By David Martinez
Two large pro-voting murals across Austin were vandalized with revolutionary election boycott graffiti this past week. One of the actions was covered by bourgeois news and invited the anger of Austin’s pro-imperialist liberals for the vandalism of a mural painted by the HOPE campaign, a non-profit organization that uses street art for bourgeois propaganda.
HOPE’s mural was on South Lamar Blvd., in a wealthy area of the city. A day after its unveiling, the brightly-colored 50-foot mural reading “Your Vote is Your Voice” was covered with large block red letters reading “Elections No! Revolution Yes!” followed by a large hammer and sickle. The action also crossed out a graphic that said “Local elections matter.”
HOPE was co-founded by Shepard Fairey, an artist who became famous for his Barack Obama graphic with the word ‘Hope’ written across it. In Austin, the organization co-opted a popular graffiti spot called ‘Castle Hill’ and turned it into a tourist attraction that is now being converted into luxury condominiums. Fairey and his organization have specialized in taking the street art language developed in the streets by the people and employing it for imperialist purposes.
The non-profit used the action as an opportunity to fundraise and the mural was quickly ‘fixed’, but with the election boycott slogan still slightly visible.
Another mural, commissioned by Travis County, consisted of a large ‘Vote!’ on the side of Dobie Mall near the University of Texas at Austin. The ‘Vote!’ was crossed out and splattered with red paint, and the slogan “Elections No! Revolution Yes!” with a hammer and sickle was written next to it.
Austin is a hotbed of Democratic Party organizing and the non-governmental organization (NGO) counter-insurgency, and has many outspoken liberals who seek to legitimize the decayed imperialist system and browbeat the working class into voting for Joe Biden and other bourgeois representatives. These election promoters falsely claim Biden and liberal politicians will create better conditions, or as they will even sometimes admit, simply preserve this horrible system as it is. As they force their pro-imperialist art into public spaces, the working class will continue to make their own positions heard with creative interventions.
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