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Author Topic: Incident at Loughborough Junction, South London. Three dead. 18/6/2018  (Read 1775 times)
Clan Line
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« Reply #30 on: June 23, 2018, 07:07:33 pm »

If you've commited a criminal act you are....................

..................a criminal. You cannot argue that point, you are not a "suspect".


They were breaking the law (very distinct from being a criminal - innocent until proved guilty)

How is "breaking the law" - "very distinct from being a criminal" ?

You now state that they were breaking the law (what happened to "innocent until proved guilty" ?), that again makes them (very distinctly) criminals. But you have also said "if"............   If they broke that Law - they are criminals.  You seem to be saying that they did and didn't do whatever they may have been going to do.

Just suppose that I were spending my evenings spray painting GWR's shiny new trains. You could not call me a criminal - or I would sue you in the Civil Court. But, I am a criminal - I know I am a criminal by breaking (possibly) The Criminal Damage Act 1971. If I end up in Court and am jailed I am then a "convicted criminal" - but I was still a "criminal" from the moment that the paint spray hit the nice new train.
I know that this might sound pedantic - or as the lawyers say "a finer point of Law" but that is how the Law works.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #31 on: June 23, 2018, 07:13:31 pm »

The law doesn't define someone as a criminal the moment they break a law/commit a criminal act.

Due process first.

The three unfortunates at Loughborough Junction did not, in the eyes of the law, die criminals.
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« Reply #32 on: June 24, 2018, 06:06:21 pm »

So then what we do know is that three young men whilst engaging in an act of trespassing on Railway property,which in itself is a criminal offence, were struck and killed by a passing train ,nothing else needs to be said ,
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #33 on: June 25, 2018, 07:31:36 pm »

There's a piece about the culture of tagging (and other forms of graffiti) in the Grauniad:
https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/jun/25/train-came-insanely-close-why-graffiti-artists-risk-lives-loughborough-junction
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After three graffiti artists were killed by a train, our writer speaks to veterans of the scene – and enters a clandestine world of kings, tags, throw-ups and toys

Nick Turner

Mon 25 Jun 2018 11.04 BST Last modified on Mon 25 Jun 2018 12.53 BST
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 ‘They’re expected to work under illegal conditions’ … graffiti in London; the three men were killed by a train at Loughborough Junction.
 ‘They’re expected to work under illegal conditions’ … graffiti in London; the three men were killed by a train at Loughborough Junction. Photograph: Jill Mead for the Guardian
‘We sometimes stand on station platforms,” a young graffiti artist tells me. “When a train comes in on the opposite side, we jump on the tracks and start painting the train in front of the bemused passengers. One time someone shouted, ‘Train!’ – meaning there was one coming down the line. Everyone jumped back onto the platform except me and another guy. We looked at each other, daring each other to break first. I won but the train came insanely close to hitting me. It had its horns blaring.”

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The death this month of three London graffiti artists has raised many questions, in particular this one: why would young men risk their lives to write their names in prominent places? The bodies of Jack Gilbert, 23, Harrison Scott-Hood, 23, and Alberto Carrasco, 19 – known by the tags Kbag, Lover and Trip – were found on the tracks at Loughborough Junction. They are thought to have been struck by a train during the night. It was, say police, a particularly risky location, offering no refuge and no means of escape.

Graffiti artists are often thought to be motivated by two things: the egotistical pleasure of leaving behind their nom de guerre or tag, and the excitement of doing something dangerous and illegal. But this view is seen as “monolithic” by Rafael Schacter, an anthropologist at University College London, who has spent 10 years researching graffiti and written three books on the subject.

 It all started with TAKI 183 … New York rooftops covered in graffiti.
Facebook Twitter Pinterest  It all started with TAKI 183 … New York rooftops covered in graffiti. Photograph: VW Pics/UIG via Getty Images
He says that – although there are risks of electrocution, being chased by the transport police, or falling from high ledges – it is rare for graffiti artists to die in the way these men did. He believes that neither egotism nor risk-taking are their chief motivations. What matters to graffiti artists – also known as “writers” – are the social rewards that ensue from being part of a subculture.

The modern graffiti scene, linked to hip-hop, was born in the early 1970s. It really took off in 1971 when the New York Times wrote about a Greek writer called Taki who was leaving his name and street number on the ice-cream trucks and trains of Manhattan. TAKI 183 became widely imitated: suddenly there was a competition to see who could become more famous, to see who could “get up” the most.

At first, “getting up” – or achieving graffiti fame – was all about the number of tags, but soon tags started being written in ornate “hand styles”, which evolved into simple graffiti pieces called “throw-ups”. These were names filled in with one colour, often chrome, then outlined in another. Later tags were elaborated into full-colour “pieces” complete with cartoon characters.

