Aberdonians Promote Bernie Sanders on the Streets with Chalk Graffiti

Chalk Aberdeen up for Bernie Sanders:

Chalk for Bernie Sanders in Aberdeen, South Dakota
Amy Dunlavy campaigns for Bernie Sanders in Aberdeen, South Dakota, 2015.08.11.

At least that was Amy Dunlavy’s plan tonight. She recruited her brother Joel Dziak…

Chalk for Bernie Sanders in Aberdeen, South Dakota
Joel Dziak burns up some chalk for Bernie Sanders, Aberdeen, South Dakota, 2015.08.11.

…and some other Aberdeen friends to promote the Vermont Senator’s campaign for President in chalk on the pavement around Melgaard Park.

The Bernie Sanders platform in one section of sidewalk, Melgaard Park, Aberdeen, South Dakota, 2015.08.11.
The Bernie Sanders platform in one section of sidewalk, Melgaard Park, Aberdeen, South Dakota, 2015.08.11.

Tonight’s event was the second chalk party Dunlavy has organized. The first was last Saturday, which went great until overnight rains washed their work away. (Tonight’s forecast: mostly clear, with a 2% chance of rain.)

Why are these Aberdonians hitting the pavement for Bernie Sanders? Here are unscripted, unrehearsed responses to that question from Dunlavy

…and from Dziak:

Dunlavy says she hopes her group’s chalk efforts will provoke more political conversation around Aberdeen. She also says that blue in her hair stays until Bernie wins in 2016.

Tonight’s techno-philosophical question: how different is chalk on a sidewalk from electrons on a blog?

59 Responses to Aberdonians Promote Bernie Sanders on the Streets with Chalk Graffiti

  1. Deb Geelsdottir

    “Something radically different for a radically different result.” Diaz

    Here, here! Their reasons for supporting Sanders echo my own.

    GO BERNIE!!!!!

  2. I don’t know who this Mr. Sanders fellow is, but those people littering the streets with graffitti are probably breaking some ordinances against at the minimum, annoying fellow Aberdonianittes. I dare say that Officer Kayser needs to get out there and put some handcuffs on some people, or at least wave the pepper spray and power hose to discourage such abuse of public property.

  3. I am trying to line up some of my granddaughter’s boyfriends friends to get out there and paint anti-liberal sayings in the public streets of Rapid City. Keep your eyes on the pavement there by the Rooster bait shop.

  4. It’s a peaceful, harmless way of spreading a message and starting conversation. The police were checked with and they agree that it’s OK as long as the message is temporary and does not promote violence.

  5. happy camper

    Somebody needs to contact the AG’s office, and pronto.

  6. I wouldn’t like it much if I walked through a park and saw Jeb Bush propaganda written in chalk on the path, so why should I like it when Aberdeeners chalk up public sidewalks for Bernie Sanders? If one side can do it then everybody can do it.

  7. Right message, wrong venue. It’s a public park. Campaign crap left in it implies the city government endorses a candidate or position. A public park is a limited free speech zone. It’s one thing for an individual to carry a sign, wear a button, give a speech – but it’s a whole ‘nuther thing to leave signs, post signs, chalk the walks – leaving those messages behind for an interpretation those messages are city government opinions, positions, etc. Cease and desist from this venue. First time merits a warning; second time roll out the citation machine, lest the park became a billboard for Trump. The Trump swing, the Trump jungle jim, etc. Just say no, not here, and do the right thing – but “over there”.

  8. Rohr, John, where better than a public park? Remember the discussion we had when the manager at Wylie Park kicked Ted Fowler off the grounds for circulating his veterans petition? Dunlavy checked with the city; the city said their activity is perfectly legal. I agree, I wouldn’t like seeing Jeb Bush propaganda on the sidewalk, but that’s a political disagreement, not a point of law. Chalk has not been defined as litter. Kids all over town can leave messages on the ground; we’d be hard pressed to distinguish the messages adults leave. Unless the chalking verges into obscenity, libel, or some other form of regulated speech, there is no legal grounds for removing these messages or prohibiting further similar activity.

  9. Let the public park political-chalk arms race begin in Aberdone.

  10. happy camper

    If not unlawful it’s poor judgement. Being in a park and talking to people like the vets doesn’t leave a physical message, and they will irritate those who are not open to the message as already stated. Their enthusiasm is appreciated similarly to those who mistakenly gave drinks to collect signatures to legalize marijuana ironically just a couple posts away but people’s biases are showing. I don’t want any of them to get in any trouble, but they all need to clean it up. Pull out the big erasers. Where’s Lynn???

  11. I like it so long as the message is purely promotional and positive about a candidate with the understanding people will be there with kids like the first two pictures above. I have no problem walking over Sander’s messages, I am not offended, and think it is a positive exchange in the public square.

    That said, even if it was about a candidate I liked, if it is remotely negative, vulgar, etc., I’d take the time to wash away the message. I cringed on the last picture above. it will lead to what Rorschach says above (graffitti/chalk wars) and ultimately lead to a banning of the practice or people spending as much time washing off opposing messages which then can lead to arguments/confrontation. There are places where that is expected and acceptable. Parks that are for families and children is not the place.

    If chalkers used this test (regardless of candidate): Will it make even people on the side smile, it’s good. If it will provoke a visceral reaction, not good. Draw pictures of Sanders (he’s a comic’s dream), use hash tags, etc. Keep it fun and positive.

  12. happy camper

    One person’s cringe is another person’s glee.

  13. Troy,

    What do you think about former Senator and Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan Jim Webb’s run for the Democratic Party nomination? I realize his poll ratings but am curious as compared to the other Democratic and Republican candidates?

  14. Maybe that new group, People with blood coming out of their wherever for Trump, could put down some chalk in the park. Just some Trump quotes, nothing more. Would Aberdoners be offended by quotes from the leading GOP Presidential contender?

  15. Let me beat grudznick to the punch, Lynn. Jim Webb looks like he has some dwarf in his family tree. Is it his too big head or his too short arms? If I were taking bets I’d say he’s a descendant of Grumpy.

  16. larry kurtz

    Jim Webb is an earth hater in drag.

  17. Lynn,

    Jim Webb is a serious candidate with regard to experience, issue awareness, and intellectual capacity similar to Lindsey Graham. However, both are unacceptable to a broad enough swath of each party’s primary voter to ever get the nomination. In today’s world of polarized politics, the skill and experience of working across the aisles isn’t an attribute well received in primaries.

  18. larry kurtz

    Like I said.

  19. Joel Dziak

    First of all, this method has been used in similar places and similar manner in the past for… wait for it… GO candidates. And no reaction until now… how interesting, isn’t it?

    Also interesting is the judgemental and assumption manner of those against it. Prior to passing judgement, do some research. It will avoid “egg on the face” moments. It is legal, it is PUBLIC venue therefore not implying endorsement by any officiating entity, and it is a common and widespread practice.

    As far as getting your bubs to write anti-liberal slurs: A) go right ahead if you feel that passionately. And hopefully, you will do so showing greater intellect and less ignorance than in the comments posted B) have fun with the smear campaign, has been working great for GOP so far *snort* C) let me know when and where and we can have some intellectual fun going back and forth, share a laugh or two.

    Hate, ignorance, griping and whining, lashing out – these are the tools of the weak. Believe what you say? Feel strongly? Act positively to show others why. Otherwise, just go back to the sandbox-bully-king-of-the-hill playground, and let the adults carrying on behaving like adults.

  20. Roger Cornelius

    Whether you agree or disagree with Dunlavy’s First Amendment Rights, the important thing is that she got her Bernie Sanders message out and is getting needed publicity for Bernie.

  21. Setting aside the issue of first amendment rights, the ends justify the means. Is that the point you’re making, Roger?

  22. Joel Dziak

    @rorschach – yes please let the Trump quotes begin on the sidewalk! The chuckle would be awesome! If anyone should be offended, let it be because HE is the leading GOP contender. Kinda like being the leading authority on clowns; not even your subjects take you seriously anymore! (Psst – why is this leading contender the same guy that said during the 2004 cycle that the economy always does the best when democrats are in control?)

