‘Street art’, for the most part (beginning with the shit name) is a disgusting realm where people with no handstyle or any credentials can make a mint on the back of the magnificent destruction unleashed by those who’ve taken the collective knocks to inadvertently lay the groundwork for toys to capitalise. And don’t get me started on stencils or the piss-poor remedial sociology class attempts at political satire that sell for $$$$$$ either.

Even if you’ve never wielded a marker, you’ve admired something that sprang from graffiti. Even government campaigns break out the brooklyn kid font to get the youth vote. Sentences for youth graffiti offences in the UK are a joke, and sadly, it takes a death to get the point across.

Taken from the mighty Hurt You Bad -

” I was shocked to hear about the death of Tom Collister on Sunday.

Tom was sentenced to 30 months in prison for innappropriately placed artwork on railway carriages, on October 10 2008. Also sentenced were Darren Austin, 18 months, William Setzdempsey, 15 months, and Joshua Piehl, 12 months. Wildly exaggerated claims of the cost of repair were punted about in the papers, fuelled by BTP’s claim of £60,000.

The actual cost to repair the damage these boys caused was actually a fraction of this amount. Paint is paint.

Either way it’s still less damage than breaking a window as children and teenagers are prone to doing (though invarialy not due to a predisposition to evil…) Nothing was broken. Nothing needed to be repaired or refitted. So why the need for a combined total of 6 years in prison? Wouldn’t society prefer to save a bit of cash and teach them a lesson by sending them out with sponges and cleaning tools? In service to the community rather than a burden upon it?

What lessons are to be learnt from time spent in prison for a non-violent crime? Would those lessons be better learnt from service to the community?

After four months of waiting for an appeal, this was finally heard at the Royal Courts of (In)justice last Tuesday. After a few mumbled words Tom’s sentence was reduced to 20 months, and the other three had their appeals rejected.

A few days later Tom was found dead in his cell.

It is my belief that an unjust system has subjected these guys to routine abuse, torture and humiliation to the point where one of them had had enough. Would this have happened if they had been given community sentences…? Somehow I doubt it. Furthermore, The Royal Courts of Justice had an opportunity to right this wrong… and they didn’t.

In my book its pretty much murder. This is my opinion.

I cannot allow society to treat its individual members in such a cruel, insensitive and ignorant manner to the point where they are unable to take any more.

This death could have been prevented on Tuesday 3rd February in the Royal Courts of Justice. An equitable and fair system would have allowed these four to be released. Unfortunately the ‘learned’ judges didn’t see this the same way as me.

To quote DC Peter Thrush:

“The court has recognised the seriousness of the offences, the risk these young men take with their lives and the cost to the train companies and public of south London.

“I would rather see people go to court than go to the morgue.”

I am insensed and angry enough that I will be peacefully protesting outside the Royal Courts of Justice from midday Saturday. Anyone who cares to join me please do. Bring banners placards, whistles, noise makers. Don’t let this go un-noticed.

By allowing this to happen again, WE as individuals AND society are responsible. It’s YOUR country and YOUR rights that are being trampled on by this ridiculous system. Its on your head and mine.

As Obama says, ‘Its time for change…”

END CUSTODIAL SENTENCING FOR NON-VIOLENT GRAFFITI OFFENCES

Please note the information here regarding peaceful protest:

http://p10.hostingprod.com/@spyblog.org.uk/freegary/2008/08/demonstration-in-support-of-gary-mckinnon-at-the-home-office-tuesday-2nd-septemb.html

PLEASE NOTE THE PROTEST IS NOW GOING TO BE ON SATURDAY AT 1PM

Here’s a link to the petition. Only UK citizens can fill it in, but pass it on – http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/Malfeasance/

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=logo#/event.php?eid=49514852252&ref=nf


From DRAX’s Flickr -

“Last Sunday (Feb 8th) a writer called SKEME/SCEME was found hanging dead in his cell at Camp Hill prison on the Isle of Wight. He was serving 30 months for graffiti offences. He was 23 years old. I didnt know him but I know what he was: He was a writer, the same as many of us.

Firstly let me say Rest In Peace brother and secondly lets f***ing do something about this disgusting state of affairs.

This Saturday (Feb14th) there is a protest being organized outside the High courts of Justice on the Strand from 1pm. I do not know who has organized this event but if you google Skeme, protest, Graffiti etc you may find additional info. There is also a petition you can sign. The point of the protest and petition is to demand “AN END TO CUSTODIAL SENTENCING FOR NON-VIOLENT GRAFFITI OFFENCES”..

What kind of disgusting country are we living in when some evil cnut of a judge has the power to condem a young man to spend the best part of a year and a half of his life in prison with all manner of nonces, diseased riddled drug addicts, sexual predators and institutionalized criminal delinquents just because he wrote his name on a wall/train/bus whatever? It’s disgusting.

The vindictive British Transport Police (a two bob outfit if ever their was one) tell lies about the cost of such “vandalism” throwing around bullshit figures of 50/60k etc for “cleaning fluids” and other made up bollox that they invent. I had a charge made against me once for approx 2k to clean a dumped train that I know for a fact was “never cleaned”. What a joke.

The time has come for these evil people to be shown up for the sick bas***ds that they are. How can a government label the likes of the Taliban “extremists” and “religious zealots” when they behave in such a vile manner towards their own citizens.

Please come along, behave loud but peaceful and show our disgust with this state of affairs (leave behind any beef you have “for an hour or 2″ and unite in support of something much bigger than cross-out bulls**t and graff-wars)

A young man has felt the need to take his own life because of what these so called “guardians of justice” had done to him. Dont let the loss of that life mean nothing, say it loud enough and somebody might just listen.

Dont think were idiots that believe train bombing and street tagging should be legal. Give us a mop and sponge any day and I’m sure we’ll begrudgingly clean up the mess we’ve made and learn some kind of lesson. Make us wear an embarrassing outfit with IM A GRAFFITI LOSER written across it if you so wish but dont treat us like f***ing animals and cage us. . . . It just aint right.

This Saturday anyone that calls themselves “a writer” should be there. Next time it could be you or someone you care about or respect. Paedo’s get better treatment in this country than graff writers. Check on google for more info.. Try to be there. Coz if you dont show that someone cares these sick, twisted so called Police and Judges will only get worse and worse and worse.”