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November 15, 2005

November 15 - 18

Freewayblogging Exhibit:

                                                                                                            North Beach, San Francisco

I rented a gallery on Grant St. for a couple of days, listening to music, painting signs and nailing them up on the walls. Apart from a couple of isolated Fuck You! s, the response from passers-by was overwhelmingly positive.  Signs are staying up longer these days as well.  People are finally beginning to wake up.



November 7, 2005

"We do not torture."

"I did not have sex  with that woman."


The difference between Republicans and Democrats.



October 25, 2005



July 27, 2005

Hello Freewaybloggers and those soon-to-be, It's a nice start, but we need to do better: the only way to get more people doing this is by doing more of it ourselves. When you put up a sign it says two things: one, whatever you want it to say, and two, that somebody cared enough about something to speak out. Cardboard, paint, and something to say... that's all it takes.


Before I became the freewayblogger, I used to collect clothing and blankets and deliver them to villages in the Sierra Madre mountains in northwest Mexico. Each trip took about two thousand miles and involved all sorts of hazards: driving in the middle of nowhere on primitive roads, sometimes through snow, rain, flash-flooded rivers, etc. At the border I'd have to either elude or bribe Mexican customs officials to let me through without the necessary permits, which are all but impossible to get. Between 1999 and 2003 I made this trip over two dozen times, bringing about a thousand pounds of clothes each time and ended up clothing well over 6,000 desperately poor people. It remains my proudest accomplishment and is something I'd like to get back to once my own country is safe from the idiots in charge.
The reason I'm mentioning this is that when I first began doing it, the thing I feared most wasn't dying on the road or getting thrown into jail. The thing I feared most was that the whole idea was wrong-headed: that just showing up at these villages with a bunch of clothes would be considered patronizing or insulting to the people who lived there. And it wasn't even their feelings I was worried about... when you got right down to it what I was really worried about was that I'd look foolish.

I told myself that if the stakes were as high as I thought they were, and that the conditions in the Mexican highlands were as bad as I'd heard (they'd just suffered a series of cholera outbreaks in 1999) then I could certainly risk looking foolish in an attempt to help. As it turned out, of course, the people in the villages lived on something like two dollars a day, were dressed in rags and damn happy to see me. So here's my point. Even if we know in our hearts that something is the right thing to do, it's still damn scary if we're the only ones doing it. Ultimately though, the thing we're really most afraid of is nothing more than looking foolish. When you consider what's happened to this country and its place in the world over these last five years, as well as what could happen next, I think you'll agree it's worth the risk.

Do what you can to make yourselves heard. Yours, Scarlet P.

P.S.: the mission to the Sierra Madres is still going strong with the help of Paul Newman and my friend Delfino Cabarga. You can find out more about it here:





June 16, 2005

Saw your site,
got some cardboard,
did it.

Hey guys,
I found your site earlier tonight from a link on banksys site, and I fell in love.
I put up my first freeway blog tonight. Pictures are attached to this e-mail.
I live in Calgary, Alberta. I know I'll be doing a lot more,
and I'll be sure to send you all the pictures I take.

Dear Ben,  Yow.
That's what I I like to see: somebody who finds the site and then
goes out there and does It. My one and only word of advice:
Paint the Cardboard White. It makes all the difference.
Peace, The Freewayblogger




June 9, 2005


Hey Freewayblogger,
Here's the latest sign from out here in rural Oregon.  We get a lot of honks (hard to tell what they mean...) a couple of friendly waves and a couple of f*** yous.  After a couple of signs torn down we put up an electric fence and it's worked great so far.  Thanks for the inspiration...

- Oregon City OR




May 20, 2005

If you're boyfriend's a Republican, I want you.  Now.

I don�t care how old you are, how much you weigh or what you look like. I don�t care if you like cuddling by the fire or being slathered in mayonnaise with a clown mask on. So long as you have a significant other who cares for you deeply and voted for Bush, I can promise you without hesitation the very best sex you have ever, or will ever have: brain-scrambling, soul-shattering, scream-to-the-heavens sex that will leave you not only walking funny, but mumbling incoherently for days. And believe me, it�ll be nowhere near as good for you as it will be for me.

This offer not valid to married or underage women or those with boyfriends currently serving in Iraq. They�ve been screwed enough.



April 20th, 2005

This is what happens when you spend $400 million on abstinence only education
and forget to secure the domain name.




March 14th, 2005

1500 Soldiers, 150 Signs...



Always move around. Never hit the same place too many times in succession. Remember, you pick the time, you pick the place. If something looks iffy, forget it. There's always another time, another place...




March 2nd, 2005




February 22nd, 2005

I-80 Berkeley



January 24, 2005

The Baby in the Gym Bag
As told to me by Yves Eudes

Warning: this is a sad and disturbing story.

Last June, Yves Eudes, a reporter for Le Monde, came
to my house and interviewed me about freewayblogging.
He was a younger man, in his thirties, good looking
and somewhat reserved, almost shy, which for a reporter
surprised me. As a political and war correspondent
he'd been in Iraq three times since the invasion and I
asked him what it was like. Specifically, I asked if
he'd seen anything he knew he'd never be able to
forget. He told me this story, and I think about it
whenever I feel like giving up.

"I was in Nasariyah and a couple came up to me on the
street asking for help. They were carrying a large
gym bag, an 'Adidas' bag, with their daughter inside.
The city was in chaos, and they came up to me, I
suppose, because I was a westerner and they thought I could
help them. When I looked inside the bag there was a
little girl, maybe two years old, with bandages around
her head. There was a terrible smell and I thought to
myself 'Okay, they have a dead girl...' The bandages
were loose and soaked in fluid - it was a terrible
wound, covering half her head. I guessed they'd gotten
her to a hospital and they'd done what they could
quickly and gave her back. It was the early days of the
war and the hospitals were full. I couldn't believe it
when I saw she was still alive."
"I took them to the Americans, and there was a woman
soldier there, a big woman, who said there was nothing
they could do... that it had to be a military casualty
or something like that. I forget exactly. I want to
say she was mean, but I don't know. More like she was
just following her orders... she stood like this..."
he said, and folded his arms across his chest.

"We went to a couple more soldiers, but it was the
same. There was one young soldier who went for help, but
then came back saying he couldn't do anything. I went
with them for awhile longer, but it was obvious I was
useless. Eventually they just went away."

We were sitting in my garage, surrounded by the tools
of my trade: cardboard, paint, overhead projector.
Outside it was a beautiful day: a warm, late afternoon
in sunny southern California. "It's hard to describe
what they were like, the parents... they were beyond
sad, beyond scared... they were doing the only thing
they could do - looking for help - and I couldn't help
feeling that I'd wasted their time. I don't know if I
will ever forget their faces, or what it was like to
see their little girl... but the thing I know I will
never forget is the way they looked as they walked away,
wandering the streets with their baby in that bag...
looking for someone who could help them."