“…you want a Revolution?” FREE SPEECH permit required in Chicago
The NYC/Chicago connection on declaration of “Art IS Speech” issue:
Chris Drew, Street Artist (1949-2012) who for 25 years as an artist and founder of the Uptown Multi-Cultural Arts Center was trying to create a vibrant art scene in Chicago, especially downtown, where selling art is prohibited in the most viable locations without a “FREE SPEECH PERMIT”!
reference, Sam Love, Chris Drew Legacy video:
Yes, the permit is FREE, but restricted to 7 locations downtown, must be pre-approved, and you Still may not get it! In a recent screening of my socio/political documentary (1/24/15) at Revolution Books, Chicago “Free Speech & the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist”(99 min)– http://youtu.be/HCD_f32k8RI a deep postfilm discussion which included myself, an engaged audience, and probono attorney, Mark Weinberg,http://youtu.be/-BwV5tadZQ0
(note: team included Joshua Kutnick, http://youtu.be/HCD_f32k8RI
probono attorney for the Criminal Defense, and won vs State Attorney Alvarez, by Judge Sacks ruling as the law was UNCONSTITUTIONAL, 2012)–was engaged on how rights varied with location, profiling, and topics
reference recent article by Deanna Isaacs, Chicago Reader:
Hey, the New Illinois Eavesdropping Law is Back!
In NYC it is OK to tape Cops at all times?” (the answer is YES!)
Verified by the man who was arrested over 40 times..and won!
Robert Lederman,President and founder of A.R.T.I.S.T. NYC (Artists’ Response To Illegal State Tactics) working since 1993 in order to fight the legal and political struggle for full First Amendment protection involving the creation, display and sale of art on NYC streets and in Parks
I recently got an email from Robert who stated:
I’m sure police all over the US see a “need” to restrict the public’s
right to tape them, especially with all the recent videos depicting
violent police overreactions.
Fortunately, here in NY there is no ambiguity. The NYPD’s own
documents describe the public’s right to tape them at all times
so locally this is a non-issue.
– Robert Lederman – Jan 2014.
So you say “..you want a Revolution?” (Beatles lyrics, you can sing loudly now) well, you many want to reconsider, since there is this FREE SPEECH permit required in Chicago—so that may delay or restrict your right or negate your free speech, Well…hope that is not TOO inconvenient—————–
Citizens Recording Police – Once Again a Felony?
Current news on the “NEW” version of the Illinois Eavesdropping Law now sits at Gov. Quinn desk for either Veto or Signature. Just when we thought it was over..
Recall that Chris Drew, Street Artist, activist and community leader, was charged with the Class 1 Felony for Audio-recording his Own arrest in public, in front of Macy’s while selling art for a Dollar, in a challenge to the Peddler’s Ordinance, expectantly turned into a Challenge to the Ill. Eavesdropping Law, and he won! backed by pro bono attorneys, Weinberg and Kutnick, in the court of Judge Sacks in 2012. and in 2014 the Illinois Supreme Court overturned this law which restricts rights, ultimately to bring evidence in court of any police misconduct. Even Supt. McCarthy, Chicago, was in favor of this saying it protected police and citizens…for more of the background story on this:
In March the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously overturned that state’s draconian Eavesdropping Act, finding that it “criminalizes a wide range of innocent Conduct..
‘new’ The Illinois Eavesdropping Law? Who is being protected? read carefully:
Only a government that lives like cockroaches in the darkness would pass a law criminalizing the act of turning on the light. Illinois — In March of this year the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the state’s…
According to IllinoisPolicy.org, the bill discourages people from recording conversations with police by making unlawfully recording a conversation with police – or an attorney general, assistant attorney general, state’s attorney, assistant state’s attorney or judge – a class 3 felony, which carries a sentence of two to four years in prison. Meanwhile, the bill makes illegal recording of a private citizen a class 4 felony, which carries a lower sentencing range of one to three years in prison.
Read more at
Watch this important issue as it unfolds in the days ahead…
as Chris would say, “you are always at the beginning when fighting for your right…it is never over..”
