blah, blah #14 by Sarah Mangle

August 20th, 2007 by dreamlistener


lately, it seems I have been rubbing up against authority figures and “the law.”

in addition to meeting up with the police officer from côte saint luc a store owner asked me to, “take my advertising elsewhere” and a director of a school told me, “not here, this is private property…” it seems there is “no place” for this kind of action, and so to make a place, or to take up a place, means confronting certain unspoken but assumed codes of public conduct.

the text below is sarah mangle’s response to the police post. sarah mangle is a writer whose work I admire very much. I asked her if I could post her words, and she agreed, so here they are:

oh the rules of the city. how we are
monitored in them. how we are (not) allowed to communicate with
each other. especially in certain neighbourhoods that can’t afford to
look dirty, because they are too busy selling their streets of
quaintness and tasteful entertainment to tourists. i grew up in a
tourist town in nova scotia. when i was a teenager, we were all
shockingly, and frightfully aware of how policed, and criminalized our
awkward, angry, horny little bodies were… no longer cute and
harmless. and we were fined and hit, and shouted at by cops, for
standing still too long, sitting on steps to vacant downtown
buildings, skateboarding,… you know. and then we wrote a letter to
the town. the letter said “where do you want us to go?” or something
like that. and they gave us 2 benches behind huge hedges, so we were
out of view, in our allotted space. it is actually against the
canadian federal law to give people tickets for putting up posters, or
at least that’s what a friend of mine who did a poster collection
project was telling me. she said if someone actually took it to the
supreme court, it wouldn’t hold up. we have a federal right to put up
posters, but municipal bylaws take away that right. weird. and
frustrating. i hope you continue with your dream projects for a long
long time.


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