Last summer eight of us were arrested outside the Manchester (NH) police station in an incident that become dubbed the Chalking 8. Though I hadn’t been chalking myself, many present had been using non-toxic children’s chalk express their disapproval at the lack of accountability had by four off-duty Manchester police employees who had brutally beaten a man and never been held accountable. That grew into the National Chalk the Police Day, when individuals in dozens of cities took to the streets, sidewalks, and public buildings to share the simple but powerful idea that badges don’t grant extra rights. More-recently, some active with Oakland’s Occupy movement coined the term “Chalkupy” for their awesome art through which they shared some principled messages. Elsewhere, in Orlando, bureaucrats are said to have spent a whopping $200,000 to fight in court a principled young man who was twice arrested for chalking. Now Stapleton, Colorado is the latest to enact draconian policies against the simple use chalk on sidewalks, even by kids! Just where is the victim!? This is your nanny state government – I’m opting myself. Thanks to Joe for passing-along this story. -Pete
Sidewalk Chalk Art Against The Rules In Stapleton, CO. by Denver’s CBS4:
Some call it a popular summertime pastime for children and others are calling it distracting and offensive. One Denver neighborhood HOA is trying to put a stop to sidewalk chalk art.
“It’s definitely better than video games,” said Sarah Cohen, 3-year-old Emerson Cohen’s mother. “It’s a simple pleasure for her.”
In the eyes of some, what Emerson is doing, drawing on the sidewalk with colored chalk, is a criminal act.
“My initial reaction was, ‘You have to be kidding me,’” said Cohen.
She said they moved to Stapleton because it was a family-friendly neighborhood.“We live on a courtyard and we all bought into the notion that we were sharing a space,” said Cohen.
But the group — called a Innovations and Courtyard Traditions at Stapleton, a sub-association of the Stapleton MCA (Master Community Association) — said because it is a shared space, anything that offends, disturbs or interferes with the peaceful enjoyment isn’t allowed. It seems that some neighbors have complained.
“The association is trying to go down a path of do no harm and prevent the sidewalk art as opposed to… until such time as it can get together and discuss it,” said the attorney representing the group.
Cohen said no neighbors have mentioned anything to her. She also plans to keep letting her daughter use chalk to decorate the common area.
“It’s summertime and God forbid my daughter is drawing flowers, her name and hearts,” said Cohen.
The concerns will be brought up in a future meeting and then it will be up to the residents to decide.
Innovations and Courtyard Traditions at Stapleton doesn’t reflect the rules of the Stapleton MCA.