 Honoured … flowers and spray-painted tributes at Loughborough Junction, where the three men died.
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 Honoured … flowers and spray-painted tributes at Loughborough Junction, where the three men died. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA
Initially, the number of tags or throw-ups a writer produced was the sole criterion for judging who were “kings” and who were amateurs or “toys”. But style and clean technique became increasingly important. Writers may gain respect if they have enough tags but, to be a fully developed writer, you have to master all the graffiti forms.

If pieces hold more kudos than tags, then pieces in highly visible locations, from busy transit routes to exposed rooftops, hold still more. Pieces on trains – especially whole trains – are seen as the pinnacle of getting up. This is why graffiti artists prize such locations as Loughborough Junction, whose track feeds into central London, meaning their work will be more visible both to other writers and to the public.

Today, writers can air their graffiti globally using social media and specialist websites. In the real world, meanwhile, there are also many graffiti spaces or “halls of fame” that are either legal or tolerated by the authorities. So why do writers continue to take risks, illegally painting trains and tracksides, to get their work seen? The reason is not just that locations such as Loughborough Junction offer great visibility. It’s because writers are still expected to write much of the graffiti under illegal conditions.

In his 1982 book Getting Up: Subway Graffiti in New York, Craig Castleman says that only by writing graffiti under challenging conditions can the writer demonstrate “grace under pressure”. As one 25-year-old writer who wished to remain anonymous told me: “When you get people painting in a calm legal space for the public, you end up with clean art – without any of the hardcore soul you get when you’re painting in the pitch black with an eye over your shoulder.

 Trackside daredevils … graffiti on an east London bridge.
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 Trackside daredevils … graffiti on an east London bridge. Photograph: Alamy
Some academics view the egotistical self-expression, illegality and risk less as primary attractions than as a means to develop feelings of identity and belonging. Nancy Macdonald, author of The Graffiti Subculture, homed in on the role of gender. Pointing to the fact that writers are predominantly male, she said graffiti was chiefly about forming male identity – becoming “someone” through familiar tropes, such as the outlaw.

Rafael Schacter, author of award-winning World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti, believes Macdonald gave too much prominence to masculinity. Although graffiti is overwhelmingly a male activity, he says, artists are less concerned with masculinity than to encounter, engage with and explore the city. He thinks the obvious gender bias simply echoes divisions in wider society. “Girls,” he says, “are not ‘supposed’ to explore dangerous places, to engage in extreme activities, to stay out late, whilst boys for the most part are.”

There are female artists in graffiti, says Schacter, but they often arrive at a later age. They’re no less daring, he adds, pointing to the example of one female writer, Gold Peg, whose graffiti occupied the highest spots at King’s Cross in London. Duel, another female writer now in her 30s, once climbed out of the window of a moving train to tag its roof. Schacter sees the willingness to take risks as “intrinsic – but as a way to show commitment to a community. These are not the lone, disaffected youths often depicted, but individuals totally committed to their collective and practice.”

 Graffiti is about oneupmanship, marking territory, flag-waving, peacocking – but it’s also about being part of a crew
Although competition has always been built into graffiti culture, it is not between enemies. Writers paint their crew’s name as much as their own and they practise together. “Of course ego exists,” says Schacter, “and some artists lean in this direction, but the community is paramount. It is about painting with people.”

This view is echoed by Aroe, a former member of international graffiti super-crew MSK. Aroe is now a commercially successful artist. Although he is aware that many see him as selling out, he believes he has paid his dues. In Madrid, he once pulled the emergency cord when a train was in a tunnel so he could paint it.

Aroe gives some credence to Macdonald’s view, by emphasising the importance of “the thrill of the chase” and the figure of the outlaw. “There are a few girl writers,” he says, “but that’s probably because there is less attraction for women in infamy or the thrill of daring.” He recalls the time his crew, Heavy Artillery, arrived at Churchill Square shopping centre in Brighton with bags of paint and tried to act as if they had official permission. Sometimes this worked, but not this time. “The police turned up and said look just take your bags and fuck off.”

While writers prize such escapades, Aroe also says: “Graffiti is not necessarily machismo.” He mentions a sense of male identity achieved through belonging. “Graffiti is about oneupmanship, marking territory, flag-waving, peacocking – but it’s also about claiming an identity with a clan or crew. You write the crew name and you’re saying me and these individuals are one.”

