As originally reported in the San Diego Reader:
This week, North Park resident Jeff Olson will appear in court to fight a charge of 13 counts of misdemeanor vandalism charges for writing protest slogans in chalk from February to August 2012. The charges could send Olson to jail for 13 years and put him on the hook for $13,000 in restitution to the City and to Bank of America.
This is an obvious abuse of power and a wasteful use of the resources of the City of San Diego. Additionally, the charges filed against Mr. Olson will likely intimidate future political demonstrations and protests. This is emphasized by the trial judge's decision to issue a gag order and prohibit the defense from citing the 1st Amendment.
I urge all San Diegans, as well as interested parties that do not live in San Diego, to see this prosecution as a poor use of judgment and resources by the San Diego City Attorney to sign this petition and show your support for Jeff Olson.
Hopefully the support shown here will help to convince Mr. Goldsmith and the Office of the City Attorney to stop this inane trial that is already garnering negative national attention.