Kansas City leaders install ‘expression walls’ to reduce graffiti near plaza

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In an effort to meet protesters halfway, and cut down on rampant graffiti around the Country Club Plaza area, the KC Parks and Recreation department installed “expression walls” Monday along Mill Creek Park.

“This is a very hard time for everybody right now, so we’re just trying to make it something feasible that people can come voice their opinions,” said Ed Shaw with KC Parks and Rec.

The white walls are affixed to some stonewall features in the park, and there is another free-standing wall closer to the J.C. Nichols Fountain.

“We respect your rights. Please respect our parks. We respect you. Please put your feelings and emotions on the wall,” Shaw said.

The walls can easily be painted over if there is too much profanity.

Shaw said it could save the city a great deal of money in the otherwise expensive cleaning process.

Protesters tell FOX4 they appreciate the gesture, but doubt whether the walls make an impact.

“Marginalized people are going to see that as, ‘OK you’re telling me where to express myself?’ You don’t need to be told where to express yourself,” said Kasen Sansonetti, a protester on the Plaza. “You express yourself wherever you can and wherever you’ll be heard.”

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