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River protest to free DPM grafitti artists

PUBLISHED: 16:14 27 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:12 25 August 2010

PROTEST: Demonstrators unveil a banner backing jailed DPM grafitti artists.

PROTEST: Demonstrators unveil a banner backing jailed DPM grafitti artists.

TWO protesters swam out to a raft on the River Thames to hang a banner protesting against a prison sentence for a graffiti crew.

TWO protesters swam out to a raft on the River Thames to hang a banner protesting against a prison sentence for a graffiti crew.

A video was uploaded onto video website YouTube last Wednesday showing two masked men unfurl a banner in support of the DPM crew who were jailed in July, as reported in the Times.

Five members of group were imprisoned for nearly eight years in total after admitting conspiracy to cause criminal damage to trains in Orpington, Grove Park, Dartford and other South Eastern rolling stock between 2004 to 2006.

The video entitled 'Free DPM' shows two men wearing black masks, swimming trunks and life jackets swim out to a raft opposite the Tate Modern where a three-month Street Art exhibition ended on Monday.

They attached a black banner with Free DPM written in white lettering over a Thames 21 banner before swimming to shore and running away from the approaching river police.

At the end of the video, one of the protesters said: "As police turned up in their boat, we scarpered, we got off the raft, swam to the shoreline and ran for our dear lives.

"And we made it!"

The river police removed the banner from the raft but have not made any arrests.

A police spokesman said that no investigation had been logged as it was not a significant incident.

DPM 'leader' Andrew Gillman , 25, of St John's Hill, Battersea, was jailed for two years at Southwark Crown Court on July 11 along with his friends Slav Zinoviev, of the same address and Ziggy Grudzinskas, 26, of Ulundi Road, Greenwich, who were jailed for 18 months.

Paul Stewart, 26, from Lewisham was also jailed for 18 months and Matthew Pease, Manor Lane, Lewisham was sentenced to 15 months.

Other members of DPM, Matthew Tanti, 23, of Holmsbury Court, Upper Tooting Road, SW11 and Jack Binnie, 26, of Adelaide Avenue, Ladywell, were each sentenced to 12 months suspended for 12 months.

Alex McClelland, 24, from Liverpool was sentenced to nine months suspended for 12 months.

An exhibition showcasing their work was launched this month, weeks after their sentence, at the Anonymous Gallery in New York, as reported in the Times.

An online petition calling for their release has attracted more than 2,700 signatures.

n To see the video in full, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcytlHoj1Ho.

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