Graffiti writers say 'no more prisons'
November/December 1999

Graffiti writers nation-wide say they will spray paint the message "No more Prisons" in readable letters on sidewalks of busy sidewalk intersection and shopping mall parking lots across the country, starting October 1, 1999.

"This is the first ever nation-wide political graffiti campaign," said one writer from New York City who wished to remain anonymous. "The prison system is making a profit by locking up our people for non-violent offenses. We're going to send the message that this madness needs to stop. Our generation is going to stop the prison industry the way the hippies stopped the Vietnam War."

The No More Prisons sidewalk graffiti campaign will coincide with the October release of a hip-hop compilation album No More Prisons (Raptivism Records) and a book, also titled No More Prisons by William Upski Wimsatt (Subway and Elevated/ Soft Skull Press.)

The album features: Group Home, Hurricane G, The Anomalies, Daddy-O, Top Dog from OGC. Apani, Rubberoom, Dead Prez, and others.

No More Prisons is the second book by Upski whose first book Bomb the Suburbs (1994) now in its sixth printing, was the first book ever written by a graffiti writer. With No More Prisons, Upski and hundreds, maybe thousands, of writers around the country are expected to take their message to the sidewalks.

"We are not the organizers of this, said Upski, " People are doing this because they heard about it and they recognize that the building of more prisons at this moment in history is a terrible idea. The media is fanning the flames of fear. Politicians are putting away 16-year-olds for having five grams of crack or a bag of weed. It breaks up families, then you get out of prison and you can't get a job. You can't vote. Writing on the sidewalks is not wrong. It is freedom of speech, it doesn't hurt anyone, and it doesn't damage property because it rubs of in a few months. If Americans keep trying to solve our social problems by building more prisons, it's going to haunt us for generations to come."

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