Sidewalk Chalk Draws Riot Police

Riot police formed skirmish lines in the streets of downtown Los Angeles Thursday night in response to what appeared to be a demonstration over the right to draw with chalk.

The action, called Chalk Walk, was meant to protest a slew of arrests in the past month of people who were writing with chalk on the street. A Facebook page for the event, which showed 172 people planned to attend, decried the arrests and described them as “an attempt to stifle dissent.” Event organizers also wrote: “We will chalk it out all over Art Walk letting people know about the dangers of chalking.”

Cheryl Aichele, spokesperson for Occupy LA, told The Huffington Post that at first, the protest went smoothly.

“Everyone was peaceful. The tone was jovial for Art Walk,” said Aichele. “I didn’t see anyone being violent or aggressive.”

Around 8:40 p.m., police started receiving reports of a disturbance near 5th and Spring streets, close to the monthly Downtown LA Art Walk that attracts hundreds of residents to the neighborhood. About the same time, journalist Nancy Casanova, who happened to be downtown for the event, tweeted a photo of a woman on the street being arrested for “chalking.”

Read the rest at The Huffington Post 

  • July 13, 2012
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  • Activism
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  • Anna Almendrala, Kathleen Miles & Katharine Lotze