This Is Far From Over: Chalkupation at the Capitol

A few dozen activists chalked the sidewalks outside the Wisconsin State Capitol Sunday afternoon after Steve Books, a Madison veteran and peace activist was arrested, handcuffed, cited and released Saturday for writing “This is Far from over” in chalk on the public sidewalk. The citation issued was for “other conduct prohibited” under Wisconsin Administrative Code 2.14 and carries a fine of $205.50. A court date has been set for late August. The veteran has been writing messages in chalk on the sidewalk near his giant wooden peace sign almost daily since the beginnings of the Wisconsin Uprising in March 2011. Capitol Police have not bothered this man previously, as he has been careful to chalk only on the public sidewalk, and not on any vertical masonry or stone of value or historical significance.

The chalking that resulted in the citation. Copyright Sara Blackthorne 2012

 

The giant wooden peace sign at the Solidarity Sing Along, Spring 2012. Copyright Leslie Amsterdam 2012.

The festive, peaceful “Chalkupation” featuring chalk, bubbles, hula hoops and hopscotch was attended by a large diverse group who came together in a few hours after learning of the arrest of a man who served our country in the National Guard during the 1980’s and is active in the local chapter of Veterans for Peace. Chalk messages of support for the gentle activist as well as for Freedom of Speech quickly filled the cement around the famous Lady Forward statue and the sidewalks in both directions. One young man dragged a piece of chalk around the entire sidewalk perimeter while on his mobility device. People, intent on preserving their First Amendment rights, spent hours decorating the walks. Towards the end of the event, verbal warnings were issued to two activists for chalking on the street approach to the Capitol, however no citations were issued for any of the chalkings. The sidewalk art remained until early Monday morning when the grounds crew washed the messages away, only a faded red heart remained. Activists vowed to return and continue chalking as a response to the arrest and a few hours later, by Monday afternoon, the sidewalks were again covered in colorful greetings and statements, Hopscoth games, and Free Speech.

Copyright Leslie Amsterdam 2012

Copyright Leslie Amsterdam 2012

 

Copyright Michael Matheson 2012

 

Copyright Michael Matheson 2012

 

Copyright Lisa Wells 2012

 

Veterans for Peace. Copyright Lisa Wells 2012

 

Copyright Nicole Schulte 2012

 

Copyright Leslie Amsterdam 2012

 

Copyright Michael Matheson 2012

 

Copyright Lisa Wells 2012

 

Copyright Leslie Amsterdam 2012

 

copyright Leslie Amsterdam 2012

 

Copyright Leslie Amsterdam 2012

 

Copyright Nicole Schulte 2012

 

Capitol Police come out to administer verbal warnings. Copyright Leslie Amsterdam 2012.

 

A faded red heart remains the morning after Chalkupation. Copyright Leslie Amsterdam 2012

 

Sidewalks filled with chalk. Copyright Nicole Schulte 2012

About these ads

Tags: , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,280 other followers

%d bloggers like this: