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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » None are more hopelessly enslaved... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

MagicMax7
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Leave it to my hometown to be the center of attention. I have a feeling that this case, similar to Seattle and what's happening in California, will have ripple effects that could impact us all. Eternal vigilance...
MagicMax7
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Chance
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Good catch MagicMax! The ACLU is on the case, so I expect a good outcome for us and the 1st Amendment.
gnosis
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I am not so optimistic about the outcome of this case.

We were just discussing a similar case in this thread, in which it was ruled that "regardless of whether LAX is a public forum, section 23.27(c) is a reasonable time, place, and manner restriction [on free speech]."

The section in question "prohibits any person from soliciting and immediately receiving funds at Los Angeles International Airport ("LAX")"

Now in this Fremont case, "the problem, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, is that courts have repeatedly said the Fremont Street Experience is a public forum."

But as you can see from the LAX case, the courts could simply rule that regardless of whether the Fremont Street Experience is a public forum, the restrictions on free speech are appropriate.

It sounds to me like the ACLU are just going to come up with a better argument. Because that very same argument was not enough to get the restrictions on free speech lifted at LAX. In fact, I would not be at all surprised if the LAX case was used as a precedent in Fremont.

That said, I am not a lawyer and have had no legal training.. so this is just a guess from the sidelines on my part.
Chance
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Neither am I, but there are some important points worth focusing on:

1. The airport case will almost certainly be appealed. Which is a good thing. The higher the court that renders a decision, the stronger that final decision is. Frankly, I've been waiting and hoping for a good case to reach the Supreme Court, and it may just be a case like this one that finally does.

2. Even if the airport case isn't appealed, it's such a limited scope case that it doesn't affect the rest of us who don't wish to use LAX as our 1st Amendment forum of choice. It's not a sweeping case with long ranging effects, especially not for us, not even if that court ruled that it somehow affected every airport in the country. There are many other bad laws which affect us buskers much more directly which we should be concerned about, such as anti-panhandling laws and the like.

3. The court didn't say the Krishnas had no right to be at LAX, only that they could not immediately receive money at the same time they were talking with people. So basically, just another anti-panhandling ordinance and very little to do with actual speech.

4. Best of all, like the ACLU says in that article, this very same argument has been hashed and re-hashed several times already in the courts (in the Las Vegas case), and was struck down every time. There is no new argument being dicussed here. I'm guessing there have been some new judges elected recently to that bench and some local players are hoping to get a different outcome based on that, not because they have some new and compelling argument. It's the ACLU's job to see through all that and to make sure it doesn't come off that way.
MagicMax7
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I normally work the strip but I think I'm going to check out Fremont Street this weekend to see what the conditions are. I'll keep you all posted.
writeall
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How is it that busking can escape the laws that apply to commercial activity? The point is to make money and that seems like the sort of critical test a court might apply.
acephale
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Ronn Benway (Morgan's Orange) just passed through Las Vegas and called to say that Las Vegas is now wide open, he worked for three days and was happy because he's originally from there when it was closed down. He also got his first $100 bill, so I'm thinking Vegas might be a new bright spot.
Chance
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Quote:
On 2010-07-21 14:16, writeall wrote:
How is it that busking can escape the laws that apply to commercial activity? The point is to make money and that seems like the sort of critical test a court might apply.


This point has been covered many times already. Busking is an art form, and it falls withing the protections of the 1st Amendment. I've said it before, if you guys really understood just how strong our protectiosn are you wouldn't stand these illegal tests for a second! Police have no more right stopping us on the street for busking as they do someone else for wearing a yellow tee shirt, or for having brown hair. If you really understood that bit we could play a very large role in reconstituting Free Speech in this country.
writeall
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Well Chance, I did some looking into it and, although I do not understand it, I think you are right. The opinions seem to fall in line with a 1984 federal judge's statement in a Virginia case, "there has been shown no safety interest substantial enough to outweigh the plaintiff's First Amendment interests."

I found some useful reading here: http://www.buskersadvocates.org/saawaikiki.html
and here: http://downtownforall.blogspot.com/2009/......las.html

The second link might be the reason Vegas is now 'open' as mentioned above.
Chance
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Thank you writeall for taking the time to make a background study. I've lost count of the guys who have told me I was wrong in here who didn't bother to do what you just did. Respect.

What you still find a little difficult to understand is what truly is great about our founding. It's just not taught any more as it was intended. So I'm not surprised you still can't quite wrap your head around it; many people can't. People go around saying what a great country we have, and they don't even know what they are referring to. They keep talking about the "American way", but they have no point of reference. They should, because it's been right in front of us the whole time: The Bill of Rights. It's what separates us from the rest of the world. When you say how great we are as a nation, this is what you should be thinking of.

