Chalking charges dismissed!

Supporters celebrate outside the court. Photo by Franklin Dmitryev for News & Letters.

Supporters celebrate outside the court. Photo by Franklin Dmitryev for News & Letters.

Chicago—At an Oct. 9 protest at the Federal Building, a Homeland Security officer had Occupy activist Marissa Brown charged with property destruction for writing political messages on the premises with chalk. (See “Chalking a felony?” in Nov.-Dec. 2012 N&L.) At her trial on Dec. 17, about 40 supporters in the courtroom rose to their feet in solidarity. Judge Calabrese dismissed the charges, denying the prosecution’s motion to continue the trial. Brown told N&L:

“I did chalk on the Federal Plaza, and I’m proud of it! When the complaining witness is the Department of Homeland Security, you get scared. The judge questioned how hurtful chalking could be. The judge realized that it’s ludicrous to waste the taxpayer’s money to prosecute a mother of four on a felony charge of chalking. I’m really looking forward to doing more chalking and more actions. It was amazing when everyone stood up in the courtroom. News and Letters Committees was there, Occupy Chicago, Occupy El Barrio, Occupy the Southside, the LGBT Network, First Unitarian Church, and more.”

—Courtroom supporter

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