Monday, November 14, 2011

Tagging into the golden years

I guess you can never be too old to be a ne'er-do-well.
A police report shows officers arrested Richard Reta, 58, at N. Flores and Krempkau streets around 11 p.m. Saturday after seeing him spray painting an anti-corporate greed message on the ground.

He was charged with one count of graffiti, $1500-$20,000.

The report said Reta had a can of spray paint in his possession and paint on his clothing when he was arrested.

It also said he admitted to scrawling graffiti in several other locations, mostly along the route of the Rock 'N' Roll Marathon, which was slated to begin hours after his arrest. All together, the damage was said to be in excess of $2,000.

Police said Reta told officers he's part of Occupy San Antonio, a group of protestors who have been staging a sit-in in Hemisfair Park for weeks to show their displeasure with they call [sic] corporate greed.
(from KSAT-12)

To their credit, the Occupiers seem to be distancing themselves from this guy's actions. But KSAT also offers this:
[Occupier Joe] Ballard said Occupy does not condone any behavior that involves defacing city property.
If KSAT is accurately representing what this guy said, I find it noteworthy that the Occupiers do not condone defacing city property, but they make no mention of private property.

Noteworthy. But not surprising.

8 comments:

Sabra said...

So much for my sense of superiority about our lack of Occupy SA arrests.

John said...

Does one have to list every property they would not deface? The offender had defaced public property.

I am not an 'occupier' but I agree with their stand against corporate greed. I've seen enough of that in the past few years to last a life time and lost a good bit of money because of them. If the 'tea partyers' can be on public property and hold signs of our president looking like a chimp and ranting about gun users to shoot him or his ilk, why can't the occupiers? Or any other free American who still believes he has free speech rights.

Albatross said...

Does one have to list every property they would not deface?

Yes. Either that, or don't make a distinction between public and private property.

Drawing such a distinction suggests that the opinion holder thinks some graffiti is acceptable. The speaker should have said defacing any property - city-owned or otherwise - is not acceptable. If a person marks up their own property or gets permission from the owner, then it can be considered art. If no permission is given, it's graffiti. And that's illegal.

... why can't the occupiers? Or any other free American who still believes he has free speech rights.

I never said the occupiers shouldn't be able to speak their minds or express their opinions while on public property. I'm glad they have the right to do so, and I support that right.

But graffiti is not free speech. It is the destruction of property, plain and simple. It's not protected by the First Amendment, and it's certainly not condoned by me.

John said...

You said:

'Drawing such a distinction suggests that the opinion holder thinks some graffiti is acceptable.'

It suggests nothing to me except the person didn't know people would be out there dissecting his every word. It not necessary to mention every kind of property when you have said city property. It's just an option. Maybe if asked directly 'do you think graffiti is legal' would be helpful. I guess agreeing to disagree would be helpful here. Thanks for your reply. - John

Albatross said...

No problem, John. Thanks for commenting.

Dave said...

Don't even get me started. (And I'm not talking about the spam from China)

Albatross said...

Chinese spam ... de-occupied.

mick said...

They didn't condemn defacing city officials. Those vandals.