MISSISSAUGA BRAMPTON GRAFFITI RESEARCH (preliminary) Off the Cuff Hate Crime/Gang REPORT PART 2

April 2nd, 2010  

This time Part 2  —the transcript of this video report —uploaded to YouTube just prior to the Hate Crime/graffiti data released by the Peel Police Services Board at their Friday, March 26, 2010 meeting.

GRAFFITI MISSISSAUGA "HATE CRIME" "JULY 29" 2009 "ERIN MILLS PARKWAY" "WHITE POWER" "NIGGER" PERMISSION WALL"

Rather than repeat the introduction, please click here if you’re interested in viewing/reading Part 1 MISSISSAUGA/BRAMPTON GRAFFITI RESEARCH (preliminary) REPORT conclusion: Studying graffiti/tags is an important window into youth culture first.

Otherwise, we begin Brampton/Mississauga graffiti Part 2 video and transcript.

WARNING! DO NOT VIEW THIS VIDEO IF YOU ARE OFFENDED BY THE F-WORD AND EVEN WORSE WORDS!

NOTE: When I uploaded Part 2 to YouTube on March 25th, I referred to it as a DRAFT and said that I’d replace it at a later date with a more-worked version. I’ve since changed my mind. Viewing this a week later, I realize that it’s important to show “works in progress” –even as rough, rushed and off-the-cuff as this one was.

Video: MISSISSAUGA BRAMPTON PEEL GRAFFITI RESEARCH (preliminary) REPORT PART 2 (MISSISSAUGAWATCH) 10:31 min
uploaded March 25, 2010

Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube

Video: MISSISSAUGA BRAMPTON PEEL GRAFFITI RESEARCH (preliminary) REPORT PART 2 (MISSISSAUGAWATCH) 10:32 min

[VIDEO TRANSCRIPT]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH (parked directly in front of the City of Mississauga Big Yellow evil empire, March 25, 2010):

Just to speak a little bit further on the lack of overlap between what the July and August 2009 Peel Regional Police graffiti photographs showed and mine —that was a surprise. I had actually figured that I would recognize more tags than I did.

[DIP TO WHITE]

The other thing is, in my own driving and looking around, the tags that I documented, while they might still be there —they’re the original tags that I documented a year ago. And I often don’t see new ones by the same individual.

And I’m not quite sure how to interpret that.

[DIP TO WHITE]

Peel Police has [sic] suggested that catching graffiti [sic] is very difficult to do —and catching people in the act. That’s not a surprise.

So the question is, do the kids just naturally grow out of it in the sense that they’ve tagged maybe for a few months and then just grown out of that, or whether they’ve been caught, whether they’ve been talked out of it by buddies —I don’t know. But it doesn’t seem to be something that for a lot of them they don’t do for any length of time.

[DIP TO WHITE]

For graffiti people who might be out there watching this and offended, I have to admit that I haven’t been at the Mississauga Graffiti Wall. I’m aware that it exists. I just have difficulty getting access to it. But it appears to run —I’ve checked Google Maps and it runs along Streetsville. And I have seen the graffiti there and there’s a lot of beautiful stuff there. I’m talking about the artwork because it is Art —it’s just unauthorized Art and therefore it’s a crime, but—

It may be a crime, but it’s still Art.

In the case of somebody spraying “FTP” on a post, don’t convince me that’s art —that’s just tagging.

[DIP TO WHITE]

One thing just looking at the occurrence reports and the quality of the occurrence reports, who’s ever writing them, the descriptions are excellent. The best occurrence reports also explain what the graffiti represents. And I’m satisfied myself, that I’m beginning to recognize gang-related graffiti versus just a bunch of boys [sic] who are out on a lark.

[DIP TO WHITE]

However at the same time just because somebody’s putting up gang graffiti doesn’t make them gang members either. It just means that they know the gang symbols —as do I.

[DIP TO WHITE]

There was the underpass, clearly permission wall underpass and it had been sprayed with —I know one of the words was “White Power”. I can’t remember if there was the word “N*****” in there. I seem to remember that to be the case, which again would it clearly make it a Hate Crime.

But what was interesting is, I remember, oh, about a year ago, maybe more, Councillor Katie Mahoney saying, oh, we put up these permission walls and when we do, other graffiti artists respect this art and won’t draw over it.

Wronnnnnnnnnnnng! They draw over it.

And the best example to show that taggers will draw over other graffiti artists is just to go to the [points to Mississauga City Hall] skateboard plaza in there.

[DIP TO WHITE]

Some of the permission walls constantly attract taggers. There’s only one that doesn’t and it was done by a respected, well-known graffiti artist. And it seems to be that, yes, that stuff is not touched because people recognize it as a true graffiti artist.

The other stuff? Pfffft.

