De La Vega Strikes BackBy Jose B. Rivera
East Harlem - May 15, 2004. Resident community artist James De La Vega issued at tee-shirt with the words “Free De La Vega” printed on it. De La Vega is selling the tee-shirt to get the word out about his present legal woes. He was charged with vandalism when he painted on a blank wall in the Bronx. According to De La Vega, he was just trying to create an image which would make people smile, brighten their day. According to Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson, Mr. De La Vega was vandalizing private property. During a recent hearing Mr. De La Vega decided to have his case go to court rather than accept a deal where he had to admit to destroying public property, which he feel he did not in fact do.
By issuing the tee-shirt, James De La Vega is trying to garner community support and let the authorities know that he is not taking the vandalism charges lying down. De La Vega will use self expression to defend his right to self expression.
Support James De La Vega, by buying his tee-shirt and by writing to the Bronx DA and letting him know that he is prosecuting an artist and not a criminal. DA Johnson is vandalism the justice system by persecuting our beloved artist.