Palo Alto Mayor Jim Burch and Public Art Commission Vice Chair Gerald Brett had to share the stage with local anarchists at Friday evening’s dedication of “Digital DNA,” the computer circuit-board sculpture commonly called “The Egg.”
Prior to the City’s official dedication ceremony, members of Anarchist Action took center stage in downtown’s Lytton Plaza for an alternative dedication of The Egg.
Performing rap songs that railed against the "capitalist machine" and the war in Iraq, a group of two or three dozen mostly young people gathered in the plaza to highlight the importance of retaining a “place for the people” in Palo Alto.
The controversial sculpture, a sort of techie Faberge-style egg, has become a symbol to the anarchist group of keeping Lytton Plaza as a “people’s place.”
Local developer Roxy Rapp and former City Councilman Leland Levy opposed the sculpture; instead, they want to redesign Lytton Plaza with benches and a fountain. But the anarchist group sees the redesign as an attempt by business interests to take away the only public spot in Palo Alto where people can assemble for political and social discourse, the group noted in its event fliers.
Lytton Plaza is a gathering place for a variety of groups proffering differing points of view. It was the scene of anti-war and other demonstrations during the Vietnam era. Locals also use the plaza to perform live music; it’s also a hangout for local youth and some of the city’s indigent population.