Here are a bunch of photos from the anti-war protests in Los Angeles yesterday. But let’s focus on two in particular.
This one is a picture of some chalk drawings done at a public park during the rally.
This one is a picture of Sam, the fellow who did the chalk drawing, being arrested for doing so (in the background).
You might be saying “wow, that’s ridiculous that it’s against the law to draw on the ground with chalk in Los Angeles.”
And you’d be wrong. Because it’s not against the law to draw on the ground with chalk in Los Angeles. This according to a friend of mine who has researched chalk laws in Los Angeles (no, really). She says that there are two legal precendents here, cases tried by both the ACLU and National Lawyers Guild which found that drawing with chalk on public grounds is not illegal in that city.
The story as told to me by a witness is that Sam was leaving the event, got into his car, and was told to get out by three police officers. They told him to empty his pockets, and he showed them the chalk. There were now eight cops. One cop examined the drawing on the ground and said “oh, it’s only chalk”. And one of the other cops said “so what, we’re gonna arrest him anyway”.
Near as I can figure, the cops saw a guy drawing on the ground, tried to arrest him for graffitti, and then realized that it was only chalk. This made them feel stupid, to save face and get “revenge”, they went ahead and arrested the “perpetrator”. What did they charge him with exactly? I don’t know, but I’m guessing it’s be some bullshit like “resisting arrest” or littering. Last I heard he was getting bailed out late last night. $1000, and he’ll probably have to go to take time off of work to go to trial for, y’know, not breaking the law.
Your tax dollars at work.
I’ll keep y’all updated on this one.
Sam posted his own version of events on LA Indymedia, I’ll repost em here:
I had been wanting to ask people to lay down so i could trace them but i realized people wouldn’t want to get that dirty so i made a cardboard deadguy and traced it like a crime scene then filled it with things like… “Raytheon”,”Boeing”,”Northrop Grummond”, and “No War”… after the anti-imperialism party all the orgs were taking down their booths… and I wrote a breif line on a pillar protruding from the public sidewalk, it read… “buy less crap”…. we got in the car and before i closed the door, three officers ran over and held my car door from closing… told me to step aside and began sticking thier metaphorical thumbs up their you know where until the lead moron decided to not only cite me but arrest and detain me without opproutunity of O.R. The one smart thing i managed to do is hit the record button on the MP3player i was wearing at the time… so i have everything recorded, even a socond file of when i was being held in a cell briefly…
ps- i had about 4 pieces of chaulk but 2 of them were the size of an m&m and the other two where broken… so they seized technically 7 pieces of chaulk which they now hold as evidence of this event…
It’s sad to think that they would waste 8 officers on this… im’ sorry, aren’t there real crimes happening in Downtown LA… like the tyranny of the suits sitting in skyscrappers making decision that will gentrify and further subjugate the last remaining culture of the communities…..
my court info:
429 Bauchet St
Los Angeles, CA
Oct. 19th 2005
this should be a good one…
i look forward to hearing my case be dismissed or heard by a jury of my peers. IF ANYONE HAS CASE NOTES OR HISTORY OF CHALK RELATED VANDALISM PLEASE LET ME KNOW… THE LAW IS TRICKY AND I CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY THE LEGAL OFFICES OF LUCIFER AND SONS LIKE SOME PEOPLE SO I MAY BE REPRESENTING MYSELF OR PERHAPS MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE N.L.G.
Amusingly, Sam had some sort of mp3 player hanging around his neck at the time, and managed to record his arrest, you can here it here in .wav format (about 16 min). Sam isn’t particularly polite to the police, but he doesn’t need to be. He’s not doing anything wrong. I imagine the only crime here is Sam’s lack of “proper” deference to the police.
[some edits were made to this post as photo URLs changed and new info became available]
2 Comments »
Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>