Back when the Republican Convention was in New York, there were a number of arrests that I find … disturbing.

First there was the guy with a bike that wrote messages on the sidewalk in washable chalk. You could send messages to be written by the bike from his website. Overall a pretty clever idea. He was going to ride around during the RNC writing other folks words on the sidewalk. A pretty neat twist on freedom of speech :).

He was arrested by the NYC police - while being interviewed for TV. Personally I think it a bit of a stretch to arrest someone for writing with washable chalk. Sounds too much like an excuse, given the “damage” washes away with a bit of water. Seems somehow that “freedom of speech” should have weighed in here in favor of not bothering this guy who was clearly not out to do any real harm (not counting political damage).

As a side note - it took the police the better part of an hour to decide if they should make an arrest. I wonder if they would have taken as long if there were not TV cameras present?

Though he was released somewhat later they kept his equipment through the RNC and up to the present. Guess he won’t get his stuff back until after the election. Funny how that works out…

Around the same time the NYC police arrested a large number of other people for riding bicycles (doubtless a dangerous activity) or for just being in the general area.

I have a hard time seeing the arrests as anything other than politically motivated.