 Peak performance … Gold Peg’s trademark symbol on a derelict tower at King’s Cross, London.
Facebook Twitter Pinterest  Peak performance … Gold Peg’s trademark symbol on a derelict tower at King’s Cross, London. Photograph: Alamy
Sometimes, graffiti is depicted as a way for disfranchised youth to assert their identity in public. Through effort, skill and flair, writers gain recognition that may otherwise be denied. But the follow-on from this, the idea that graffiti is predominantly practised by young working-class men, is disputed by Aroe. “Working-class people don’t tend to do it for as long,” he says. “Because if you’re from a middle-class background, you may be more able to get out of trouble.” Some of the most hardcore writers he has met are middle-class, but he does say: “There are some who conform to the stereotype, live in tower blocks in Battersea, do graffiti and go to prison for it.”

My 25-year-old anonymous writer differs, however. “It’s a multi-class subculture,” he says. “But it’s mainly the working class and disenfranchised. I’ve met way more working class writers and definitely 90% of the hardcore writers were working class too

I ask Aroe what he thinks about the death of the three writers in London. “It’s just a tragic loss,” he says. “In a year or two, it might not have even mattered to them as much.”

He doubts that the tragedy will put other writers off, however. In fact, if anything, he thinks there could be a rise in graffiti at that location – because it will now be more notorious.[/quote
Somebody's seen fit to put it in the Arts section. It's more about the motivations of the artists than the art itself.
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« Reply #34 on: June 25, 2018, 09:18:41 pm »

I read that earlier. An interesting piece I thought, though I really felt it could have paused for a moment to reflect on the cost of repairing the property damaged by these activities.

When others do things that we find infuriating, it is useful to try to understand what motivates them. Given that danger and illegality are part of that motivation, it may prove difficult to prevent this kind of behaviour and indeed this kind of accident. Education about the risks may well be counterproductive. An answer is out there somewhere, but whatever it is we can be sure it won't involve blunt instruments like brute force law enforcement. When people from a certain demographic shout abuse at the perpetrators, it just makes the whole 'paint' thing cooler. We need to find ways to make it uncool - maybe if the BBC launched 'The Great British Paint-Off', with Dick and Dom?
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« Reply #35 on: June 26, 2018, 09:27:36 am »

Whatever the answer is now, even if we find it today, it won't work tomorrow. It's clearly not only the styles of graffiti that evolve but the motivations too.
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« Reply #36 on: June 26, 2018, 10:42:58 am »

I dislike human actions/activities that unnecessarily impact upon or inconvenience the wider population (regardless of legality). Graffiti / 'tagging' is definitely on my list. I do not consider graffiti of any type as art, but rather vandalism or criminal damage, and take the view that, in more recent times at least, Warhol's '15 minutes of fame' chestnut is the primary motivation. On that basis I would support a policy of graffiti eradication by:
a) recording each new graffito so that tags and other patterns can be matched en bloc to individual perpetrators.
b) the subsequent 'immediate' (i.e. ASAP, certainly within 24 hours) removal of each graffito on the basis that many of those involved would very rapidly get bored with this nonsense if nobody ever got to see their 'work'.
c) a significant increase in covert police monitoring, largely overnight due to the cowardly nature of these activities , of graffiti blackspots so as to increase arrest rates
d) following any conviction the guilty party to be fined a substantial amount, say £100 per each graffito for which they were provably responsible, and subjected to an appropriate period of monitored curfew.
e) guilty parties to be filmed, and fully identified at the start of the process, cleaning up existing graffiti (under supervision, obviously) with the footage being posted on social media - I am a firm believer in the efficacy of 'naming & shaming'.

PS. I like Italy as a travel destination but would hate for the UK environment to become as badly 'tagged' - it looks absolutely awful.
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« Reply #37 on: June 26, 2018, 10:50:30 am »

PS. I like Italy as a travel destination but would hate for the UK environment to become as badly 'tagged' - it looks absolutely awful.
Just come back from Portugal. Lisbon is an amazing place but I have never seen so much graffiti as I've seen in the suburbs whilst travelling by train and on the trains themselves. I think they've given up over there. It makes our graffiti issue in this country look tiny.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #38 on: June 26, 2018, 11:20:53 am »

I dislike human actions/activities that unnecessarily impact upon or inconvenience the wider population (regardless of legality). Graffiti / 'tagging' is definitely on my list. I do not consider graffiti of any type as art, but rather vandalism or criminal damage, and take the view that, in more recent times at least, Warhol's '15 minutes of fame' chestnut is the primary motivation. On that basis I would support a policy of graffiti eradication by:
a) recording each new graffito so that tags and other patterns can be matched en bloc to individual perpetrators.
b) the subsequent 'immediate' (i.e. ASAP, certainly within 24 hours) removal of each graffito on the basis that many of those involved would very rapidly get bored with this nonsense if nobody ever got to see their 'work'.
c) a significant increase in covert police monitoring, largely overnight due to the cowardly nature of these activities , of graffiti blackspots so as to increase arrest rates
d) following any conviction the guilty party to be fined a substantial amount, say £100 per each graffito for which they were provably responsible, and subjected to an appropriate period of monitored curfew.
e) guilty parties to be filmed, and fully identified at the start of the process, cleaning up existing graffiti (under supervision, obviously) with the footage being posted on social media - I am a firm believer in the efficacy of 'naming & shaming'.

