Bullshit graffiti laws

Good news!  All the murderers, rapists, drug dealers, bank robbers and terrorist in Australia have been caught.  Bad news!  Now the cops have to go after someone else to justify their existence.

Or at least that where I think the insane new anti-graffiti laws in Melbourne came from.  Follow this link for the horrifying details but here’s the summary:

  • $550 fine just for carrying a spray can
  • $26,000 fine if convicted of graffiti vandalism
  • 2 year jail term if convicted of graffiti vandalism

This is plain fucking stupid.  The idea of criminalising non-violent offenders for the sake of appealing to conservative voters by appearing “tough on crime” is absolutely cretinous.  Even if you think graffiti is vandalism and a crime rather than art, the severity of these penalties is way out of scale with the offence.

Last weekend we had a bit of a mini-gathering of YouTube users in Melbourne’s Federation Square.  While hanging out we shot a few round table vox pops on a range of topics, including these new graffiti laws.  Some young lads who have a YouTube channel call TwoGuysOneChannel had a particularly good rant on the topic.

Coincidentally we were just across the road from one of Melbourne’s best graffiti lanes so I thought I’d show off just how heinous these crimes are.

21 Comments

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21 responses to “Bullshit graffiti laws

  1. Zany Maiden

    Bullshit beyond words indeed. I used to date a cop for 4 years, and the amount of times he would come home to tell me that he had been told to chase around stupid things like this was absurd. SO many times was he told to pull over cars, dole out silly fines etc etc, just because they had to fill a certain number of “offence tickets” per day. What a waste..bloody moronic and time poorly spent on the wrong things! ARGH!

  2. There are actually people in prison in Texas for graffiti. I think it comes under the heading of vandalism or some such nonsense. Somebody needs to get a fucking life. They probably REALLY have a problem with someone having some talent and displaying it for free.

  3. That stuff is fricken amazing! If NYC had stuff like that I would go there everyday. It seems that the graffiti plays a large part in everyday life in Melbourne. And $26,000 is way too damn much for a fine. I think the people who make these murals should be rewarded not fined!

  4. Hi Angry, I left a message on the above tube video last nite, I think you replied, but due to being at work it’s blocked. But forgot to mention that I thought Hosier Lane is a “Safe Zone” for Street Art and there are other around Melbourne CBD and Suburbs, unless these zones have all been removed.

  5. Zany: it really is a waste of time for cops

    Sandra: inflict some sort of punishment if your that uptight about it by jail? And $26K fines? Get real!

    Chemboy: it’s some of the best street art in the world

    Greg: In the video I actually had a link to the “approved” sites in Melbourne. But that means what’s there now is approved, you can’t add anything. And you could get busted walking there with a spray can. And you never get good enough to do decent work if you aren’t allowed to practice.

  6. DOA

    Maybe graffiti is better over there cause from what I see in this city there are a lot a kids that could benefit from a baton on the head.

  7. Simon

    Its nothing more than a money maker for whoever is dishing out the fines-if they really wanted to deter people there’s other ways, but it always ends up with fines, do the math.

  8. DOA: We actually have some of the best graffiti in the world.

    Simon: It’s cheap vote getting.

  9. Vladimir

    Do shops still sell spray cans?

  10. andy

    my view on this subject is that if someone is constantly bombing trains and just tagging everywhere and they get caught in action then yes they probably should get punished, but if its a teenager i thats just trying it out then they should get a warning and police tell parent or guardian and second offence they should have some punishment.
    Also…these fkn coppa dogs shood die

  11. Lynn

    I rent abuilding — don’t even own it — and I have to pay to remove graffiti, or I will be fined by the government. So I’m screwed twice! I don’t mind the graffiti — I’m in an out of the way location and most of it isn’t “bad” — but some of it is very stupid…..
    So… someone defaces the building I’m responsible for and then I have to paint ugly gray boxes over it at MY COST of time and money for materials, or I’ll get fined by the city.
    And you guys are complaining?????
    Use your creativity and “out-of-the-box” thinking to find a way to practice your “art” or “skill” in a forum that doesn’t pick someone else’s pocket.

  12. Lynn: it sounds to me like your bigger problem is someone putting those bullshit laws in place. Where do they get off forcing you to do that at your own expense?

  13. krystal

    i completely agree with what you have stated and it is true,cops are only trying to justify their existence. They need to open their eyes and realise that graffiti is a form of art,art that society finds intreging and acceptable. Its the taggers that should be delt with not those who create raw art!..

  14. To me, this case reeks more of politicians doing some cheap vote getting (after all, cops don’t pass laws, they only enforce them). I suspect this is way down the list of importance for most cops.

  15. WTF

    i think the laws on graffiti are a load of shit if someone want to decorate the place it should be thanked not be fined the law is fucking mental on graffiti get the real criminals

  16. asa01

    This is fucking bullshit the law is fucked up and so are people against graffiti fuck all you graffiti haters you bitches could never stop it you suckaz have ben trying to stop it since the 70s and you haters still haven’t stoped shit taggers run these streets and we always will well always find our way around the fucked up system its stupid because some people don’t even mind getting art work on their buildings then the nosy government comes and makes them clean it up and when taggers tag on government property it should not be a big deal because taxes paid for that no one worked their ass off then you get big ass fines for that even felonies no one understands a tagger a tagger is an artist that wants to get fame that’s why they post their name evrywhere and if you think you don’t get fame look at the graffiti legends thousands of people kno their name and a person who likes creating art and people who like to expres them selves ok taggers need to kno not to write on peples buildings and fences they should just tagg on government property it aint hurting no one cuz were making society look beter with art well at least. Good artist these graffiti laws are messed up graffiti should be legal on government property that’s the only way its gona stop! Other wise were always gona go on the same rotation

  17. asa01

    etaggers run thestreets and we always will well always find our way around the fucked up system its stupid because some people don’t even mind getting art work on their buildings then the nosy government comes and makes them clean ie up and when taggers tag on government property it should not be a big deal because taxes paid for that no one worked their ass off then you get big ass fines for that even felonies no one understands a tagger a tagger is an artist that wants to get fame that’s why they post their name evrywhere and if you think you don’t get fame look at the graffiti legends thousands of people kno their name and a person who likes creating art and people who like to expres them selves ok taggers need to kno not to write on peples buildings and fences they should just tagg on government property it aint hurting no one cuz were making society look beter with art well at least. Good artist these graffiti laws are messed up graffiti should be legal on government property that’s the only way its gona stop! Other wise were always gona go on the same rotation

  18. COSER 1

    Fuckin cops think they got it under control they can’t stop us.they can give us life in the pen for writing bombin taging and we still be out doing it free the homie kaos…

  19. Its exactly that! cops just need easy pickings……Just Recently I was told by an officer that “Sharpie Magnums” Are illegal to have when outside your home!!!

  20. Just paint the murals with brushes and liquid paint. Problem solved.

  21. carlos galindo

    why cant people understand that if tehy gave us a sapace it d\woundlt com donw to this i been in the greffiti scene for 5 years know still they cant catch me … they know my graffiti name where i live and all they still dont do shit… but when my homie was bragging about this montana can he cgot arested because of some stupid graffiti act on 2007
    pigs get a life we dont hurt no one , we dont threat one either.. wtf whats the whole big deal and for the dude on top of this commen t dude once you feel that rush of the spray can youll know why we doit and beside that the only way we can get heard that the only way they know we are here

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