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Forum Post: Red Alert Freedom Assaulted: California man faces 13 years in jail for scribbling anti-bank messages in chalk

Posted 6 years ago on June 27, 2013, 3:24 p.m. EST by itsmyblood (10)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Reuters / Fred Prouser

Jeff Olson, the 40-year-old man who is being prosecuted for scrawling anti-megabank messages on sidewalks in water-soluble chalk last year now faces a 13-year jail sentence. A judge has barred his attorney from mentioning freedom of speech during trial.

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.

The Reader reports that Olson’s hearing had gone as poorly as his attorney might have expected, with Judge Howard Shore, who is presiding over the case, granting Deputy City Attorney Paige Hazard's motion to prohibit attorney Tom Tosdal from mentioning the United States' fundamental First Amendment rights.

"The State's Vandalism Statute does not mention First Amendment rights," ruled Judge Shore on Tuesday.

Upon exiting the courtroom Olson seemed to be in disbelief.

"Oh my gosh," he said. "I can't believe this is happening."

Tosdal, who exited the courtroom shortly after his client, seemed equally bewildered.

"I've never heard that before, that a court can prohibit an argument of First Amendment rights," said Tosdal.

Olson, who worked as a former staffer for a US Senator from Washington state, was said to involve himself in political activism in tandem with the growth of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

On October 3, 2011, Olson first appeared outside of a Bank of America branch in San Diego, along with a homemade sign. Eight days later Olson and his partner, Stephen Daniels, during preparations for National Bank Transfer Day, the two were confronted by Darell Freeman, the Vice President of Bank of America’s Global Corporate Security.

A former police officer, Freeman accused Olson and Daniels of “running a business outside of the bank,” evidently in reference to the National Bank Transfer Day activities, which was a consumer activism initiative that sought to promote Americans to switch from commercial banks, like Bank of America, to not-for-profit credit unions.

At the time, Bank of America’s debit card fees were among one of the triggers that led Occupy Wall Street members to promote the transfer day.

"It was just an empty threat," says Olson of Freeman’s accusations. "He was trying to scare me away. To be honest, it did at first. I even called my bank and they said he couldn't do anything like that."

Olson continued to protest outside of Bank of America. In February 2012, he came across a box of chalk at a local pharmacy and decided to begin leaving his mark with written statements.

"I thought it was a perfect way to get my message out there. Much better than handing out leaflets or holding a sign," says Olson.

Over the course of the next six months Olson visited the Bank of America branch a few days per week, leaving behind scribbled slogans such as "Stop big banks" and "Stop Bank Blight.com."

According to Olson, who spoke with local broadcaster KGTV, one Bank of America branch claimed it had cost $6,000 to clean up the chalk writing.

Public records obtained by the Reader show that Freeman continued to pressure members of San Diego’s Gang Unit on behalf of Bank of America until the matter was forwarded to the City Attorney’s office.

On April 15, Deputy City Attorney Paige Hazard contacted Freeman with a response on his persistent queries.

"I wanted to let you know that we will be filing 13 counts of vandalism as a result of the incidents you reported," said Hazard.

Arguments for Olson’s case are set to be heard Wednesday morning, following jury selection.




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[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 6 years ago


'cause my cedit union sucks

and "not for profit" is a buzz word label

[-] 1 points by SteadyRock (63) from New York, NY 6 years ago

Sometimes US acting out like third world country by trying to extinguish the freedom of expression. Like the Belarus clapping protest for example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5P6xepEPVxg&feature=youtube_gdata_player

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 6 years ago

As long as we let the banksters & crapitalists buy our democracy, we are screwed.

[-] 1 points by itsmyblood (10) 6 years ago

oh please you want to vote for the very people who keep up the charade.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 6 years ago

The Best 99%ers

Bernie Sanders
Elizabeth Warren
Alan Grayson
Wendy Davis ( TX )

James Clyburn
Tom Harkin
Al Franken
Tammy Duckworth
Sherrod Brown
Amy Klobuchar Patty Murray
Angus King
Sheldom Whitehouse
Ron Wyden
John Conyers
Donna Edwards
Peter Defazio
John Lewis
Ed Markey
Mark Pocan

Yes – none are perfect,
but would ANY of their R opponents have done
ANYTHING better than they did? ANYTHING?
Are there ANY electable candidates that you think are better?

Vote for the progressive - anti-corporation - 99% supporters

and support HJR29

OWS: http://corporationsarenotpeople.webuda.com

[-] -1 points by TikiJ (-38) 6 years ago

Franken, Harkin, Brown, and Warren all voted AGAINST Bernie, and on the side of POISONING US.