PS. I like Italy as a travel destination but would hate for the UK environment to become as badly 'tagged' - it looks absolutely awful.


I suppose the question is: How much, in time and resources, are we prepared to spend on this?

Close to where I live there is a wall, about 7m long and 3m high, which is regularly tagged. The owners keep a big pot of paint and very quickly remove new tags as they appear, but nonetheless barely a week goes by without some bright spark tagging it again, sometimes in 2m high 'letters'. Is it worth the effort of painting over them?

Well, yes. The previous owner was disabled and could not react quickly to new tags, and in consequence the whole wall was quickly covered in painted scribble. Once it was full, the graffiti started to spread in all directions - it was like a weed had been allowed to take root, with tags appearing on bins, walls and gates all around. Fortunately a kindly neighbour (a very wonderful rodent, who shall remain anonymous) took up the mantle of painting out the tags as they arrived - and soon we were back to just the odd tag every week or so, on the original wall.

Maybe there's the beginning of a partial answer here: graffiti removal, like weeding, is a big job if you let it get out of hand, but if you keep on top of it it becomes routine and simple. On brick, etc, fresh paint is far easier to remove than paint that has been allowed to fully dry, and by applying graffiti-unfriendly design policies (e.g. standard paint finishes that can be quickly painted over) it would be possible to all but eradicate graffiti. The question is: Do we care enough to want to do this? Bear in mind that, though this may surprise some readers, some people actually like graffiti; finding it 'urban' and 'edgy'.
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« Reply #39 on: June 26, 2018, 02:09:05 pm »

Bear in mind that, though this may surprise some readers, some people actually like graffiti; finding it 'urban' and 'edgy'.

So I don't really want to get bogged down in the rest of the discussion as I don't really have the time, but as someone who sometimes falls into that category I think we have to realise there are differences between tagging (which really calling them "artists" is a massive stretch) and the work of people like Banksy etc. Even in someone like Bristol where graffiti is common, you have both types and it is pretty obvious which are the ones that Bristol is "known for"!! It's also probably worth making a distinction between the graffiti that gets put onto walls etc where those carrying out the act and those cleaning it up are not put under any risk, and the people who do it on the railway etc, who are putting themselves and others at a great risk.
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« Reply #40 on: June 26, 2018, 02:42:52 pm »

Presumably removing graffiti/tags/"put ups"/whatever from railway property would in many cases require a temporary line closure.
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« Reply #41 on: June 26, 2018, 02:45:24 pm »

Bear in mind that, though this may surprise some readers, some people actually like graffiti; finding it 'urban' and 'edgy'.

So I don't really want to get bogged down in the rest of the discussion as I don't really have the time, but as someone who sometimes falls into that category I think we have to realise there are differences between tagging (which really calling them "artists" is a massive stretch) and the work of people like Banksy etc. Even in someone like Bristol where graffiti is common, you have both types and it is pretty obvious which are the ones that Bristol is "known for"!! It's also probably worth making a distinction between the graffiti that gets put onto walls etc where those carrying out the act and those cleaning it up are not put under any risk, and the people who do it on the railway etc, who are putting themselves and others at a great risk.
Arguably when there are guided parties of tourists being shown the graffiti, it's a long way from edgy.

It's also far from new. Many old buildings have initials and dates carved into them by tourists of bygone centuries. I've noticed some from the 18th century on Gloucester Cathedral and from the 17th on a church just south of Gloucester (although that was by a churchwarden). What's new is spray paint (horrid stinky stuff!), media publicity and of course railways.
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« Reply #42 on: June 26, 2018, 03:18:34 pm »

Presumably removing graffiti/tags/"put ups"/whatever from railway property would in many cases require a temporary line closure.

The initial clean-up would certainly require access for a few hours. After that, it ought to be possible to devise a way of working that would allow for new outbreaks to be dealt with safely and quickly, probably  overnight, perhaps using a special train. Again the question is not 'can it be done', but 'do we care about this enough to do it?'
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