Occupy has vowed to return to Art Walk tonight, Thursday the 9th, and “Chalkupy” the sidewalks, as well as staging
an open community art and music space in Pershing Square with a community potluck and a “Really Really Free” Market.
Occupiers also plans to have a portion of the evening dedicated to the victims of LAPD violence at last month’s event including those arrested for chalking, those injured by police projectiles and other law enforcement weaponries, small businesses and artists who had to shut down early, and residents and patrons who the LAPD kept from entering or existing buildings until early the next morning.
In advance of tonight’s Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk, members of Occupy were arrested earlier today for chalking Pershing Square. The three arrested Chalkupiers were bused in from Occupy Oakland. Two were released, and one remained in jail on an outstanding warrant.
The Los Angeles Police Department–which came down hard on Occupy last month for chalking the sidewalks, streets and crosswalks–is taking a firm stance on sidewalk chalking, as is the city. Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Horace Frank, of the Central Division, told the Los Angeles Times that his officers plan to enforce the anti-chalking law if they see it being broken:
It’s a violation of the law, it’s vandalism, and we’re going to make an arrest,” he said, adding that he has received frequent emails from downtown property owners complaining about damage from chalk.
“My BlackBerry is burning up with pictures of businesses being vandalized.”
Meanwhile, though the city has declined to press charges on the majority of those arrested for chalking–which seems like a huge waste of everyone’s time and a form of intimidation–no permits will be issued for chalking:
Richard Schave, a founding member of the Art Walk non-profit, asked the city if it would be possible to create a “safe space” for the group to protest, after LAPD clashed with protesters at last month’s “Chalk Walk.” The city said that it could approve a permit for protesters to congregate at Pershing Square, but not if the event included chalking, which it does not consider lawful.
The President of Public Works, Andrea Alarcon, sent Schave a letter saying that the city considers chalking illegal activity:
“Unfortunately, a request for a permit to assemble in Pershing Square for the purposes of ‘chalking’ does not fit within the parameters of our permitting structure because the use of chalk to deface public or private property is not lawful.”
9:15 p.m: According to Channel 9 News, Chalkupy is going on at Pershing Square and no arrests have been made. While there is a police presence, it’s waaaay smaller than last month’s; and police say they are taking things on a case by case basis, with no arrests so far tonight. Meanwhile, some of the chalkers are heading to Art Walk.
Will update at next news report.
Photo: Twitpic @FreshJuiceParty