Chicago ‘Free Speech’ Film thanks: a painfully gritty true story
11.14.14 Marked Chicago and World Premiere of “Free Speech & the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist” screened at the Logan Theatre. Local is best. Special thanks To the media the Reader, Sun-Times, Logan TV and DNAinfo, Chicago Talks, Mark Thomas of the Alley Stores for the great collector buttons given at the premiere, and all those who blogged and grassroots rallied to support this journey and NOW indie feature film. You are the best! The thank you list is a good 3 pages long on the film credits, several of Chris Drew’s former students were there, Lew & Diana – with beautiful flyers and ongoing People’s Tribune tributes to Chris, as well as his widow Deborah, attorney Mark Weinberg, and (includes spiritual advisors and inspirations) John Lennon, Martin Luther King and Gandhi, his probono attorneys Weinberg and Kutnick, Music courtesy of Hey Now Records/’Paper Airplane’, by Behind the Sun-Alton & Mansfield, ( along with the ACLU, APA, CANTV, Occupy Critical Mass and our Public Servants(who legally can and will be recorded in public), and more. so many more…all listed in the film ) Special thanks to the crew who supported the film Ron Grenko and Hermann Wieland, and David Bechtol, Technical Supervisor and fixer of all things, without him this film would not have been made. Thanks for all who were there in person and in spirit! an excellent audience, we nearly filled the 102 seat theatre. very well attended! What an experience to see so many people and, most I did not know… that was amazing. The film is now for history, forever.
above, is the Poster in lobby next to all the REAL movies! 27×39″ mine is 2nd from the left….”into the woods” ah yes, the journey was long to make this DIY indie, but worth every joy and sorrow, those who make films, know deeply what I mean. Peace through Justice. May the Chris Drew story of social justice radiate. The truth IS out there. Art IS Speech! In any way you can, tell the stories of our lives. ~Nancy Bechtol
The Legacy of Chicago’s Own: Chris Drew, Street Artist. Artist, Advocate and Activist
…Upon hearing of his VICTORY over the Class 1 Felony Eavesdropping charges, after showing his passion, his determination to ensure and declare “Art IS Speech” , for his Challenges and mandate to abolishing the Peddler’s Ordinance (which he never got to challenge due to the most unexpected switch to felony upon arrest) to his withstanding the trials of grueling 2.5 years of court battle, (with probono Attorney Mark Weinberg, and probono Attorney Joshua Kutnick, his most strong archangels in defense) to his faith that the people, especially those who are most vulnerable against the dark forces, that all shall have 1st Amendment Rights, to Free Speech”
Chris Drew RIP (1950-2012) was heralded Patron Saint of Street Artists (first proclaimed by Kingdom, a street artist himself) and additionally, Defender of Free Speech!
and now the truth, the rest of the story, for all time, for history, as given to me, slowly revealed in many ways, and sometimes through dreams by all the powers that be, I now give you the film.
11.14.14 Friday. Chicago Premiere at the Logan Theatre. doors open 6:30 screens at 7:30 p
Recommended by the Chicago Reader
~Nancy Bechtol, artist, inspired educator, filmmaker
Chris Drew knew how to include other people…he was a very all inclusive person…Chris would call me the Idea Man, since I would come up with all sorts of ideas for artwork..(etc.) that is what I do in the movement (Occupy).
He would ride his bike and have all these saddle bags and have all this screen print stuff, and we would go to different festivals..and he would be out there (UM-CAC Art of the TShirt) screenprinting and doing the patches (Art Patch Project)..and I would hold up patches and talk to people..
..always out there, always resilient, always in the face of the system..
© 2012 video – Ron Schupp: Chris Drew Legacy Interview #13. by Nancy Bechtol, APA Photojournalist. Organizer for Free SAM. Free Speech Artists Movement. (note: “Chicago Five” case and the felony charges mentioned in this video –they were acquitted after 7 months through the judicial system) From the series of people sharing insights to the artist/activist and his life work.
SEE/Hear Ron Schupp:
—————————————Chicago Premiere at the Logan Theatre ,” Free Speech and the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist” by Nancy Bechtol. Featuring indie Music by Behind the Sun-Andy Alton & David Mansfield “Paper Airplane” courtesy of Hey Now Records – one night only – 11.14.14 Friday 7:30 PM
See/Hear the Nancy Bechtol interview by Dan O’Donnell – Logan Square TV
An important documentary about street artist Chris Drew, and his challenges and victory defending First Amendment rights for all citizens, especially Artists. Chicago premiere at The Logan Theatre on Friday, 7:30pm November 14. The film, Free Speech and the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist is a film by Nancy Bechtol. Literally thousands of people across Chicago know Chris Drew, because of his vibrant presence in Chicago’s art community.
Original Music featured in the film is courtesy of Hey Now Records. http://www.heynowrecords.com “Paper Airplane” by Behind the Sun` Andy Alton & David Mansfield.