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Chalk One Up for Artist Alex Schaefer

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Posted on Aug 16, 2012

Artist and dissenter Alex Schaefer was arrested last month by the Los Angeles Police Department and charged with misdemeanor vandalism when he chalked a sidewalk in an act of civil disobedience against Chase Bank.

A video shows Schaefer discussing his protest. “I think chalking is a great form of protest. I believe that Americans should be protesting right now every day. We can’t just wait for this election season to end and think the next guy’s gonna do anything different.”

Schaefer is soon shown being approached by a bank employee and asked if he has a permit. When he says no, the employee asks him to leave. He politely declines.

When Schaefer was through, the words “Crooks,” “Chaos” and “Crimes” appeared in the style of the Chase logo on the sidewalk outside of the branch. Los Angeles police then placed Schaefer against a wall, patted him down, handcuffed him and placed him in a police car, before someone erased his work with a watering hose.

The following quote, attributed to the French Enlightenment writer Voltaire, was posted on Schaefer’s website:


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To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.


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