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Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:52 PM

Street artist behind satirical NYPD 'Drone' posters arrested

A street artist who hung satirical posters criticising police surveillance activities has been arrested after an NYPD investigation tracked him to his doorstep. With the help of a small crew, the artist now identified as Essam Attia had placed the fake Big Brother-style adverts in locations throughout Manhattan, using a fake Van Wagner maintenance van and uniforms to avoid detection.

The NYPD's response seems to have proven Attia's point: months after forensics teams and a "counter-terrorism" unit was spotted on the scene, the NYPD last Wednesday successfully tracked down and arrested the 29-year-old art school vandal, who identified himself in the video as a former "geo-spatial analyst" serving US military operations in Iraq.

It's not the first time the NYPD has overreacted to unsanctioned public art. Earlier this year, the department arrested 50-year-old Takeshi Miyakawa after he illuminated the streets of Williamsburg, Brooklyn with harmless LED lanterns made from plastic "I Heart NY" shopping bags. The crackdown in Attia's case, however, seems to have more to do with the public embarrassment faced by the department as a result of the mock ads.

Attia now faces 56 counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument and grand larceny possession of stolen property for his spree last September

http://www.theverge.com/2012/12/2/3718094/street-artist-nypd-drone-posters-arrested-surveillance

46 replies, 5622 views

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Reply Street artist behind satirical NYPD 'Drone' posters arrested (Original post)
Earth_First Dec 2012 OP
Fire Walk With Me Dec 2012 #1
Coyotl Dec 2012 #2
lumberjack_jeff Dec 2012 #4
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #7
Blue_Tires Dec 2012 #15
woo me with science Dec 2012 #17
LineLineNew Reply !
Bozita Dec 2012 #38
progressoid Dec 2012 #3
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #16
progressoid Dec 2012 #26
spanone Dec 2012 #5
Earth_First Dec 2012 #6
Fire Walk With Me Dec 2012 #9
Earth_First Dec 2012 #10
high density Dec 2012 #33
madrchsod Dec 2012 #8
woo me with science Dec 2012 #18
Hydra Dec 2012 #21
ProgressoDem Dec 2012 #11
TalkingDog Dec 2012 #12
ProgressoDem Dec 2012 #27
Hissyspit Dec 2012 #37
ProgressoDem Dec 2012 #39
truebrit71 Dec 2012 #13
jtuck004 Dec 2012 #14
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #19
AnneD Dec 2012 #20
woo me with science Dec 2012 #22
marble falls Dec 2012 #23
struggle4progress Dec 2012 #24
Earth_First Dec 2012 #25
UnrepentantLiberal Dec 2012 #28
Rex Dec 2012 #32
bvar22 Dec 2012 #35
JoeyT Dec 2012 #40
George II Dec 2012 #29
Rex Dec 2012 #31
George II Dec 2012 #41
Rex Dec 2012 #42
George II Dec 2012 #44
frazzled Dec 2012 #46
Rex Dec 2012 #30
TheBlackAdder Dec 2012 #34
Trailrider1951 Dec 2012 #36
George II Dec 2012 #45
Dawson Leery Dec 2012 #43

Response to Earth_First (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:16 PM

1. "To learn who rules you simply find out who you aren't allowed to criticize." ~ Voltaire

 

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Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:18 PM

2. no kidding

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Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:19 PM

4. "protection when you least expect it"

Very nice.

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Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:26 PM

7. It seems nothing changes.

 


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Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:31 PM

15. +1

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Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:33 PM

17. Chilling, indeed. nt

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Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 10:31 PM

38. !

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Response to Earth_First (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:19 PM

3. If I were a NYer, I'd feel a lot safer knowing this menace if off the streets!!1!

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Response to progressoid (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:31 PM

16. I think an awful lot of NYers would feel a lot safer if the crooked, corrupt NYPD

was off the streets.

I think you were being sarcastic btw.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #16)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:08 PM

26. ARTISTS!

Who needs them!


yes...

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Response to Earth_First (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:20 PM

5. land of the ____ and the home of the _____

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Response to Earth_First (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:24 PM

6. However, when it's corporate sponsored; green light

This is the Microsoft Surface ad in New York city



Notice it's blatant attempt to mimic they very street art the corporate elite attempts to destroy.

