DALLAS – About 10 months after Occupy protesters were removed from Pioneer Plaza near City Hall, someone has used chalk to sprawl the group’s “99%” slogan on the bronze bulls there.
Monday marked the one-year anniversary of the Occupy movement, which began in New York and spread to cities across the country. The chalk branding appears to have happened overnight.
City spokesman Frank Librio says employees are “working to clean it up,” and that, yes, it is chalk –– not something more permanent like paint.
One of the rallying points of the Occupy movement was the phrase “We are the 99 percent,” referencing the majority of Americans who control as much wealth as the remaining 1 percent does. Among many other societal ills, a major point of protest for Occupy members was unequal distribution of wealth.
Nearly every bull at Pioneer Plaza had the “99%” slogan upon it. It's not clear who is responsible for the vandalism, although Occupy Dallas leaders frequently encouraged supporters to peacefully protest without breaking any laws.
In an email, George Glynn Wilcox, who described himself as a former "leader" or "advisor" to Occupy Dallas, derided the chalk vandalism, saying it is "inconsistent with what Occupy Dallas stands for."
"Over the course of the encampment Occupy Dallas was respectful of city property. When Occupy Dallas left Pioneer Plaza we engaged in an extensive clean up effort leaving the plaza with less trash than when we arrived," he wrote. "The actions of an individual using chalk to mark the statuary is in poor taste and should be condemned by those who support the Occupy movement."