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(en) US, Boston, Anarchist journal, BAAM #10 - Chalking Against the BU Biolab Now A Crime: The Story of the Crayola Two By Leanne and Amos

Date Fri, 04 Jul 2008 09:39:17 +0300

On Thursday, June 5th, four members of the Radical Arts Troupe (RAT), met at the
proposed site of BU's infamous biolab. Their intention was to raise local
awareness of what exactly is being built and to connect the reality of this
deadly neighborhood addition with the nondescript, unmarked construction site.
After no more than ten minutes of drawing outlines of bodies on the sidewalk
with chalk, several police officers descended on the troupe. "Are you
protesters? Do youhave a permit? Show me your ID!" They claimed that using chalk
on a sidewalk was graffiti, vandalism, destructing property, and disturbing the
peace, and that our presence on the sidewalk was obstructing pedestrian traffic,
despite no pedestrian traffic actually existing.

At this point, two RAT members
opted to leave the area because one could
not afford to be arrested at the time, while
the other two decided to stay and raise site
visibility by distributing flyers to passers-
by, since the chalk was clearly provoking
the police. The officers, annoyed that two
people had left and that the other two still
refused to identify themselves, promptly
arrested them.
The next morning at the arraign-
ment, the corruption of "Boston's Finest"
was revealed yet again when the police
report was read. According to the report,
the four RAT members had been "throw-
ing what appeared to be dummy bodies into
the street" and were "tagging." There were
no dummy bodies; this charge was clearly
meant to add legitimacy to the arrest. Fur-
ther, the accusation of tagging indicates an
alarming ignorance, no doubt intentional,
of what tagging actually entails: generally,
the use of a permanent substance, rather
than sidewalk chalk, which by its nature
While the "Crayola 2" are now
free and on probation, the intensity and
swiftness of law enforcement response
has shown the community that no dissent
against the biolab will be tolerated, and that
even peaceful sidewalk artists will be con-
sidered dangers to the state. While it can
be discouraging to experience such bla-
tant evidence of the police state in which
we live, we as activists must not shy away
from continuing to speak our message: we
will not tolerate the construction of this fa-
cility in our community!
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