Breaking News from Screen Print Artist Chris Drew — ACLU Takes Up His “Felony Eavesdropping” Case

The news from my court appearance today is…… we declined the State’s Attorney’s plea bargain of a felony and 18 months probation. We asked for time to file a motion to suppress the evidence seized from the audio-recorder because there was no search warrant issued to listen to it. The judge gave us a new court date of September 22, 2010 to present our motion. That is two days before the T-shirt Art Harvest Fest

What is breaking our story wide open is the action of the ACLU to sue the Cook County State’s Attorney, Anita Alvarez, in Federal Court to stop her office from prosecuting citizens who audio-record police in public. This is a calculated effort to create Federal case law on the topic of audio-recording police in public. Now that is substantial news! I am the single live case cited in their lawsuit. This make me the poster-boy for the issue of audio-recording police in Illinois and, eventually, alongside Anthony Graber (see below), nationally.

The Chicago Tribune wrote on the ACLU story (link below) featuring me and two brothers recently convicted of “attempted eavesdropping.”,0,2296176.story

Then the Tribune followed up with an editorial by their editorial board last week largely in support of our view of the issue.,0,43844.story

WBEZ – National Public Radio is running an interview with me and others on this issue tomorrow morning, Wednesday, 9/1/10. Check it out.


The story of Anthony Graber is plowing the way for our case in the national news cycle. His case is significant because it is the case of a good-old-boy speeding on his motorcycle with a videocam on his helmet getting jacked around by a jack-booted cowboy cop in plainclothes with his gun out looking like a road-rage maniac. Then, when Anthony posted his video to Youtube the Maryland cowboy with his cop buddies freaked and raided Anthony’s mother’s home without a proper warrant. The photo-grab from the video of the cop with his gun out is compelling and the news people love riveting visuals. My case came before his. It is more illustrative of the real dangers of the State using its powers to selectively prosecute citizens based on their political views and as a tool to silence social critics. Even though our case is less sensational, we are able to use the attention Mr. Graber gets to tell our story. Our case is more likely to create the case law that makes real change. Please stay tuned.
All this means our annual T-shirt Art Harvest Festival the last weekend in September is going to rock.

Party for freedom at the T-shirt Art Harvest Festival, September 24-26th with art and music all weekend long at the American Indian Center, 1630 W. Wilson Avenue.

Art Patch Project art will be featured alongside 22 years of T-shirt art at the 22nd annual T-shirt Art Harvest Festival. Bands will play free all weekend. Come pick-up Art Patch Project art-patches and boogie-down.

Also displayed will be comments by people from around Chicago and the Nation in reaction to the actions of the States of Illinois, Maryland and Massachusetts to incarcerate citizens for exercising their First Amendment right to audio-record their public servants (police) in public. Thirty-eight States recognize this right but nine are wavering and three are very bad actors attempting to take your rights away. Tell them what you think!

All who attend will be invited to add their own comments on this pressing issue confronting our Nation today. Your comments will be posted online to illustrate the decision of the Court of Public Opinion. Your voices are powerful.
Please donate to help us support socially conscious art actions.
To read more about this event visit this link.

To see the bands that are playing visit this link.

Want to help? You can download our fool proof flier and print it out on both sides. Cut them to make four fliers per sheet. Then you can pass them out to all your friends.

Or come to our Sunday and Wednesday workshops to pick up already printed fliers to distribute.


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