So long as it's making money, it's okay.

As long as it points out the decay in social structures, a joint terrorism task force is deployed to apprehend the 'free thinker'.

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Response to Earth_First (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:36 PM

9. Just four months ago, LAPD shot up a peaceful gathering where chalk was used for street art.

 

With "less-lethal" weapons, etc. In spite of the fact that a few years before, the "mayor" passed out chalk to supporters of one of his causes and let them mark up the whole place.

The corporate lobby which owns Los Angeles' downtown state clearly in their manifesto that they intend to eliminate "intelligence-based graffiti".

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=950638

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Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:42 PM

10. +1

Same was the case here locally, too when there was a jail support action.

During the support action while activists were being bailed/awaiting arraignment the following morning, several of us were threatened with arrest action for defacing public infrastructure for chalking on the sidewalks.

They even went so far as to issue a press statement on the 'vandalism' and several local news stations went down and filed their own reports that evening after we had all left for home; not a single perspective from our side.

I'm a big supporter of street art, and guerrilla advertising, liberating billboards, etc.

It's all corporate sponsored media, corporate sponsored advertising.

When do we get *our* voice?

I refuse to shed a tear over a liberated billboard/kiosk/bus shelter...

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Response to Earth_First (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:13 PM

33. Perhaps he could pay Van Wagner to host the artwork?

I assume part of the problem is that he replaced a paying advertiser's message with his own.

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Response to Earth_First (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:27 PM

8. that`s a lot of taxpayers money and police time

is`t it interesting how street art provokes the ruling class.

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Response to madrchsod (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:33 PM

18. +1

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Response to madrchsod (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:44 PM

21. Free thought scares them

They spend billions molding public opinion, and the wrong word(or image) here or there destroys all of it.

For me, it even came from on of their speakers: Bush talking about how he was "sick and tired" of Saddam not giving up his WMDs that didn't exist.

Found DU after that. Haven't needed MSM news since then except to sample the coming atrocities planned.

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Response to Earth_First (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:03 PM

11. Police surveillance sucks but...

I also don't think you should be able put up posters willy-nilly.

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Response to ProgressoDem (Reply #11)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:15 PM

12. Zoh Noes The Dangerous ART!!! It burrrrns!




If not willy nilly, how? Describe your perfectly proscribed color inside the lines society for us, won't you?

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Response to TalkingDog (Reply #12)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:29 PM

27. I'm not saying its dangerous.

Something doesn't need to be dangerous to be regulated. I happen to think that public ordinances about street art ought to be enforced.

Not to mention that he was taking down advertisements that had already gone up.

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Response to ProgressoDem (Reply #11)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 09:52 PM

37. People have been putting up posters willy-nilly in New York since the poster was invented

or New Amsterdam was invented, whichever came first.

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Response to Hissyspit (Reply #37)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 01:04 AM

39. This is a little different, I think.

Especially because it's vandalizing other property by replacing ads with street art. Not the worst thing in the world, but you can't have people doing that.

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Response to Earth_First (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:17 PM

13. 'twould seem that the NYPD is suffering from an irony deficiency...

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Response to Earth_First (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:28 PM

14. "Everyone get down. He has an unlicensed crayon." n/t

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Response to Earth_First (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:34 PM

19. And Islamaphobe, Koch funded Pamela Geller's 'art' was protected in NYC.

Money was involved so hate speech was protected. I wonder if he had paid to do what he did would it have been protected? I doubt it, he was telling the truth, she was spreading hatred towards Muslims.. One is acceptable the other is not.

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Response to Earth_First (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:43 PM

20. We are taught to minimize ...

art, music, and basically culture. It is the first thing dropped in a budget crunch. And why one might ask....because it is so powerful, because they can't control it and because it makes you think, makes you see the truth. Humor is also something they dislike. That is what makes this street art so powerful. Art and sarcastic humor challenging TPTB. No wonder they wasted all that manpower to find this dangerous person.

It terrorizes them and their power, not us. One picture is worth thousand of words in the M$M, and far more powerful.

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Response to AnneD (Reply #20)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:47 PM

22. Excellent, important post.

Thank you.

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Response to Earth_First (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:49 PM

23. I really like the loop the track of the missile takes. The point is that missiles are coming.

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Response to Earth_First (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:55 PM

24. what exactly is the "grand larceny possession of stolen property" rap about?

