Shortly before dawn after plying themselves with copious amounts of rum an artist and a friend set out from Long Island City for Belmont Island, a 100-by-200 foot rocky outcropping in the East River near the United Nations Headquarters. Because the Republican National Convention is underway in midtown Manhattan, this part of the East River is under 24-hour surveillance, so it’s vital that their small rowboat reaches its destination before sunrise. Once ashore, the artist scales the 74-foot-high beacon tower dominating the tiny island. There he quickly unfurls a long, glow-in-the-dark pennant featuring two electric eels and declares Belmont Island to be a sovereign nation. Almost as soon as they cast off from the island they are intercepted by a Coast Guard patrol boat. Expecting to be arrested, the two trespassing sailors are relieved when the Coast Guard helpfully ferries them and their boat to the Brooklyn side of the river.