photo and indie film features true story: “Free Speech & the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist” (99 min) by Nancy Bechtol–Released/premiered 2014 at Logan Theatre, Chicago
this is excerpted from the Wikipedia Article:
Alvarez had prosecuted individuals under the Eavesdropping Act for recording police in public. Chris Drew recorded his non-violent arrest for street peddling of art. The peddling charge was dropped and Alvarez pursued the much harsher charge of recording police officers voice’s without their permission. This charge could have a penalty of up to 15 years in prison. Criminal Courts Judge Stanley Sacks dismissed the case on 2 March 2012, stating that the eavesdropping law was unconstitutional and that it was too broad and criminalized innocent behavior. Alvarez announced that she would appeal the ruling. The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois successfully sued Anita Alvarez and she was ordered to stop prosecuting the ACLU employees and their agents under the Illinois Eavesdropping Act. Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman ruled that the Illinois Eavesdropping Act, 720 ILCS 5/14, violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution when used as a method to prevent the open recording of law enforcement’s audible communications in public places while performing official duties, or the communications of others that are incidentally captured. It was ruled that Cook County would have to pay the legal fees of the ACLU which amounted to $645,549.
INVITE to connect from beyond? CDrew,Artist/ Activist (RIP 1950-2012)
Coincidence?? Truth always stranger than “made up stuff”
LinkedIn sends me an invite to connect with
only issue– he passed on 2 years ago.
Do you believe in the power of the spirit beyond physical death?
and I shout back to Chris, “your story will be told and have a longtime impact on many!”
..And all this happens On the same day of screening confirmation from Joseph Ravens at DEFIBRILLATOR(a.k.a dfbrL8r or dfb) is a non-profit organization
Screening is Aug 15th, Sat. 2015. (mark your calendar! )
Chris, artist and defender of the First Amendment, gave his life and dedicated his energies to overturn the Peddler’s Licence. But this challenge unbelievably ended up facing a Class One Felony Eavesdropping charges with 4-15 years in prison.-(in 2008 for audio recording his own arrest!) if convicted but he won with 2 probono attorneys Weinberg and Kutnick! THIS is a true story. Rooted in Chicago – my indie film, “Free Speech & the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist” (99 min) with the soundtrack of “Paper Airplane” by Alton & Mansfield courtesy of Hey Now Records. has very deep/grassroots connections which transcends boundaries!
Here is his LinkedIN profile:
Executive Director at Uptown Multi-Cultural Art Center
My goal is to establish Uptown Multi-Cultural Art Center as an institution with a paid staff and then go on to establish my own career and web site online. Along side of this I wish to work at long term part-time jobs in the creative and/or non-profit industries to further these aims. My creative, office and management skills make me a valuable and cost effective employee to any small or large business.
Specialties:proposal writing, office management, HTML coding, computer troubleshooting, repair and management, Photoshop, GIMP, Web site development, web site management, photography, screen-printing, layout, design, public relations, press release writing, radio spot writing, office software, letter writing.
– Present (28 years 7 months)
Founder and continuous manager of this community arts organization accomplishing over 20 years of steady arts programming with an all volunteer force. Imagine what we could do with a paid staff!
– (4 years 8 months)
Taught computer literacy and basic office applications to beginning and intermediate students.
Computer Lab maintenance.
“Zombie”Illinois Eavesdropping Law and Sleeping Cop?
Mike Stephen meets up with Chic-a-Go-Go host Miss Mia Park in honor of the taping the 1000th episode of her wildly successful CAN-TV dance show, talks with local filmmaker Nancy Bechtol about the new Illinois eavesdropping law and her documentary Free Speech &the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist, and checks in with Aldertrack co-creator Mike Fourcher about how the Chicago aldermanic races are shaping up. This week’s local music is provided by Minor Characters.
OTL #433: Chic-a-Go-Go’s 1,000th episode, Illinois’ new eavesdropping law, Aldertrack’s latest local election preview
by Outside the Loop
Mike Stephen meets up with Chic-a-Go-Go host Miss Mia Park in honor of the taping the 1000th episode of her wildly successful CAN-TV dance show, talks with local filmmaker Nancy Bechtol about the new Illinois eavesdropping law and her documentary Free Speech &the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist, and checks in with Aldertrack co-creator Mike Fourcher about how the Chicago aldermanic races are shaping […]
Outside the Loop | February 1, 2015 at 7:22 AM | Tags: Aldertrack, CAN TV, Chic-a-Go-Go, Chris Drew, eavesdropping law, La Pasadita, Mia Park, Mike Fourcher, Minor Characters, Miss Mia, Nancy Bechtol, OTL, Ratso, WGN Radio | Categories: Mike Stephen, Outside the Loop Radio | URL: http://wp.me/p2OIZP-shJ
Free Expression vs Censorship, North Korea, RU & Chicago Indie Film
Controversy, Censorship, North Korea, RU and a Chicago Indie Film—how these https://www.youtube.com/user/madpalX
Due to the recent events with Sony’s Interview and the looming impact, I felt my personal story hits home, and felt I should share it. As an artist myself , I am thinking of reasons why my indie “Free Speech & the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artiist” (99 min) is controversial. And in general, Why film is such a powerful tool, and fighting self-censorship.
