Dear People with Spray Cans,
Last night a church, small business and the Community College in the Judkins Park neighborhood were painted with calls to “Occupy the Port” and anarchist symbols. For the past several months, our neighborhood has seen a steady increase in spray-can screeds similar to these.
Tone deaf is how one of my neighbors described your handiwork. You are painting on the few small businesses here, costing these non-corporate folks time and money. You’re taking from all of us when our taxes are used to repair your work on the Community College. Jesus may be free at the tiny gospel church you painted, but the paint isn’t. Your actions show complete disregard for your neighbors, who are required by law to repair your damage.
Instead of increasing my interest in Occupy Seattle, I am left to wonder if it is full of losers who don’t have the brains to sort out the simple context of where to “post” their messages. I wonder how— in this neighborhood filled with so many interesting people working for social justice— you are completely lacking in common sense on how to actually build allies.
I am a huge fan of street art. I have been writing about it for years. I truly believe that sometimes street art is the most effective way to communicate important ideas; certainly there have been some amazing stencils and paste coming out of the Occupy Movement— however, what sets apart great street art from blight is some sense of the right message in the right place.
For the past six months or so, we’ve been putting up with lame messages in the wrong place. I am asking you stop.