Banksy Manifesto

Banksy's Manifesto

The inspiring manifesto of Banksy

From Official Website

George Davis est maintenant un homme libre et heureux. Il est marié à une femme originaire du nord de Londres, fille d'un inspecteur de police.

We can read on the official website of Banksy the inspiring “manifesto”, the why of the how. It was inserted on 18th January 2008, replacing thus the former, which involved a hero of the Second World War. Here is the translation.

In 1974, aged 33, a man named George Davis was convicted of stealing the payroll of the London Electricity Board in IIford. He was arrested thanks to the testimonies of police officers who were outside the bank at the time of the theft and he was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

However, his friend Peter Chappell was convinced that Davis was innocent due to large discrepancies between the testimonies of the police officers and the fact that none of the blood stains found at the scene corresponded to the blood of the presumed guilty. Thus, Chappell publicly called for the release of his companion.

He brought together some supporters and started one of the most important graffiti campaigns never seen before in Great Britain. In the following months, the inscription “G. Davis is innocent” appeared on all the walls, bridges and tunnels across London. Some of them are still visible to this day.

Chappell and four other supporters eventually carried out their acts of vandalism on the Headingley Cricket Ground in August 1975, the night before a match between England and Australia. The criminals dug holes in the ground, filled them with oil and painted on the floor “Sorry we had to do this, but George Davis is innocent" in large white letters. The match was postponed and Chappell was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for the damage.

These claims brought the case to the attention of the Secretary-General who, after having ordered a second investigation, released Davis only two years after his initial conviction, using the very exceptional and controversial act of Royal Prerogative of Mercy.

The fight to release George Davis was one of the most spectacular campaigns ever carried out against injustice, despite the fact that one year after his release, he was convicted of robbing the Bank of Cyprus. He was thus imprisoned six years, and then three years after being released, he was again caught in a burglary of train stations.

George Davis is now a free and happy man. He is married to a woman from North London, daughter of a police inspector.

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