    Also, good sir, yes – the means justifies the ends and vice verse. Just like picketing, or chanting, or sign waiving, or any other form of peaceful activism protected by the constitution. Peaceful means. Peaceful ends. Unless of course, some troll makes a big deal out of nothing to either stir the pot, stroke their ego, or try to sound smart but fail by making comparisons that are pure logical fallacy (genetic, strawman, non-sequitir,… yes I’m keeping a score sheet for fun! Have kinda a bingo thing so far as much as its jumping around)
    Please, tell me how you voicing your opinion on this blog, on social media, to the buddy sitting next you in public where others can hear you, is any different than chalking, petitioning, or picketing. I really would like to hear a rationale for that binary view you have

  23. Roger Cornelius

    I don’t know that the end justifies the means, we see this type of thing done in politics all the time, anything to grab headlines.

    Simply put, Dunlavy wanted attention for Bernie and she got it.

  24. happy camper

    In my humble opinion the ends never justify the means. That’s where people lose themselves in a slippery slope of their own values.

  25. hahaha-conservatives twisted up by socialist volunteers loving their guy. e.g. a grass roots movement.

    can you imagine trump chalking done by volunteers? never in a million years. he has to pay for his audience.

  26. I thought you were the conservative, Leslie, with your NIMBY posts against hippy operators of fuel efficient vehicles in your area.

  27. happy camper

    My preference would be communism if human nature wasn’t so damn greedy.

  28. mike from iowa

    Speaking of the greedy devil and…….http://juanitajean.com/well-when-your-party-stands-for-greed/

    Greedy 52 y/o is looking at 60 years in prison and 9 years of supervised watching his grave so he don’t move around after he dies in prison. All for a measly 1.something million bucks.

  29. happy camper

    People sell their souls for a whole lot less.

  30. hahahaha-you ever been to the airport during the rally? Private jets, jets, jets. On the interstate? Trucks, trucks, trucks of every size with one to a hundred harleys. 40 mpg my ass. i drive a cooper

    show me cultural edification during the rally, please. otherwise it puts a huge stress on infrastructure and society.

  31. happy camper

    When I lived in California people were killing each other for shiny hubcaps that spun in the middle. They were pretty cool but you can’t even make this stuff up. Who wouldn’t get jaded after a while.

  32. mike from iowa

    People are free to sell their own souls. I balk when wingnuts sell America’s soul to korporate amerika for a pittance and then cut welfare for the truly needy-and I don’t mean the koch bros.

  33. hmmmm. interviewer on youtube sounds suspiciously like our energetic dear leader, none other than…. :)

  34. This post ain’t about the rally or your chihuahua of a car. It’s about the parade of horribles resulting from fans of a David Letterman lookalike temporarily defacing city property and their own hair. Get with it.

  35. happy camper

    Oh, I go for a scooter ride and everybody’s grouchy. Recently I met a nice young middle-eastern guy that moved to our fair town. He told me we don’t know what we have here. He wants his mother and brother to move here from New Jersey and I’m sure it’s not because they’re all Republicans. He thinks we’re real here. Not tryin to use everyone you know. Sure it’s true South Dakota is way behind the times, but occasionally a person should do a reality check. It’s not all bad here and in fact much better than most places: other than the weather, too few opportunities, bla bla bla. So easy to whine, isn’t it?

  36. Roger Cornelius

    Speaking of whining, yesterday republican Trump said he was the biggest whiner in the world and added he would “whine until he won”!

    Can the country stand 15 months of whining from another republican?

  37. Troy,

    I agree with your thoughts are on Jim Webb. I have followed his career for going back to the Reagan years and my impression is that he is a humble, very intelligent especially when it comes to foreign policy given his background and soft spoken. Being soft spoken, known to be respected by both sides and the ability to work across the aisle to get things done and running for president in either party doesn’t seem jive in today’s political environment. It looks like with your knowledge of Lindsey Graham his challenges and chances are very similar.

    Jim Webb is one of the candidates I plan on supporting since it’s so early yet and many things can happen between now and the first primary. Who knows.

