On early Tuesday morning, as the rest of the city was fast asleep, environmental activists left paper "donkey droppings" beneath twenty Democratic National Convention donkey statues around the city.
The environmental group Food & Water Watch left the additions to protest the Democratic Party platform, which does not include a call for a ban on fracking. Food & Water Watch will also protest the DNC by marching from City Hall to Independence Hall at 12 p.m. Sunday, June 24.
The protest was meant to visually show how the party really stinks, said artist Tamara Clements, who has a personal investment in environmental reform. Her nephew lives only five minutes from the gas pipeline explosion that occurred in Greensburg this past April.
"He described the incident as hell on earth, and that's what fracking does to our environment," she said.
The fake droppings were added to donkeys across the city, including the Georgia, Pennsylvania, Montana, and New Mexico sculptures. There is also an orange spray-painted message next to the donkey sculptures - "No Ban on Fracking? The Dem platform is crap."
Sam Bernhardt, a senior organizer with Food & Water Watch, said that he hopes the artwork sends a message to the party establishment.
"Most Democratic Party constituents support anti-fracking policies, but the leaders refuse to take further action," he said. "The city is at a crossroads and we have the choice to move over to clean energy."
Fracking is a large industry in Pennsylvania, one that has been propelled by the natural gas boom.
Members of the environmental group said that they expect many people to show up for their DNC march, as fracking is a prominent environmental issue missing from the party's platform.
"We want to take these local, regional issues and showcase them on a national light at the DNC," said Bernhardt.