California man faces 13 years in jail for scribbling anti-bank messages in chalk

chalk cc

This is disturbing. It was chalk. Children’s chalk. And the judge has barred any mention of the 1st Amendment in the courtroom. I thought that was illegal.

Oh wait, writing with chalk on the sidewalk will get you 13 years in prison. The government barring the mention of the 1st Amendment, the right to free speech, that’s not that big a deal.


According to the San Diego Reader, which reported on Tuesday that a judge had opted to prevent Olson’s attorney from “mentioning the First Amendment, free speech, free expression, public forum, expressive conduct, or political speech during the trial,” Olson must now stand trial for on 13 counts of vandalism.

In addition to possibly spending years in jail, Olson will also be held liable for fines of up to $13,000 over the anti-big-bank slogans that were left using washable children’s chalk on a sidewalk outside of three San Diego, California branches of Bank of America, the massive conglomerate that received $45 billion in interest-free loans from the US government in 2008-2009 in a bid to keep it solvent after bad bets went south.

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