  38. Joel Dziak

    Hehe some say deface, others say enhance and educate. Guess reality is what you make it. I choose to make mine some beneficial for myself and others. I have plenty of “get off my lawn you dang kids” years ahead of me. Until I reach the l point of some people cranky, crotchety plane of existence, I choose to teach those wandering kids a thing or two before they get lost and wind up disillusioned, negative, but apathetic (read as whiner that likes to complain but will not engage requests for discussion or debate)

  39. Correction: Substitute Jive with “to get attention”. My apologies I’ve been traveling all day.

  40. Jim Webb is a veteran. That is all. He was a pee poor senator that was democrat in name only. His poll numbers at 2% are fortunate, I think he may hover there until 2020 or later, or as my cousin would say, about the same as any other nobody. Besides being a veteran, the only other thing of great significance he has done was to beat the bozohead George Allen, that came here to South Dakota as a sitting senator to campaign against Tom Daschle so we got stuck with Tehran John. Glad to see that Lynn and Troy get all goose bumpily over the guy that thinks the traitor slave flag is cool. But Lynn, the dude supports weed. Now what

  41. It is unlawful. The Wylie petition circulators achieved that while they were present, while they held the petitions and worked the crowd. There was no implication the city endorsed the petition. That is the same personal free speech as If one carried a sign or wore a campaign button in a park. We don’t litter our parks or even boulevards with campaign signs for a reason – it becomes the implicit public government endorsement of a candidate or issue. It becomes unlawful the moment they leave the park and the message becomes attributed to the city and not the unanimous drafter. It ain’t rocket science.

  42. Actually, it is lawful per the local police department. Again, as long as the message is temporary and does not contain violent or threatening messages – which they do not – anyone is OK to chalk in public areas.

  43. Troy,

    With the plain-spoken surge of popularity of Bernie Sanders do you feel it will help the SDDP candidates in 2016? National offices? Will the SDDP gain any seats in the legislature? Break the SDGOP super majority?

    I was very interested in Bernie Sanders until I researched his stance on a well known redline issue for me which eliminated any chances of my vote. That particular issue has the potential to increase problems exponentially and could overshadow gains in other areas.

    You have mentioned several times that you are a Conservative yet feel a Libertarian side also correct? Historically I’ve always voted and felt I was a solid Democrat but could definitely relate to my conservative friends and relatives but ironically since January 2014 when I discovered Madville/DFP I have been moving towards the conservative spectrum. This move towards more conservative views has surprised me and given what’s been going on lately I’d say I’m more of a conservative Democrat to a Moderate Republican now.

    Our experiences help shape us and growing up in a family businesses, being in sales and living in metro areas across the country one can see the consequences of choices that are made and how it affects public policy.

    I could be wrong on this but I see things continuing to get worse for the SDDP, They lost another 900 registered voters since November with the SDGOP gaining slightly and Independents having the most to gain. There seems to be division within the SDDP and I feel it will only get worse as the 2016 election draws near. It may take a few election cycles before the SDDP can make serious inroads and correct it’s course. Then again they may make a slight gain or simply hold onto what they have in 2016. It’s hard to say but I highly doubt they will be competitive to have much affect on public policy for the foreseeable future which is unfortunate for everyone regardless of political party or being Independent.

  44. I’m not being crotchety Joel. Just having a little fun. But just think of the mess that would be made of that park if every campaign chalked it up just because they can. Would anybody be happy to see chalk messages from 16 Republicans and Donald Trump spread all over the park?

  45. Mr. Rorschach, it would be interesting indeed if the 16 Republicans had their fans out chalking in a contest to see who could do it up the biggest in Wylie park. I bet that is going to happen.

  46. What would they say grudz? You have any good pointers?

  47. What is a conservative Democrat?

  48. Rohr, if those messages came from grassroots volunteers like Dunlavy and Dziak, spending their own time and money to express themselves and support the candidates of their choice, I might be quite happy. Of course, I’d be bummed if there were more GOP messages than Dem messages, but on a political level, not on a Constitutional level.

