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ACLU warns city about sidewalk chalk protests

ACLU warns city about sidewalk chalk protests
Posted September 27th, 2013 @ 9:34am by The Associated Press

DEFIANCE, Ohio (AP) --The American Civil Liberties Union is warning a northwest Ohio city against cracking down on sidewalk messages written in chalk.

At issue is a law in the city of Defiance prohibiting people from painting or defacing streets or attaching handbills to telephone poles.

The law was used last year to stop members of a local Occupy group from writing political messages on sidewalks the night before the city's annual Halloween parade.

James Hardman, legal director for the ACLU of Ohio, told the city in a letter that prohibiting such messages is a content-based restriction of political speech.

City Law Director David Williams tells the Toledo Blade the situation has been overblown and the ban has nothing to do with the messages' content.

(Photo courtesy Getty Images)

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