It’s that time of year and once again Nevada Cop Block will be participating in CopBlock.org’s “National Chalk the Police Day” festivities. Plus, as an added bonus this year we will also be competing for prizes offered by Cop Block in several categories. In addition, this year we will be doing it at a much more visible and significant location. The original “Chalk the Police Day” action was a national action called for by CopBlock.org as a reaction to the arrest of activists in New Hampshire‘s Free State Project for drawing with chalkon sidewalks around the Manchester police station. The charges consisted mostly of intimidation charges such as “graffiti” (for easily washable drawings) and refusal to provide ID, as well as for passive resistance to those arrests.
Groups and individuals throughout the country, including here in Las Vegas, participated in the first “Chalk the Police Day,” which was largely free of additional incidents and/or arrests. Although this event predated the formation of Cop Block’s local affiliate, several people currently involved in NVCopBlock.org participated in last years’ action, which was held at the headquarters for the UNLV campus police. As with other areas, we were never directly threatened or confronted, although there was a rather large, unnecessary, wasteful and downright silly amount of surveillance conducted during the event.
This year, we’ll be relocating to the newly opened and very expensive headquarters building of LVMPD. Partly this is just based on the simple fact that if you intend to “Chalk the Police” you should go where they hang out. A more important reason is because Metro has been holding press conferences every few weeks all year to announce their latest tally of how far they are over budget, which is no part due to their lavish spending in the past on things such as a giant, shiny new headquarters building.
We’ll have chalk available and suggested “slogans” and “catchphrases” to use, but you will be very free to freelance with your own ideas and artistic desires. In addition to the budget issues, we’re going to emphasize the many instances of police abuse, up to and including beatings and murders of innocent people in the Las Vegas area, as well as the complete lack of accountability that has encouraged such actions by local police. We’ll also bring attention to more national issues involving police crackdowns on chalking by activists, such as recent incidents in the Los Angeles and Oakland areas in which people doing nothing more than drawing with chalk have been arrested, beaten, and even fired at with rubber bullets.
As an added incentive this year, the national Cop Block affiliate will be giving away prizes (free CB merchandise and high quality chalk) within various categories (see below).
The time is still somewhat flexible and may change depending on interested individuals’ availability. If so, this meetup will be updated ASAP. Also unlike most groups we will be doing this on Sunday, Sept. 30, rather than the “official” date of Monday, Oct. 1st to accommodate those who work during the week.
For more complete info (including prizes and categories) check the full announcement on CopBlock.org some of which is included below:
“Attention all chalkers, organizers, and lovers of artful dissent! It’s that time of year again to open up the buckets of chalk and find the nearest location of state repression (aka police stations, courthouses, jails) or other public property such as sidewalks, parks or public plazas at the 2nd Annual Chalk the Police Day.
Over the past year, many chalkers have been detained, harassed arrested, and jailed by authorities across this country. From the Chalking 8 in Manchester to the Chalk Walk Police Riots in LA, chalking continues to be seen as a threat to status quo and despite the temporary nature of chalk, police and local authorities continue to crack down on our right to free expression.
Do you need extra motivation to chalk? This year there is a fun contest with prizes in each of the categories
Best Mural/Chalk Art Design – For the chalk artists who love to draw and can create great murals.
Best Chalk Saying/Slogan – Can’t draw but have a way with words? This category is for you!
Best Location – Chalk the jails? Chalk the steps of city hall? Is there any interesting public property to chalk in your area? We’ll be giving a prize for best location.
Prizes: The best entry in each category will get $66 worth of items from Cop Block’s store. Also, the winner of the Best Mural/Chalk Art Design will receive a Box of Eternity Art High Quality Sidewalk Chalk (you pick up to 35 of your favorite colors!)
Judges: There will be a three “judge” panel with one person each from the East (Kate Ager), Midwest (Melissa Hill), and West Coast (Allan Eaton) that will review the photographs of the chalk and rank them.
You can arrest the chalker but you can’t stop the chalk!”