Archive for the ‘Irving Park’ Category

Fort Myers Florida Police Stop Local Names Project

August 3, 2007

Our friend Willie Filkowski in Fort Myers Florida has been writing the names of soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan on the sidewalks of Ft Myers since July 1st. He was inspired by Nancy Hiss’ Iraq Names Project and wanted to do something where he lived. And so he has. Until July 30th.

On Monday he was stopped by the police. They told him what he was doing was graffiti and he would need to get a permit from the city if he wanted to continue. The city manager has already said that if Willie applies for a permit it will be denied.

The News-Press has done a good story on this bold 15 year old and his attempt to get the city council to ok his memorial.

Nancy has also been told by Tri-Met and City of Portland Park Rangers that her work is graffiti. I am here to tell you it is not.

The first amendment to the Constitution Of The United States Of America clearly states that the government shall make no laws abridging the freedom of speech. Graffiti laws are only constitutional to the degree that they prohibit the destruction of property. There is no destruction of property when you write with chalk. It is that simple.

Willie and Nancy are artists creating a public memorial on public property. Their expression of free speech does not destroy property, block the movement of traffic or pedestrians or in any other way cause a disturbance.

The legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, Randall Marshall,  said “The city is treading on thin ice,”. 

Sunday July 29th

July 30, 2007

Sunday started with a light mist. The kind of rain that is just perfect for settling the chalk dust and setting the names. Nancy headed East on NE Fargo toward Irving Park.

It was a sleepy kind of day so Nancy was happy to have Lisa, a neighbor, join her and Pete and me.

After more than 2 months, and over 4 miles of drawing, the second anniversary of the war is reached.

By late afternoon we were leaving NE Fargo for Irving Park where things were happening.

Irving Park

July 30, 2007

Irving Park was a wonderful happening place Sunday.

A tennis player stopped by to help.

A videographer stopped by and interviewed Nancy and me.

The monthly meeting of pugs brought out dozens of dogs and people.

There was a basketball jam. I did not get any good basketball pictures.

The Oregon Wants Obama people set up a table.

It was a great day for the Iraq Names Project to engage our fellow Portlanders in Irving Park. The great thing about the project is talking to people and sharing the magnitude of the impact of the war with them.

But then…. 

The Irving Park Rangers

July 30, 2007

A great day in the park was brought to an end by the Portland Park and Recreation Rangers. They told Nancy to stop drawing or be excluded from the park and charged with graffiti.

LaWare had to be left unfinished.

They would not let Nancy finish Dickens, so she washed it away.

Nancy finishes Dickens on the NE 7th street sidewalk, then goes back and finishes LaWare.