Monday, July 04, 2005


Active Vandals

A group by the name of ‘Friends of Zanetti’ completed an action at the Starbucks café in Stockbridge last night, 30/06/05. And what was this "action"?
Stencils of a Zapatista woman with the slogan ‘2% fair trade, 98% exploitation’ were spray-painted over the windows, letters were pasted onto the door and posted through the letterbox, and the locks were glued shut just for good measure.
The action was designed to highlight and condemn Starbucks business relationship with ‘Conservation International’, the notorious ‘greenwash’ company responsible for procuring ‘fair trade’ coffee for Starbucks.
I'm quite sure they made their point...Gandhi would be proud and we are all impressed by the careful planning, thought and basic intellect that went into your "action". It is not a lone incident.
This action followed on from a previous action 2 weeks ago at the Starbucks premises in Forrest Road where all the windows where fly-posted with corporate ASBO’s (anti-social behaviour orders)
Don't you love how they come up with names for things? Vandalism = action. Vandal posters = ASBO.

Here's another name for "action": Vandalism.
You are not "activists", you are: Criminals.

Read it all and witness the ridiculous politics, pointless rationale, gross hypocricy and even antisemitism of the organizers of this criminal activity.
Friends of Zanetti’ have called for an immediate cessation of Starbucks relationship with Conservation International, suggesting, somewhat enigmatically, that the scale and level of actions may increase over time should this request be ignored
Arson maybe? Now there's some real "action" for you...

Meanwhile, from Chicago Indymedia comes this report of a completely new angle on grafitti vandalism.
In Chicago, pretty much anyone has the right to remove graffiti from private property, thanks to a citywide initiative known as Give Graffiti the Brush.
A male fragrance company, Axe, had established a billboardesque wall and commissioned some aerosol artists to spraypaint their advertisement.

Under the working title of "Axing Corporate Grafitti", some locals who would normally be the grafittiers, decided instead to 'do an action' and paint right over Axe's 'corporate grafitti' advertisement, restoring the wall to a single colour. You know... Because The Corporations are bad...And all Corporationy...

That's just lame. Its cool to be anti-corporate, but at least recognize when people are trying to be original. These people were actually adding to the area around them and now those little reactionist weenies have made a mural into an eyesore. Seriously, stop screwing with people who try to do nice things for the city, or at least pick your battles a little more wisely. There's a perfectly good McDonalds right down the street from there, go pick on them.
I'm sure you're impressing yourselves by throwing around buzzwords like "public space" and "art as war," but I'm yawning. Grafitti blows. It's ugly and it's misplaced. Put your fucking art on a fucking easel, not on a wall where I have no choice but to look at it. Grafitti is nothing but a nuisance, and if you don't believe me, go to Europe where the "artists" have desecrated many gorgeous old buildings because they "live in the neighborhood" and have the "right" to "express themselves" too.
axe is one of the creepiest chemical "scents" i've ever experienced.
way to go for covering up their ad! way to go for public art! way to go for counter-advertising their advertising! keep up the good work!

Then go here where the comments aren't nearly as bad as the Wesley Willis soundtrack while you read things like:
whether you think it sexist or not is irrelevant. having not seen it i can't comment.
what is relevant is that someone had the permission of the owner of the property to put up the ad. it's none of anybody else's business, and certainly none of anybody's right to deface it.

don't be intimidated by miserable, angry, self-centered hacks into false guilt about lack of "politcal resonance". what a laughable scam. misery loves company. resist. be yourself.
Finally, a word from the 'activist' concerned:
hey schnageddy boo.
lets be clear here, little buddy.
people blog all the time because they like to.
no one forces the world to look at them.
no one usually reads them except for friends.

The reason this incident became a contentious story is because the artist (or the critical massive rep, or whatever he wants to be called) got the police involved, almost arrested me... and he and/or his company and/or the landowner of the building has said that they want to sue me.

if he didn't do that no one would have known about this incident accept our friends who read the blog from high school, buddy and brasil and the people who live in our neighborhood that found it covered up.

the reason the story was picked up is because a journalist friend read our blog about what happened and probably found it ironic that a graffiti writer or company using graffiti wanted to arrest or sue a person who violates private property. why dont you ask her why she wrote about it and not make stupid denunciations.

Granted I was not arrested, but I was in the car in cuffs waiting for the cops to fill out their forms on the computer. That is how I found out the guy worked for critical massive, a stealth markeitng firm. They were typing his company's name into their computer as i was sitting there. i found that an interesting little tidbit.

After he discovered that he wasn't going to get any money for sending me to jail he told the cops he would sue me in civil court.

This story got legs because of THEIR actions. THEIR threats etc.. We didn't stage a stunt. we didnt send out press releases. We could care less about whether the kid is trying to make a buck or whether or not YOU know who did it. this type of shit, like you say is done all the time, anonymously. and i am glad you made that clear. so ask the people posting here why they are so bent out of shape about this type of action?

you seem to be bent out of shape because you know i did it. what is your beef, cholo?

Unfortuantely for me, due to the attendant controversy, I have to post and reply to inane insults and misunderstood motivations about this action.
I'm still trying to work out the point of this exercise...

Have you noticed how they don't allow any comments to be posted on the Friends of Zanetti Vandalism posting on Scottish indymedia anymore? In fact this is their second attempt at posting this propaganda. The first time, they did have comments - but they weren't to their liking. So now we have the classic Indymedia suppression of free speech:
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