Sydney Council Destroys Powerful Black Lives Matter Mural In Redfern Less Than 24 Hours After It Went Up
A Black Lives Matter mural painted in Sydney’s Redfern was painted over by the City of Sydney council, less than 24 hours after it went up. The Sydney Council told Junkee in a statement that they had covered the mural after the NSW police had contacted the council and requested it do so.
The artist of the work, Scott Marsh, shared footage of cops next to the covered-up mural sent to him by a passerby, saying he found the situation “pretty disappointing”.
The artwork shows a police van going up in flames. ‘BLM’ is depicted as graffiti on the van’s burning bonnet and ‘TJ Hickey’ can be read on its side. TJ was an Aboriginal teenager whose death sparked the 2004 Redfern riots.
TJ died after being thrown from his push bike and impaled on a fence in Sydney. The NSW Police claim that TJ had had hit a protruding gutter while biking and was flung into the air, causing him to be impaled, but his family maintain that his death was the result of a police pursuit. The family have been campaigning for a parliamentary inquiry into TJ's death for years.
“It’s a confronting image, it’s supposed to be,” Scott wrote about his mural. “It was also painted with permission from the property owner and intentionally tucked away in a laneway where you wouldn’t see it unless it found you."
“In a time when anti police sentiment is high I don’t see what’s to be gained by censoring public artwork that you don’t agree with @nswpolice, other than re enforcing #ftp #acab sentiment...”
Scott also spoke to Junkee about the mural, saying he spent the majority of his time in Redfern and wanted to create something for the community.
“I had painted an image on canvas of a NYPD police car on fire with ‘George’ spray painted on it. I thought it was a really powerful symbol of what was happening in the USA around the BLM movement,” he said. “I wanted to create a similar piece in an Australian context that spoke to issues of racism/policing for Aboriginal people.”
Pretty disapointing to be sent a video of Police & @cityofsydney council painting over my mural this morning less than 24hrs after its completion. Its a confronting image, its is supposed to be. It was also painted with permission from the property owner and intentionally tucked away in a laneway where you would’nt see it unless it found you. In a time when anti police sentiment is high I dont see whats to be gained by sensoring public artwork that you dont agree with @nswpolice , other than re enforcing #ftp #acab sentiment... #redfern #blacklivesmatter
Main Image Credit: @scottie.marsh
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