Those people are not your friends. And they are certainly not part of the solution.

[-] 0 points by itsmyblood (10) 6 years ago

sanders is the only one i trust. he is an old man. when he is gone there will be no one.

[-] -2 points by gameon (-51) 6 years ago

a list of dummies and traitors.

[-] 0 points by bensdad (8977) 6 years ago

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Do you have a TROLL problem?

here are some of its “tells” ►
attacking the poster - not the post
name calling rather than reasoning
using vulgarity in stead of sanity
ranting about a source rather than the facts
accusing the poster of being a ---------------
"re-interpreting" the post rather than quoting it ( ala faux noose )
using a gross generalization to “prove” a specific
lying [ often obviously ]
changing the subject
using mccarthyite accusations
afraid to answer questions

you could buy a mongoose or a roach motel, but here is a better way:
………………….THE TROLL solution ►

[-] -1 points by gameon (-51) 6 years ago

Dummies and traitors isn't " name calling" It's the truth.My post doesn't fit any of your criteria,....... you have me confused with someone else.

[-] 0 points by Narley (272) 6 years ago

So what's your solution?

[-] 0 points by itsmyblood (10) 6 years ago

confrontation and resistance.

[-] -2 points by Narley (272) 6 years ago

Aw jeez, this is getting absurd. Who are you going to confront and resist? Will you be hunting down conservatives on the street? Will you be mounting assaults on military armories?

I don't think you have a clue what war looks like or how to fight one. I suspect you don't even own a weapon. I don't know you, but my gut tells me your just a too young hot head who has romantic ideas of war. Take it from an old soldier, war isn't romantic. I've seen war up close and personal. It's not an action movie.

[-] 1 points by itsmyblood (10) 6 years ago

one person can wreak a whole lot of havoc if they know what they are doing and how to do it. at a minimum there are thousands and thousands of people just waiting for the sign.

[-] -1 points by Narley (272) 6 years ago

In the real world there are millions, probably 10's of millions of hard core conservative's who are armed to the teeth and eager for a shooting war to begin. Who do you think is buying the millions of AR15's? A lot of these folks train regularly with theie weapons and actively prepare for a shooting war.

So, your thousands of "patriots" who will try to cause havoc will be very busy hiding from the rednecks.

However, no shooting war or lone wolf terrorist will get very far. The logistics of mounting a shooting war in a nation as large as the US is almost insurmountable. Face it, peace is the only way forward. Most people already know that, you should listen to them.

[-] 1 points by itsmyblood (10) 6 years ago

harry tuttle

[-] 1 points by FawkesNews (1290) 6 years ago

No Re-Buttle.

[-] 0 points by Narley (272) 6 years ago

Harry Tuttle? You’ve lost me. What’s your point?

No violent insurrection is coming, no violent revolution, no violent riots in the streets and no violent uprising of the people. Maybe a little vandalism and a few broken windows, but the cops will handle it.

Peace is the only way my friend. Peace is the only thing that will work. Violence is counterproductive. Violence alienates people and turn them off to your message. Example: The Black blocs breaking windows and intentionally provoking the cops backfired. When people saw it they started walking away from OWS.

Believe me, peace is the only way.

[-] 1 points by FawkesNews (1290) 6 years ago
[-] -1 points by Narley (272) 6 years ago

Well thank you; I guess. I never heard of Harry Tuttle before. Is he supposed to be some comic super sleuth? Not sure it's a good idea to base a revolution on a TV show.

[-] 1 points by FawkesNews (1290) 6 years ago

Movie called "Brazil". A must watch for anyone alive today.


[-] 1 points by itsmyblood (10) 6 years ago

the system can try all they want but they will never stop a harry tuttle.

[-] 1 points by FawkesNews (1290) 6 years ago


[-] 1 points by itsmyblood (10) 6 years ago

once you know this you can free yourself from the binds of doubt that way you down. there will always be a man/woman committed to what is right no matter the cause. there will always be those willing to die for that which they believe. i am free this they can never take from me for i fear not the death nor my judgement at the hands of my creator. i shall answer for every wrong. in the meantime though ill not stand idle anymore. i have the next 6 weeks free and clear. i guess it's time to do something about it all.

[-] 1 points by itsmyblood (10) 6 years ago

you are so wrong. so fucking wrong harry tuttle will show you.

[-] -1 points by Narley (272) 6 years ago

You will understand better after puberty. Once you seen real violence and people killing and and dieing you will quickly see that's not the way. Been there, done that. It's not a video game.

