Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Suppression and subversion

Sticker revealing suppressed evidenceEugene Doyle may have suggested that Wellingtonians lack the passion to engage with the big political and intellectual issues, but last week's events may have provided a counterexample. When activists circulated suppressed evidence relating to the trial of Clint Rickards, Bob Schollum and Brad Shipton for allegedly raping Louise Nicholas, one reader commented that it certainly seemed like a subversive political act: more black coffee than trim latte.

There's an urbanist dimension to this, too. As well as using new(ish) technologies like blogs and email to circulate the message, they applied some of the oldest subversive technologies of all: pamphlets, posters and graffiti. By handing out leaflets in the Railway Station and Cuba Mall, they emphasised the importance of urban public space as a political medium, not just as a gap between shops.

The legal issues have yet to be tested, but I'm certainly not going to risk showing the content of this sticker, which is why I've blurred and pixellated it. I could potentially be found in contempt of court just for letting you know where it is, which is why I'm not being more specific. But if you're one of the few who haven't found out online: the word is literally on the street.


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