On Thursday, July 12, Occupy Los Angeles handed out chalk at the regular monthly Downtown Artwalk event in protest of recent arrests of chalkers by LAPD. The trend of harassing activists for using chalk arguably began in Orlando, where activists recently won a court battle upholding their right to chalk. We experienced it in Austin on Independence Day when State Troopers accused the Iraq Veterans Against the War of chalk-related Criminal Mischief.
None of this compares to sponge grenades. Anger at this violence led to calls for Chalkupy actions in solidarity, with Boston, Chicago, New Orleans, Oakland, Salem in Oregon, San Diego Seattle, and of course Austin responding. More are planned for the near future.
Occupy Austin members were not bothered by police, and received only mild consternation from a security guard at Bank of America Center on Congress (who was quick to remind us he wasn’t affiliated with the bank). We performed three ‘chalk bombs’ — first a die-in style action we labelled an LAPD Crime Scene, with each chalk outlined body being labelled ‘artist.’ We finished it by leaving shattered chalk in their hands. Then, we chalked three big banks in turn — Chase, Bank of America, and the drive-thru of Wells Fargo.
All photos below are by Kit O’Connell, except photos by @ChapeauDefee, Lainie Duro, or @OccupyURCapitol, where noted.
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