteen children were arrested and tortured for painting anti-authoritarian graffiti. The protests that followed their detention led to an outbreak of violence across the country that would see a domestic uprising transform into a civil war displacing 9.3 million people from their homes.

The #WithSyria site offers more information about the crisis and details of vigils taking place around the world. In New York, the vigil is slated for Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island, from 6:15 pm–7:15 pm.

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