[DIP TO WHITE]

I have to say that at this time last year, I don’t think there was as much graffiti around as there is now. I think it’s on the increase. However, at the same time I also know that I’m a much much better at spotting it.

So, and Peel Police also suggest that maybe there isn’t as much —that the increase that they see might not be so much an increase in graffiti, as an increase in reporting.

[DIP TO WHITE]

There’s a lot of question marks, here. You see I’m kind of struggling with what the graffiti says.

But there’s absolutely no doubt that if you are not —I’m talking about now people who want to understand youth and trends of youth. I’m not talking about the kind of youth that feel comfortable walking into building.

[DIP TO WHITE]

The youth that I’m interested in and the most at-risk aren’t going to be writing as much. They’re more likely going to be expressing themselves on YouTube.

Again. It’s just a hypothesis right now.

And I think in the case of video, YouTube is richer for the [sic] kind of research because sometimes you see incidental things. In the case of one video, I was, I won’t say what the subject was but somebody was

[DIP TO WHITE]

driving down Highway 10. And you could see out the window, as they were videotaping out the car, there was a Mississauga Transit bus. And also a City of Mississauga Transit Enforcement vehicle. I don’t know if it was the 301 or 302 car but there are these little snippets that you get and then you can email the videographer and say, hey, can you tell me something about that incident.

Or, hey, I noticed some interesting graffiti you’ve got in your video. Can you tell me the location.

And you know, at first they don’t want to tell you. But then when they start looking at your stuff and they realize that yeah, you’re really interested in researching and what they have to say, they do share it.

[DIP TO WHITE]

When they really know that you’re not reporting the location, you get, I get emails —really terrific insights into graffiti and the tagging culture. And it is a culture.  It’s a —yes, it’s a sub-culture.

But when you think about these people [points to Mississauga City Hall], these people look down on —not just look down on, they look at taggers and graffiti artists and the “bad youth” with the most, with the most contempt.

And [points to Mississauga City Hall], these people view themselves as “decent folk” where the tagger is essentially an animal.

[DIP TO WHITE]

What was really interesting was to be going through and reading each of the [Peel Police] documents and I matched the photographs up with the occurrence reports and then I flipped the page and I saw big black spray paint on yellow brick and I knew immediately that it was [points to Mississauga City Hall] City Hall.

And as I looked at the other pictures, sure enough, somebody, and I don’t know the date, about late July, “bombed” City Hall!

And it looked like they started at the skate plaza, went around the front, did the pillars —I don’t know what those watchtowers are at both ends—

[DIP TO WHITE]

But I want to make it clear I will never report a location of graffiti and tagging. Because when you’re researching if you report, what happens then, it becomes erased. And because of that, you have changed something in what you’re researching.

And one of the things I’m researching is how long some of these graffitis [sic] —graffiti meaning paintings or drawings, or tags, stay up!

If it’s on public property, Public Works, I will tell you this, Public Works gets rid of stuff really fast. A lot of the stuff on private property stays up a lot longer.

[DIP TO WHITE]

Peel Regional Police and Peel Council say how much they try to work with the community. I had been at the Lincoln Alexander School lock-down, had an opportunity to talk to Malton residents and they spoke very highly of Peel Regional Police. Every last one, including a Honda Civic, you know, with the dark tinted glass coming in with three youth in it.

And you’re kind of thinking, oh oh, [laughs] this is going to be a drive-by shooting. No, they rolled down the window and they asked what was going on and those guys in there with the hats this way [turns cap sideways] they supported Peel Regional Police too.

[DIP TO WHITE]

What I’m trying to do is anything that I remember I want to record right now because I’m really interested in how much of it, of my observations, matches Peel Regional Police. And wouldn’t it be interesting if it’s different? Because it really shouldn’t be. If —there might be different stuff that Peel Police record, but the ratio of the Hate Crimes and “FTP”s [F*** the Police] and this kind of thing, the ratio should be the same as my photographs.

Should be. Well, we’ll see.

[DIP TO WHITE]

[PART 2 VIDEO TRANSCRIPT ENDS]

GRAFFITI MISSISSAUGA, "S BLOCK" "S-BLOCK" MISSISSAUGA CITY HALL "BOMBED" (MISSISSAUGA CITY HALL MATERIAL courtesy Peel Regional Police through Freedom of Information)

GRAFFITI MISSISSAUGA, "S BLOCK" "S-BLOCK" Pic 2 MISSISSAUGA CITY HALL "BOMBED" (MISSISSAUGA CITY HALL MATERIAL courtesy Peel Regional Police through Freedom of Information)

GRAFFITI MISSISSAUGA, "S BLOCK" "S-BLOCK" (undisclosed location) photographed March 30, 2010

Signed,

MISSISSAUGAWATCH

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