A busker in America is engaged in one of 3 protected rights as outlined in the 1st Amendment. It should be an honor to busk here. The police & municipalities should look on us as the truest Americans in the purest sense of the word. Do you see preachers (freedom of relgion) or newspaper publishers (freedom of the press) getting the same type of daily harassment as we buskers get? When was the last time you heard of a preacher or an editor getting locked up because they talked about God or wrote an editorial? Think about it.

One more time: Buskers are a protected species in this nation. We are protected by the first part of the 1st Amendment. The best of the best, as it were. Our rights are absolute. But we will only have these rights for as long as we are willing to fight for them. What we stand for scares the hell out of some people in this country. Not everyone can handle true freedom of the human spirit. There's always someone that wants to close us in, or shut us down. Or worse, make us pay for what we already own.
Bill Palmer
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Chance:

I don't disagree with you at all. I am as adamantly in support of our constitutionally protected rights as you are. I know that sometimes when I post, it may seem that I'm not on your side with this.

Sometimes I post a seemingly opposing view just to help the people who are reading these arguments understand the apparent complexity of the issue. The issue isn't complex at all. We have the right.

However, there are on the bench at all levels, obfuscationists who would argue that, for example, a busking show that causes people to respond loudly or a busking show that is loud may be prohibitable because the audience is not peaceably assmbling. Or they may have some kind of confusion about the difference between "free" in the sense of unregulated and "free" in the sense of "without charge." It's no coincidence, but this argument actually was part of 1984 and Newspeak.

It is just like all of the people who still don't understand what the Second Amendment to the Constitution says.

By the way, there was one preacher who went through the same mess during the Vietnam war. Maybe you don't remember the Bishop Kirby Hensley. During the Vietnam era, he took his case that the right to freedom of religion was an absolute right and could not be regulated by the state at any level. His case went all the way to the California Supreme Court.

His attorney stated that considering that the Bishop Hensley was a functional illiterate, it was amazing that Kirby knew more about the First Amendment of the Constitution than he (the lawyer) did. He won the case.

However, the states on an individual basis still require certain kinds of documentation from his followers to prove that they are legit.

And don't think that newspaper editors or magazine editors other people are free from harrassment. The harrassment is now on the basis of whether what they say or think is contrary to the doctrine of political correctness.

Just look at the case of Shirley Miller Sherrod who was fired a couple of days ago, because a group of political activists were offended at an out of context quote that was put on youtube. Once the full story came out, they backtracked, but the damage had been done. Even with a new job, she has suffered some major trauma.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Chance
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Bill,

I haven't heard about the Hensley case before now, but it sounds as though it has some similarities with our situation. But the point I was making about preachers and editors, is when was the last time you heard of one getting harassed by the government for simply doing their jobs? When did the police ever break into a church and arrest the preacher for preaching, or barge into an editors office and arrest the guy for simply giving his opinion in last weeks editorial?

The political correctness example, and the Sherrod example have no bearing on this discussion at all. Apples & oranges. The 1st Amendment gives us freedom from governmental intrusion, not intrusion from everything under the sun. I am protected from stupid laws that would interfere with my job, but that doesn't protect me at all from drunken hecklers or other buskers who want to steal my pitch, for example. It wasn't the government who attacked Sherrod, it was a right wing political faction attacking Obama through indirect means. Much closer to hazing or heckling, and nothing whatsoever to do with the 1st Amendment as discussed here.
Bill Palmer
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I'll admit that it has been a while since I have heard of any such direct action on a preacher or an editor. Probably around the 1960's, if my memory serves correctly.

Regarding the Sherrod case, I believe you are completely wrong.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Chance
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I feel that what happened to Sharrod was wrong on many levels, but how does she have a 1st Amendment case? How was her free speech violated?
Bill Palmer
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If you don't get it, then I don't think you are qualified to argue your own case.

BTW, Here is are a couple of obvious answers to your question about raiding churches.

April 19, 1993 -- Branch Davidians.
also threats from various presidential administrations to revoke tax-exempt status of churches in which the preachers made political comments from the pulpit.

And as far as raiding newspapers, etc., it's done a bit more subtly. Every time a reporter or author is jailed for contempt of court for refusing to reveal privileged information, it's a violation of free speech.

My grandfather was a newspaper editor. He was often given gratuitous traffic tickets and harrassed in other ways by the police whenever he wrote an editorial that criticised the local police department. That's the same thing.

It still goes on.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Chance
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Well I guess that settles it. I have no idea of what I'm talking about. I haven't studied this issue non-stop for 12 years, and I don't have an open case against Boston at this very minute which has taken the last 2 years of my life and countless hours with my legal team. Bill has spoken.

Bill, your arrogance amazes me.
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