Category Archives: First amendment

Activist Art Collective IИDECLIИE

Activist Art Collective IИDECLIИE

Activist Art Collective IИDECLIИE

These are the times that try men’s souls


On December 23, 1776 Thomas Paine wrote his most famous words and painfully appropriate words: “These are the times that try men’s souls.”


The seventy-seven words that follow those eight are equally appropriate: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.


The  reality of life is that trying times give us the opportunity to Rise up!


Activist Art Collective IИDECLIИE

Activist Art Collective IИDECLIИE


What is INDECLINE? Their webpage‘s answer is simple: INDECLINE is an American Activist Collective founded in 2001. It is comprised of graffiti writers, filmmakers, photographers and full-time rebels and activists. INDECLINE focuses on social, ecological and economical injustices carried out by American and International governments, corporations and law enforcement agencies. INDECLINE is NOT an anarchist group.


Activist Art Collective IИDECLIИE

Projects

Activist Art Collective IИDECLIИE


What are some of INDECLINE’s projects? In August 2012, the group installed a billboard on Interstate 15 in Las Vegas with Dying for Work in black lettering on a white background and a dummy hanging from it by a noose; a companion billboard, also with a hanged man, read “Hope you’re happy Wall St.”


Activist Art Collective IИDECLIИE


In April 2015, eight people spent six days creating the largest piece of illegal graffiti in the world: “This land was our land”, painted on a disused military runway in the Mojave Desert.  Click the YouTube link below to watch the project.



In October 2015, in response to Trump calling Mexicans “rapists”, the group spray-painted a mural depicting him with the slogan “¡Rape Trump!” on an old border wall on US territory approximately a mile from the Tijuana airport.


Activist Art Collective IИDECLIИE


In March 2016, members of the group glued names of African-Americans killed by police over names on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and also glued the Indecline logo to the stars


Activist Art Collective IИDECLIИE


The project that garnered the most media attention was the Trump statue. Trump statues actually. August 18, 2016, life-sized statues of Trump appeared on sidewalks in Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle.


The combination clay/silicone sculptures were unflattering to say the least. The artist depicted a very overweight old person whose face appeared discomforted and had varicose veins, a very small penis, and no scrotum.


Joshua “Ginger” Monroe, the artist, entitled each as The Emperor Has No Balls. In some instances the city removed the statue, in others local merchants bought them.


The New York City Parks Department stated that it “stands firmly against any unpermitted erection in city parks, no matter how small.”


Activist Art Collective IИDECLIИE


One of the statues was set on the roof of a warehouse overlooking the New Jersey entrance to the Holland Tunnel, where Indecline also placed an inverted US flag.


Activist Art Collective IИDECLIИE

Others…


There most recent project is entitled “Death Metals.” They  “re-purposed a gold ore processing facility on the Mojave National Preserve that was closed in 1994 and declared a Superfund site.”

There are many other videos of their work that can be viewed at the group’s site.

Activist Art Collective IИDECLIИE
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Allen Ginsberg Howl Judgement

Allen Ginsberg Howl Judgement

October 3, 1957

Allen Ginsberg Howl Judgement

Allen Ginsberg Howl Judgement

Free speech v free speech

     The struggle between the Bill of Right's First Amendment [Congress shall make no law ...abridging the freedom of speech..."] on paper and in reality is an ongoing one. That freedom becomes culturally uncomfortable when the speech expressed is contrary to the norm.

Allen Ginsberg Howl Judgement

James Joyce Ulysses

     On December 6, 1933 in United States v. One Book Called Ulysses.  Judge John M. Woolsey ruled that James Joyce’s Ulysses was not pornographic—that nowhere in it was the "leer of the sensualist," 

     Woolsey stated that the novel was serious and that its author was sincere and honest in showing how the minds of his characters operate and what they were thinking. Some of their thoughts, the judge said, were expressed in "old Saxon words" familiar to readers, and [i]n respect of the recurrent emergence of the theme of sex in the minds of [Joyce's] characters, it must always be remembered that his locale was Celtic and his season Spring. “To have failed to honestly tell fully what his characters thought would have been "artistically inexcusable", said the judge. 

     One might think that such a clear ruling regarding literature closed the door to future challenges, but those challenges continued and continue.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

     Ginsberg first performed "Howl" at the Six Gallery in San Francisco on October 7, 1955.  In 1956, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who ran City Lights Bookstore and the City Lights Press, published  "Howl" as part of collection called Howl and Other Poems

     US Custom agents seized 520 copies of the book [printed in Great Britain] on March 25, 1957 and on June 3, 1957 two San Francisco undercover cops assigned to the Juvenile Bureau arrested Shigeyoshi Murao, a clerk at the City Lights store for selling "Howl and Other Poems." 

Allen Ginsberg Howl Judgement

     Ferlinghetti requested a bench trial thinking that a judge might be more likely to favor the defendant's case than a jury.  Judge Clayton W Horn, a Republican, taught Sunday school. He had once sentenced sentenced five female thieves – the newspapers called them “lady shoplifters” – to attend a showing of the movie “The Ten Commandments” and to write essays on the epic film’s lesson when it came to stealing. 

     On October 3, 1959 Horn ruled and sided with the defense. In his ruling he said, “The first part of ‘Howl’ presents a picture of a nightmare world... The second part is an indictment of those elements in modern society destructive of the best qualities of human nature; such elements are predominantly identified as materialism, conformity and mechanization leading toward war…"

Full transcript of decision

Ginsberg reading Howl (link to words →  Howl)


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