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Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, 25th April - 21st May 2008

"We will be trying to identify the people

responsible - and hopefully they’ll be

locked up like Gary Shields."

City councillor, James Coleman, in Evening Times, 2nd May 2008

Variant arts & culture magazine: cover + article


25 April 2008: Early this morning an illegal poster was mounted on a wall on Sauchiehall Street, seeking to draw attention to the imprisonment of graffiti writer DAZE - and to the criminalisation of street art in general.

The Free Daze! poster, looking like an over-sized Evening Times poster, is questioning whether it can be justified that a graffiti writer goes to prison for painting walls. Daze aka Gary Shields, 21, got sentenced 28 months prison for writing graffiti and sent to serve time in the overcrowded Barlinnie prison.

Daizy, spokesperson for the group behind the poster, says “We don’t know Daze, but he is a fellow street artist and his case is an appalling example of the fact that we live in an intolerant society with a totally unrealistic justice system.”

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill recently renewed his pledge to avoid sending less serious offenders to prison and he was quoted in the press for saying that Scotland was in a ‘perverse situation’ where offending has gone down, but the prison population has reached ‘record levels.’

Public space has become increasingly commercialised and visually polluted by advertising and billboards. Daizy: “Besides, who decided that graffiti is undesirable, but billboards aren’t? Daze painted his name – we state a political opinion. Graffiti, fly-posting, stencils, stickers, it’s all street art – which helps making the city a colourful, diverse and communicative place.”

The signboard is mounted on the boarded-up shop front of a former Burger King, on the corner of Sauchiehall and Renfield Street. The sign is up until somebody decides to remove it.

Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, 25th April - 21st May 2008

A4 posters with flies covered by council 'cancelled' stickers + the red ER, changing PROSECUTED to PERSECUTED (ER could also stand for Easy Riderz, Daze's crew) - put up two weeks after the poster, by artist unknown to New Social Art School... .

PVC board and vinyl lettering... all it takes