Marc Ecko and the seven New York City graffiti artists he’s been working with to challenge the city’s anti-graffiti law claimed a victory on Monday when a judge suspended a tagging ban imposed on 18-20-year-olds.
The artists had claimed that their right to free speech was violated when the law, which previously stipulated that anyone under the age of 18 could not buy or possess graffiti instruments like broad-tipped markers and aerosol spray paint, was shifted this year to state that anyone under the age of 21 could not possess those items.
The judge granted a temporary order pending the outcome of the suit filed by the students and backed by Ecko.
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“It is unreasonable to tell young artists that they have the right to express themselves,” but then place “unreasonable restrictions with regards to their ability to obtain tools to communicate their art,” District Judge George Daniels said, according to Reuters.
Daniels also added that he felt the city had no right “to single out 18-20-year-olds.”
Attorneys for the city, meanwhile, say they will challenge the court ruling, noting that “We believe these restrictions are important parts of the city’s ongoing battle against illegal graffiti.”
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