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The McCallion Letters

Graffiti Mississauga Report: “FTP” (Fuck the Police), “FUCK THE WORLD”, “FREEDOM”. Is the message changing?

May 28th, 2012  

What follows is a long long overdue MISSISSAUGA graffiti report.

Graffiti Mississauga: “FTP” (Fuck the Police), “FUCK THE WORLD”, “FREEDOM”. Is the message changing? (7:48 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube)

[VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BEGINS]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH reporting from undisclosed graffiti study site in Mississauga, May 25, 2012

It is Friday May the 24th or 25th, I forget. And I’m coming back to a site that I had discovered a few days ago. All I can tell you about this site right now is that it is one of my graffiti sites.

And oh, in the Fall, the entire area had been completely buffed and erased. I mean completely obliterated. All the graffiti.

And on a hunch I returned last week and discovered quite a bit of it, including this particular truck. And of particular interest to me at that time was “FTP”. “FTP”. “FTP” —which means “Fuck the Police”.

And I didn’t recognize this tag here, but I think it might now be one that I noticed yesterday in a different location. But I’m not sure.

On this particular truck alone, you’ve got one, two —and I think that’s an “FTP” too. And then an “FTP” here.

So that’s, gosh, just in here alone, quite a few “Fuck the Police”.

And this is something new. Anti-police messages like “FTP” just isn’t part of Mississauga graffiti. And then it just kind of explodes on the scene right here.

Now you’ll recognize this as the side of the truck. But it’s also here with a tag and and an “FTP” right there.

Although just so that you know, I consider this one incident. Even though there might be six “FTP”s there. I consider it one event.

Now I just drove that way to check some of the other buildings where this material had been sprayed. And I swear it was this week —this week that I documented this—

MISSISSAUGAWATCH reporting from undisclosed graffiti study site in Mississauga, May 22, 2012

It is Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012 and I’ve returned to one of my graffiti study sites here at the City of Mississauga.

MISSISSAUGAWATCH reporting from undisclosed graffiti study site in Mississauga, May 25, 2012

—and it’s already erased.

And that’s why I say it’s really important for me to videotape and document graffiti as quickly as I see it because it can be erased as quickly —and it’s happened, as quickly as 24 hours later.

But I want to talk a little bit too about something that I noticed yesterday and I already put up on the Internet. There’s a different tone now to the kind of graffiti that is re-emerging after what I call “The Big Erase” which occurred back in the Summer of 2011.

So it’s taken a long time for example, for this area, to have the graffiti come back.

And what’s interesting and I cannot explain is to have so much “FTP”s —”Fuck the Police” here. Because that’s one of the things that made Mississauga/Peel so extraordinary compared to, for example, the graffiti in the City of Hamilton.

[photograph inserts of anti-police graffiti from the City of Hamilton September 13, 2009]

At the the City of Hamilton, my God, there was [sic] “FTP”s down one entire road, every telephone pole had “FTP”, every utility box.

And not just “FTP” but “FUCK THE POLICE” on sidewalks, on picket fences, it was everywhere!

And by contrast, you just didn’t see that here at the City of Mississauga.

MISSISSAUGAWATCH reporting from another undisclosed graffiti study site in Mississauga, May 25, 2012

Okay. Here’s the other one. Let’s show that to you.

And I’d mentioned there’s the interesting message, “FUCK THE WORLD”. And about the only thing that I will say is this is within a two minute/three minute walk from where we just were, where there were all those “FTP”s for “Fuck the Police”.

There just seems to be at this point, and I’m not sure, but there seems to be right now, a difference in tone, in the kind of graffiti that I am seeing re-emerge after what I call “The Big Erase of Summer 2011”.

So. I guess the only other thing I want to talk about this difference in tone—

—is we’re seeing protests emerging. And I’m looking at the anger that’s still out there for G20 which happened in June 2010.

Here it’s almost June 2012 and people are still upset about police-protester interaction and the arrests and the abuse of authority.

And I’m now following the Quebec student protest and the remarkable footage by CUTV —Concordia University livestreaming. Its fascinating and superb job that they’re doing —pretty much citizen journalism.

Traditional Media —forget about it.

The best commentary and coverage I’m discovering are such things like CUTV or TimCast in Chicago, who is covering the NATO protests.

It’s right on the ground and it’s real. and I can tell you it’s real because—

—I was providing video coverage of the G20 on, I think it was June 26, was it? And it’s real when you’re right there and you’re actually removed from the site and so on.

But I guess what I want to document and report on is: Will the nature of graffiti change as more young people and youth become more restless?

Will you get more messages like “FTP” and “Fuck the World”? I don’t know.

However, there is one site that I haven’t looked at for a while. And it turned out back in April 2009, when I first decided I was going to research graffiti.

It was actually the first site that I had —the first true graffiti wall. And I was so excited about it. That I actually found something. Anyway, let’s go there right now.

MISSISSAUGAWATCH reporting from yet another undisclosed graffiti study site in Mississauga, May 25, 2012

A tree got in the way. It says “ACID”. So that’s new —but again, that could be the name of the tagger.

This is new. “FREEDOM”.

There really does seem to be —look at this. I’ll just take that here. [throws car into Park]

“FREEDOM”.

There really does seem to be —a change.

As I said, we’re starting to get messages.

There’s something different happening.

[VIDEO TRANSCRIPT ENDS]

Signed,
MISSISSAUGAWATCH

GRAFFITI MISSISSAUGA "FREEDOM" documented May 27, 2012
Additional Resources

A related Mississauga graffiti video —May 24, 2012. Just for the record.

Graffiti Mississauga: “Fuck the World” (undisclosed location, Mississauga)  (0:56 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube)

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