The Democratic mayor was all for defacing District of Columbia streets with massive painted slogans, but using sidewalk chalk will get folks arrested in her city — that is, if what they are writing is a pro-life message in front of an abortion clinic.
Last June, amid escalating racial tensions following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser unequivocally expressed her radical politics when she commissioned the slogan “Black Lives Matter” to be painted on a street near the White House and renamed the area “Black Lives Matter Plaza.”
Bowser didn’t arrest vandals who added “Defund the Police” to her slogan, and she had city workers add a D.C. flag to the asphalt near St. John’s Church, spinning off the false narrative that President Donald Trump had ordered authorities to use tear gas to break up peaceful protests to clear the way for a photo op there.
But city officials’ approval of street art only goes so far.
D.C. police arrested Townson University student Erica Caporaletti and city resident Warner DePriest on Saturday for attempting to chalk “Black Pre-Born Lives Matter” on the sidewalk in front of a Washington Planned Parenthood clinic, according to The Washington Post.
The two were part of a Students for Life of America planned protest.
The group initially applied for a permit to paint on the street and were under the impression they wouldn’t be stopped.
“We decided that because of all the things that have been going on with ‘Black Lives Matter’ that we wanted to draw attention to the fact that preborn black lives matter,” Tina Whittington, SLA executive vice president, said in a video tweeted by MRCTV.
Citing the fact that Bowser supported other slogans on her street and even participated in creating the mural herself, Whittington thought her group would be granted the same rights.
“She has opened up the streets to free expression, and so we thought, what better message to put in front of a Planned Parenthood that aborts hundreds of black babies every year than ‘Black Pre-Born Lives Matter’ painted right here on the street?”
Whittington said she sent a letter to the mayor’s office asking Bowser to “extend the same grace” as she did to other groups who were allowed to paint on the street, and also applied for a permit to assemble.
“I was told by the special events officer that the mayor had opened up Pandora’s box and so there really was not much he could really do to stop us from painting even if he wanted to,” she said, adding that they agreed to use temporary paint.
The pro-life group didn’t receive a formal response until “six police officers in their vehicles were waiting here to arrest us if we started painting on the street,” Whittington said.
Instead, they decided to use chalk on the public sidewalk, as students do every weekend, usually writing positive slogans in hopes of encouraging women not to abort their babies.
However, this time police warned the group would be arrested if they went ahead with the chalking. And sure enough, when Caporaletti and DePriest continued writing their message on the sidewalk, the officers followed through on the threat.
“We were sidewalk chalking, as we always do, and the officer arrested us,” DePriest said.
“He did not read us our Miranda rights. He did not tell us what we were charged with. He just put us in the paddy wagon and drove us off.”
The pair were cuffed, fingerprinted and had their mug shots taken, and they were put into a holding cell before being released.
According to The Post, DePriest and Caporaletti were charged with defacing public or private property. The report said the mayor’s office did not respond to calls and emails seeking comment.
“The cops seemed to not agree with the fact that we were being arrested for simply writing with chalk on a public sidewalk,” Caporaletti added.
Whittington promised to file a lawsuit against the mayor for violating the group’s First Amendment rights.
“People like her who pride themselves on their wokeness: Well, Mayor Bowser, you’re about to get ‘woke’ on Planned Parenthood’s racist past and present; you’re about to get ‘woke’ on the violence of abortion; and you’re about to get ‘woke’ on the First Amendment,” Whittington said.
Two Students For Life activists got arrested for painting “Black Preborn Lives Matter” on a public sidewalk.
Students For Life VP Tina Whittington says the group will be suing DC Mayor Bowser for “violating our 1st Amendment rights.” pic.twitter.com/qB0E4PvPca
— MRCTV (@mrctv) August 1, 2020
This incident exposes the unabashed hypocrisy of Democratic politicians who engage in viewpoint discrimination, applying the law selectively and always favoring radical leftists.
Bowser and others have allowed their city streets to be vandalized with certain messages but not others, prohibited funerals and large gatherings for the regular people while exempting themselves, and now apparently allow massive permanent murals on the city streets while picking people off the street for using chalk.
What Caporaletti and DePriest did was completely lawful in most circumstances, including their weekly gatherings in front of the abortion clinic.
Chalk is a temporary medium that can easily be washed away with a garden hose, which is why it is so popular with parents of preschoolers.
Apparently, however, it turns into a tool for criminals when in the hands of pro-lifers.
The Students for Life were exercising their First Amendment right to assemble peacefully on a public street and express their viewpoint, even if it is not one with which Bowser agrees.
Furthermore, if the movement and slogan “Black Lives Matter” were really about preserving black lives, its supporters would be in favor of protests in front of facilities routinely snuffing out the lives of black children in the womb.
Bowser and her ilk have no room for that viewpoint, however, and the city’s officials are disinterested in anything that isn’t part of the radical leftist agenda.
It isn’t “white privilege” or “systemic racism” that unfairly favor certain groups; it is leftist privilege that is the scourge of modern America.
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