I believe sharing this info publicly is relevant to many who make films, read books, think true democracy is important and participate in freedoms that others do not agree with. Freedom of Expression is one of our rights, like Free Speech.
I wanted to tell you what happened shortly before the screening of my first indie film..which was very difficult to bear and hear. I still do not know the whole story of what happened—here is what is known.
Here is the brief scenario:
Jan 2014. Chicago. I finished my first indie documentary complete with official U.S. copyright. Chris Drew’s Legacy already had a following due to the social-political nature the media, local, national and international, as well as social media, was following his case steady from 2009-2012. Surrounding his challenge to the Peddler’s Ordinance (he sold Art for a Dollar) which unexpectantly turned into his 2.5 year court cases for Class One Felony Eavesdropping. He was facing 4-15 years in prison if convicted.
April 2014. Chicago. Columbia College School of Journalism (a visionary school with Dr.Barbara Iverson , professor and journalist) hosted (limited pre-screening of 60 invited guests) my indie film on Chris Drew. This went very well and I was grateful for this first event.
About 2 weeks following this, Roosevelt University (my undergrad alma mater) was to show the film as a “community event” (not open to general public, as RU community)
In brief, after what I was told by a person who stated “never saw anything like this before” (yanking a film with an alum for a one time event) there was a “heated discussion” the decision came down from the Administration to pull the screening . So a community event held within RU should have been a simple event ? what happened?..But one curious one was that most of the people making the decision did not even see the film, they only saw the trailer.
Admittedly, this film has some dangerous elements like the First Amendment. Free Speech always a challenge, and the court case which Drew’s pro bono attorneys Mark Weinberg, for Civil Rights and then, for Criminal Defense on the Felony charges, Josh Kutnick who won vs the State’ Attorney, Anita Alvarez, in the court of Judge Sacks, 2012. In this case, a documentary which is based on fact and truth.
But even a film based on fantasy has its own ball of tangled deep issues.
On the “Interview” Sony film controversy:
From an article in the New York Times:
“In a clear reference to Mr. Kim, he (President Obama) said, We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States.” That would encourage others to do the same “when they see a documentary that they don’t like or news reports that they don’t like.”
Back home in Chicago, My first indie was, and still is, meeting challenges:
After months and many emails, I requested that Roosevelt Univ list my film. I thought this would have been easy, since I was an Alum. Finally, I did get a listing on prestigious Mansfield Institute for Social Justice, MISJT is located within Roosevelt Univ. Here is what the posting looked like:
Mansfield Institute for Social Justice and transformation
Free Speech and The Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew
October 13, 2014 2 Comments
Community screening of “Free Speech and The Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew” a film about a street artist and his pursuit of freedom of speech and the US legal system. When- Friday, November 14th at 7:30pm Where- Logan Theater, 2646 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL Trailer- and Interviews
(See- My Interview by Dan O’Donnell -for reference, not on original posting)
“Free Angela” Film Screening and Discussion with Director Shola LynchIn “Articles and Reports”
The John Marshall Law School Fair Housing Internship ProgramIn “Articles and Reports”
Restorative Justice & Peace Circles: An IntroductionIn “Articles and Reports”
Filed under Articles and Reports
2 Responses to Free Speech and The Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew
- nancy bechtol says:
Thanks (herein, from the director) for listing this important and Chicago/Illinois film film. The Chicago Premiere is 11.14.14 at the Logan Theatre. Chicago. Indie film over 5 years in the making tells the story of Chris Drew selling art for $1 then unexpectedly charged with a Class 1 Felony for audio recording his own arrest, faced 4-15 years in prision. supported by 2 pro bono attorneys, Mark Weinberg-first on 1st amendment issues, then Josh Kutnick, for criminal defense. He won! and the Illinois Eavesdropping Law declared Unconsitutional. Come see. http://www.logantheatre.com Peace through Justice.
- nancy bechtol says:
Thanks for listing the Chicago Premiere-first public screening- of my indie doc.-99 min.(dir. Nancy Bechtol) Chris sold art for $1 to protest the Peddler’s License, but those charges were dropped and changed to a Class 1 Felony Eavesdropping, which in 2009, carried 4-15 years in prison, if convicted. 16 interviews, including Rep Elaine Nekritz, the 2 pro bono attorneys, and supporters/friends from American Indian Center, Occupy Chicago, Critical Mass and more. Come! 11.14.14 The Illinois Eavesdropping Law was overturned! 3/2014
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….The Rest is for History to decide…
we all need to tell our stories.
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