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A personal message from Chris Drew

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Published on Apr 7, 2012

I looked up from my camera and Chris Drew was crossing the street. Where was the wheelchair? He walked right passed the crowd in front of the galley to the corner where I stood alone. I could see he didn't have his oxygen tank. "Let's do this now while I'm still here" he said and glowered into the lens like Churchill.

Chris Drew is an artist and an activist. In 2009 Mr. Drew was arrested while challenging peddlers licencing laws in Chicago. While in lock-up, police discovered that Mr. Drew had been carrying an audio recorder. Cook County Attorney General Anita Alverez prosecuted Mr. Drew under Illinois Electronic Eavesdropping law.
http://www.americanpressassociation.c...


The Illinois legislature fell short of changing the twice declared unconstitutional eavesdropping law on Thursday, March 22, 2012.
http://chicagoist.com/2012/03/22/illi...

As a person charged under this law and still facing up to 15 years in prison for audio recording my own public arrest for the misdemeanor of selling art for $1 on State Street, I have an opinion about this. This law is used to protect corruption in Illinois.
What I did on State Street in December, 2009, is totally legal in 47 other states in America! Why is it not legal in Illinois? From my research it appears that in 1994, in order to shield police and other public officials from being captured in public with their pants down, the Illinois legislature changed the eavesdropping law. They took the law that was meant to protect our private conversations, largely from government intrusion, and turned it upside down to protect public employees (government) from public embarrassment by its citizens. This turned the recording of public conversations of government into secrets illegal to be reported by solid evidence. They did this by changing the very definition of eavesdropping from the recording of a private conversation to being defined as the recording of a private or a public conversation. This defies logic!
http://www.c-drew.com/blog/


I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

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