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #24)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:00 PM

25. I'm going to guess it's probably the removed advertising portions from the kiosk display...

It's probably being viciously trumped up to cover the cost of the entire advertising campaign of the materials that were removed and replaced with the street art.

Just my .02

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Response to Earth_First (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:38 PM

28. Thank God for Chief Raymond Kelly.

 

The people of Gotham City are safe now.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Reply #28)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:04 PM

32. "It's good to be the king."

Or a royal toady in the court.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Reply #28)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:59 PM

35. How do these people get their mouth to do THAT?

I've tried.
I would LOVE to be able to make this scary, frowney, angry face,
especially at Halloween.
I even used my hands to try to force a frown that deep, and my face just won't do it.
I guess FIRST, you can't have any lips at all.

I've noticed it on a lot of Republicans.

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #35)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 02:48 AM

40. +1

My face won't bend that way either, no matter how hard I try.

They've got some serious issues if that's one of their natural facial expressions.

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Response to Earth_First (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:56 PM

29. Just what specifically were the offenses he allegedly committed? Nothing in the article states them

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Response to George II (Reply #29)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:03 PM

31. He told the truth about the NYPD with pictures

and they proved him correct about BB. Actually, I would guess vandalism would be the charge.

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Response to Rex (Reply #31)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:54 AM

41. I guess we don't know the actual charges then?

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Response to George II (Reply #41)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 03:01 PM

42. No we don't - how Big Brotherish.

nt.

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Response to Rex (Reply #42)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:20 PM

44. Big Brotherish? Before everyone runs to his defense don't you think it important that we know?

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Response to George II (Reply #29)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 06:52 PM

46. Apparently 56 charges

56 charges including criminal possession of a forged instrument and grand larceny possession of stolen property.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/street-artist-arrested-for-drone-posters-2012-12#ixzz2EPfJxp00


I don't quite get it. But there's nothing new about arresting artists in New York City. One small example:

Recognized as an unprecedented visionary masterpiece, Flaming Creatures was also reviled, rioted over, banned as porn, and pondered by the Supreme Court. “Jack Smith described Flaming Creatures as ‘a comedy set in a haunted movie studio.’ It is that, as well as the single most important and influential underground movie ever released in America,” according to J. Hoberman, film critic of The Village Voice.

Flaming Creatures’ delirium of transgendered eroticism and trashy artifice prompted its first champion Jonas Mekas, then writing in The Village Voice to declare (presciently, as it turned out): “It is so beautiful I feel ashamed to sit through the current Hollywood and European movies…. The film will not be shown theatrically because our social-moral-etc. guides are sick. This movie will be called pornographic, degenerate, homosexual, trite, disgusting, etc. It is all that and it is so much more than that.”

Writing in the same paper in 1972, Hobermandescribes the film’s powerful affect and the extreme reactions it elicited: Prints were confiscated by the state, Jonas Mekas and others arrested at a screening at the New Bowery Theater in March 1964.

http://www.emanuellevy.com/comment/flaming-creatures-the-making-and-unmaking-of-jack-smiths-seminal-feature-8/


In 1963, Andy Warhol made a movie of Jack Smith filming Normal Love, but it was confiscated by the NYC PD at a screening of the film. It was never returned, and it's never been found.

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Response to Earth_First (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:02 PM

30. Did they use a drone to find him?

"Protection when you least expect it".

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Response to Earth_First (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:33 PM

34. Awesome Detective Work! I would have just looked up his signature ESSAM! nt

The guy signed his work.

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Response to Earth_First (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 09:31 PM

36. Dear God, I had no idea that people were arrested these days for

Free Speech. Oh, wait, that is not free speech! It did not come from some corporation, so it cannot be free speech, bought and paid for, fair and square! Oh, come on, what business do human beings have in expressing their ideas, when you are fed enough "ideas"? Holy shit, I need to unplug...

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Response to Trailrider1951 (Reply #36)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 06:41 PM

45. Give us your address, I'll spray paint your house - free expression, right?

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Response to Earth_First (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 03:10 PM

43. The NYPD could never handle a violent criminal.

As the Stuyvesant case shows, when real crime happens, the NYPD ignore it.

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