Bremerton’s ‘Chalkupy’ movement not alone

Taylor Niemy opened a free speech conversation here by using his chalk to post Occupy messages on Bremerton sidewalks. Wednesday’s story, running alongside election results from Tuesday, has generated a lengthy conversation among our readers.

In Los Angeles it’s something more. As recently as mid July LAPD was arresting chalk protesters for plying their craft at that city’s art walk. While the magnitude is predictably greater in a much larger city, the conversations are pretty much the same as they are here. From a Los Angeles Times story: “‘We were handing out free chalk for freedom of speech,’ said Cheryl Aichele, 34, a member of Occupy L.A.”

In a separate L.A. Times story it’s interesting where a police officer draws the line between protest and vandalism. From that story: “‘The chalking was not limited to the sidewalk, it was also on the buildings,’ Frank said. ‘This was vandalism.'”

In Wichita, Kan. a blogger writes that police stopped him from chalking his protests of two recent killings.

In 2011 a federal appeals court ruled there is no constitutional right to write chalk messages on sidewalks, according to a story on The First Amendment Center website. The ruling stemmed from a complaint in Washington, D.C. that its ban on sidewalk chalk statements was unconstitutional. The court said signs and banners were fine in the public area near the White House, but that it was not a “writing tablet.”

A similar issue is happening in Minnesota.

And while Niemy is calling for a chalk event on Aug. 19, Occupy Washington, DC wants you to “Chalkupy the world” on Thursday.

6 thoughts on “Bremerton’s ‘Chalkupy’ movement not alone

  1. I find it interesting that Occupy Wallstreet movement is a offshoot of the Democrat party (or thier support).
    And thier idea is to forgive all student debt and break bank windows, now to vandalize public sidewalks and Bank buildings with chalk.
    What about and Occupy movement against the Sports or Entertainment fields?? some make bigger bucks then wallsteeters.
    Now the real interesting part the TEA PARTY an offshoot of the Republican Party and thier idea is to play the political game and get candidates

  2. This story seems kind of silly. I’d have to commend the Bremerton Police department for handling this issue in the smartest way possible. Mr. Niemy seeks to bring attention to the serious crimes the banking industry has committed. Bank CEO’s break the law and walk away with millions or even billions in ill gotten gains and bonus checks paid for with tax dollars. And all we can talk about is whether or not some guy should be arrested for writing on the sidewalk in chalk?

    He wants to be arrested, the fact that we are talking about this issue is the reason he did it. Congratulations Taylor, keep pointing out the hypocrisy.

  3. Due to the weather, this form of “speech” would only be good for a couple weeks of the year. I say let him do it, the city and police have bigger issues to worry about. I won’t be going to his Chalk Event because I am boycotting Bremerton due to those bigger issues.

  4. Nice job on the article Mr. Gardner. It has definately started a discussion among Bremerton’s citizens. It’s a tough call on what is appropriate behavior, what is not and what actions the First Amendment protects.

    I’ll be watching this as it progresses closely.

  5. We came into town yesterday (Sunday) and saw the chalk outside the ferry terminal. Heard the story and couldn’t believe it. Our 13 year old daughter made two worded (poetic/songs) notations around the corner from Starbucks. I’m glad she did!

    Keep it up!

  6. PS PEOPLE it’s CHALK, not a format that won’t go away. It’s CHALK. Some of y’all just worry too much. It’ll wash..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before you post, please complete the prompt below.

(Not a trick question) What color is the pink house?