Chalk isn’t vandalism

No matter what they say. $6000 to clean off what a good rainstorm would have done? I don’t think so:

SAN DIEGO – The case against a North Park man who wrote anti-big bank messages on city sidewalks with chalk will go to trial, a judge decided Tuesday.

Jeff Olson is charged with 13 counts of vandalism and is facing 13 years in jail, as well as $13,000 in restitution fees.

Olson calls the charges heavy-handed and describes what he did as free speech.

“I was encouraging folks to close their accounts at big Wall Street banks to transfer their money local nonprofit, community credit unions,” said Olson.

Surveillance pictures showed him writing on the sidewalks of banks using children’s chalk to promote anti-big bank websites. Olson told 10News he did this more than a dozen times at three different locations in Hillcrest and North Park.

“Free speech is protected; just because you don’t like what it says doesn’t mean that you can’t do it,” he said. “If I had drawn a little girl’s hopscotch squares on the street, we wouldn’t be here today.”

However, the San Diego City Attorney’s Office said Olson broke the law and considered his writings to be vandalism.

5 Responses to Chalk isn’t vandalism

  1. imhotep June 26, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    “Surveillance pictures showed him”…………were they cameras mounted on poles or drones flying around? Big Brother is watching your every move and reading or listening to your every message in this land of the free and home of the brave. How safe do ‘you’ feel knowing that?

  2. Izquierdo June 26, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

    San Diego doesn’t get rainstorms.
    Well, occasionally…

    The system’s obeisance to the 1% has gotten to be intolerable.
    Whadda we goin’ta do about it?

  3. russ June 26, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    Obviously then, the main lesson to take away from Martin Luther nailing a list of 95 dissenting opinions to the door of a church in Wittenberg back in 1517 was that this constituted a blatant act of vandalism.

    Reliable sources avow that it cost the church some 6000 marks to repair the nail hole.

    What was written within the theses was, of course, of no consequence, at least according to the San Diego City Attorney’s Office, which was last heard of filing a “friend of the Court” argument in the Luther case.

  4. Ron June 26, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

    13 years for chalk on a sidewalk; not one minute for the theft of trillions and the ruination of millions of lives. You wouldn’t get that much time if you burned the bank down.

  5. tsisageya June 26, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

    So, we’re talking about chalk now. Awesome.

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