  49. happy camper

    The 2 party system stinks. Very few fit just right either place and they hold way too much power. Mark Cuban just said he would like to be a Republican but disagrees with them on most social issues: “If you don’t agree with every platform of the party, not only are you called a RINO, a ‘Republican in Name Only.’ You are considered unelectable in primaries and become a source of scorn on Fox News. That’s a problem.” He’s right and it’s probably the reason Bernie Sanders is finding a large, unexpected audience. Seems like there should be an opening for Independents or a third party to change the dynamic but it never happens in our country.

  50. happy camper

    Wake up you sleepy Dems. This guy is explains “the next generation of niche politicians won’t necessarily choose the third-party route. Instead, tomorrow’s most successful narrowcasters will likely run as major-party candidates in the primaries, where widely seen debates and easy ballot access will bring exposure and credibility.” Second, while long-tail candidates won’t win the White House anytime soon, “their niche concerns and vocal supporters will demand unprecedented attention” — and mainstream politicians will begin to mine their more marginal counterparts for ideas (and votes).

    Pretty good article: https://www.yahoo.com/politics/whats-behind-bernie-sanders-enormous-rallies-126531662801.html

  51. The oligarchs sense their fate, that of Marie Antoinette’s France on an October day in 1793. There can be no such inequality as we presently have to survive as a nation. In 2007, the 1% had this, In 2007 the richest 1% of the American population owned 34.6% of the country’s total wealth, and the next 19% owned 50.5%. Thus, the top 20% of Americans owned 85% of the country’s wealth and the bottom 80% of the population owned 15%.

    Staggering, but wait, in 2015, after the great Recession, here are the numbers. http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/19/world/wealth-inequality/

    They now own more than the 99% combined of us that cannot even suck the hind teat and they want it all. They want your social security, they want your medicare and the republican party is going all hell bent to give that to them.

  52. Lynn,

    I think that national headliners have little impact on local legislative races with the following exceptions:

    1) Turn-out: Does the Presidential candidate inspire a larger net gain than the other party’s candidate. In reality, I think this is at best worth a net of 50-100 votes per legislative district and currently the SDDP legislative candidates have a larger mountain to climb.

    2) The real place where the Presidential candidates have impact is issues where they enhance or detract from a local candidate and the local candidate gets defined by the national candidate. And, in most cases they are significant if they detract.

    That said, today, it is mostly wishful speculation who will help local SDDP or SDGOP legislative candidates. If they have a significant impact, it will because of realities occurring in October of next year and not August of this year. Whether one likes Sanders, Clinton, Cruz, Bush et. al., their supporters always over estimate the effect their candidate will have locally. In the biggest of effects, I’d be very surprised if one can make a case they impact more than three or four races which would have been very close anyway. Since the Dem’s are 15 seats from just having a third of the legislature, their fix has to come from the basics- Candidate recruitment, fundraising, voter registration, voter ID, and voter turnout.

  53. larry kurtz

    It’s important to remember that Democrats brought gaming to Deadwood and that Republicans turned the town into a wasteland.

  54. Troy,

    “Since the Dem’s are 15 seats from just having a third of the legislature, their fix has to come from the basics- Candidate recruitment, fundraising, voter registration, voter ID, and voter turnout.”

    I don’t see that happening but we can wait and see what happens.

  55. larry kurtz

    Anyone not running for office, serving as a delegate or county chair should be registered in Troy’s earth hater party. South Dakota Democrats should close their primaries and nominate candidates at convention, work to pass a corporate income tax, reduce the number of counties to 25, turn DSU into a community college and adopt my cannabis plan.

  56. larry kurtz

    If Bernie Sanders wins in a South Dakota primary it’s because Republicans can vote in it.

  57. Troy, I’m sorry I didn’t catch your comment sooner. I’m curious: what about the last picture (the “platform” list) made you cringe? Was it the “negative” comment “No More Oligarchy”?

    Troy’s comment about not minding walking over Sanders graffiti reminded me of Arab sensibilities about shoes: might Arab supporters of Sanders be offended by placing Sanders messages on the ground and by people walking on those messages?

  58. With no word of arrests, Amy and Tabitha appear to have done their homework and gotten an A… for all-right activism!

  59. Too many whining a——s commenting in the negative…………Feeling the Bern I guess. LOL. Love the Chalk messages.