[-] 1 points by itsmyblood (10) 6 years ago

this is not a video this is real life and some of these treasonous forces have got to die. i am sorry you don't understand that but they must die so america may live. 1% of america started the revolutionary war. at the peak only 5% participated and at the peak at the end only 45% supported it. go back to sleep sheep.

[-] 0 points by Narley (272) 6 years ago

OK, So who are these treasonous forces of which you speak? Is it Marge down at the coffee shop or Bill the auto mechanic or Betty the teacher or whoever? You keep saying violence is needed but haven't identified the enemy? I certainly don't want to kill anyone, and I have several guns and served in the army. during combat (artillery).

Also, what will be the catalyst to cause this uprising? What will the motivation that will make people want to kill each other. Will it be the dem .vs the Repubs? Will it be black against white? Will it be northerners against southerners again or maybe east coast vs west coast?

I can't begin to explain all the flaws and reasons an insurrection won't work in the US. We'd be here all night. We are a huge country. How you going to control it? A riot in Atlanta won't even got on the news in Portland, OR. You say 5% can win a war. Nope. not these days, especially since the other side will probably will have more people and better firepower.

I'll say it again. Any kind of violence will be will turn the people against you. Peace is the ONLY thing that will work.

Also, It just occurred to me that you're just messing with me. No rational person can seriously believe violence is a good thing.

[-] 1 points by itsmyblood (10) 6 years ago

harry tuttle.

[-] 1 points by itsmyblood (10) 6 years ago

the republic is dead i will personally if need be kill the empire and restore balance to the force.

[-] 1 points by Narley (272) 6 years ago

Ha! ha ha ha. Aw man. That's rich. Thanks, I needed a good laugh. A revolution of one. Ha, ha ha ha. Have fun.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

[-] 0 points by Narley (165) 19 minutes ago

Yes, the 1% is evil. But it sounds like he's talking about more than just the 1%. Even then I won't kill unless my life is in danger. I will not be a murderer. If that's what OWS is about then it will fail.

Violence won't work. Peace is the only way.

↥twinkle ↧stinkle permalink

If that's what OWS is about then it will fail.

Why would you go there? You are attaching [-] 1 points by itsmyblood 's contentions to OWS ???

[-] 1 points by Narley (272) 6 years ago

For once you are right. I allowed my emotions to take over. I just hate the idea of violence. It never works. Just creates misery and death. I even think the Black blocs were wrong to break windows (which we've previously discussed).

Peace is the only way. I just become incensed when people think violence will work.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 6 years ago

what of the claim is 1% rule the world ?

[-] 0 points by Narley (272) 6 years ago

Yes, the 1% is evil. But it sounds like he's talking about more than just the 1%. Even then I won't kill unless my life is in danger. I will not be a murderer. If that's what OWS is about then it will fail.

Violence won't work. Peace is the only way.

[-] 0 points by Narley (272) 6 years ago

I congratulate these folks. They are trying to make a difference at the street level. Trying to stop the violence in their neighborhood. They are for peace, as we all should be. My hat is off to them.

[-] 0 points by itsmyblood (10) 6 years ago

those 85 million gun owners are fat lazy fucks who can't walk 5 steps without sitting down for a breather. just look at the whole world. the arab spring, occupy wall st, egypt today, brazil, turkey, bulgaria, chile. wake up buddy it's happening sooner or later most likely sooner. the 4th of july may just kick it off.

[-] 0 points by Narley (272) 6 years ago

I'd venture to say the 85 million gun owners are representative of society in general. Some fat, some thin, some rich, poor, male, female, etc .... I'm sure some OWS folks own guns. Guns are everywhere, but mostly the right wing and conservatives own guns.

The US is not Egypt, Brazil or Turkey. US citizens will not mount an armed insurrection; and likely would assist in quelling unrest to save the country. People will nit take kindly someone trying to destroy the nation.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 6 years ago


[Four Companies Own Everything] (http://www.forbes.com/sites/brendancoffey/2011/10/26/the-four-companies-that-control-the-147-companies-that-own-everything/)

remove the space between the parenthesis and brackets

Four Companies Own Everything

[-] -1 points by Narley (272) 6 years ago

I think understand now. You think ground troops, supported by drones and artillery, will be used to take out the corporations. Is that close?

Sorry, you don't have enough people. training or firepower to overthrow the system. Are you aware that US citizens are the most armed people in the world. There are an estimated 85 million gun owners and 300+ million guns in the US. One of the best selling guns is the AR-15 rifle. My point is these people aren't going to allow anyone to destroy the country, doesn't matter how lofty their ideal. Bottom line is you can't win.

You really need to think about this. I think you'll realize violence won't work.