Location: Clipstone Street, London, England
If Graffiti Changed Anything It Would Be Illegal mural is located on a wall on Clipstone Street, Fitzrovia and appeared overnight on Easter Monday in 2011. It depicts one of Banksy’s iconic rats underneath the writing in red reading, “If graffiti changed anything, it would be illegal”. This is a reference to a quote by 20th century political activist Emma Goldman who campaigned for Women’s rights, her words were: “If voting ever changed anything, it would be illegal”.
Shortly after it appeared, a local campaign was launched to save the mural from removal by Westminster City Council. Today, it is protected by a layer of Perspex, even though much of it has been covered in tags and graffiti.
The rat had red paint dripping from its hand and unusually there is a rendition of its hand print on the wall too. At the time of painting the color and detail on the rat was a cut above most of Banksy’s rat stencils to this date.