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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Run off by the police.. Ugh! (6 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Endless West
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A town called Malice
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The 420 sweet water festival is happening in Centennial Park here in Atlanta. It's the park famous for getting bombed during the 96 Olympics and being blamed on Richard Jewel. It's also the park famous for Magic Shaun, or Gr8Gorilla as he was known at the time, starting his busking career in and documenting step by step here on the forum. Anyway, I was set up on the side walk outside of the park and pulled off one 8-10minute show hatted and started to prepare to hit another group. Some dude stopped and asked me to show him something and I told him to give me one second. Just then a park officer on a Segway (seriously, cool way to make me hate you even more) pulls up.

I look at him and say "Hey how are you!"
He responds with "you can't be here!"

Now I know, everyone always says just say "I'm sorry I didn't know." And walk off. I just can't bring myself to do that when I know I'm not in the wrong.

So I looked back over and said "really? That's weird, why not?"
And he says, "this is a park, it's state property!"
To which I respond, "isn't that the exact reason why I am allowed here?"
And he says, "no, we own this park, it's private."

Now the thing is, like many large parks the city(or state, I suppose) contracts out the maintenance and security to a private firm. In this case the company is the Georgia world congress center and their police force.

I don't think I've ever had my blood boil as quickly as it did when he said "no we own this".

Scum bags.
Mario Morris
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Mario Morris
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OK I swallowed the hook, what was the out come?
Endless West
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I told him I don't believe he's correct but that I'm going to leave for now. It was drizzling out anyway.. But *** I'm mad!!
JoeJoe
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If there was indeed a "festival", the city may have given them preference. It does happen - competing interests.

A more radical example. the KKK wants to hold a rally. Counter-protesters want their own rally. There are competing interests. The KKK would be given one side of the street, counter-protesters on the other side of the street.

I'm not saying that is the case, just saying that is a possibility. The festival may have paid the city (aka: "taxpayers") for use of the park. If you were to lease your car to someone, you can't expect to take it for a drive at the same time.

I think you made the right call. The next step is to find out exactly what city ordinances are on the books. You can most likely look them up here:

http://www.municode.com/

-JoeJoe
Amazing JoeJoe on YouTube[url=https://www.youtube.com/user/AmazingJoeJoe]
Yellowcustard
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I use to just pack up and go. But now I stop a say no problems I will move on but say I don't make the same mistake can I just ask what law or rule am I breaking and whats the implication of breaking it. I also ask for full name and not only the company they work for but also who they are contracted to. Also knowing as much of the law as possible helps as well those little terms can help, recently a busker stuffed a a private security guard by pointing out the difference in private land and commercial land.
Enjoy your magic,

and let others enjoy it as well!
Endless West
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JoeJoe, thanks for the link. Now if I could just figure out how to find what I'm looking for on that page. It sucks that I can't just pull out my pocket constitution and say "see right here?"
JoeJoe
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First Amendment rights are not "absolute", cities are allowed to put "reasonable restrictions" on the time, place, and manner. I know a bunch of people are gonna jump all over me for saying so, but it is the truth and there are court cases upholding it.

As for Atlanta laws, I'm not a lawyer so I'm not allowed to give you "legal advice". After reading Atlanta Municode, I can't tell if you were "legal" or not. Were you 15 feet from a payphone? Toilet? Parking pay box? A licence vendor? It looks like they give cops a lot of leeway here.

Quote:
Sec. 106-85. Monetary solicitation.permanent link to this piece of content

(a)
"Monetary solicitation" defined.
(1) "Monetary solicitation" or to "monetarily solicit" is an act or action performed by an individual that meets the following three criteria:
a. Is an in-person request of another individual, either orally or by gesture; and
b. The request is for an immediate distribution of money or anything of monetary value; and
c. The request occurs on public property, including, without limitation, city streets, sidewalks and parks.

(2) "Monetary solicitation" and "monetarily solicit" shall not include:
a. Requests for signatures on a petition or other document; or
b. Distribution of written material that requests individuals to send contributions by mail or make donations in some other manner at a later time, or
c. Distribution of pre-addressed envelopes along with a verbal plea to contribute money, provided that no request for an immediate contribution is made; or
d. Sale of literature or other merchandise or food where payment occurs at a separate time and location, including through mail order; or
e. Public vending lawfully permitted in accordance with Atlanta City Code, Chapter 30, Article XXIII, Division 1, section 30-1400 et seq.
(b) Monetary solicitation in certain areas. It shall be unlawful for any person to monetarily solicit in any of the following places:
(1) Within 15 feet of the entrance to or exit from any public toilet facility, which includes any temporary use site (port-a-toilet);
(2) Within 15 feet of an automated teller machine (ATM), provided that when an ATM is located within an ATM facility, such distance shall be measured from the entrance or exit of the ATM facility;
(3) Within 15 feet of any parking lot pay box;
(4) Within 15 feet of any pay telephone, provided that when a pay telephone is located within a telephone booth or other facility, such distance shall be measured from the entrance or exit of the telephone booth or facility;
(5) In any public transportation vehicle, or in any bus, rail or subway station or taxi stand, or within 15 feet of any bus, rail or subway station or taxi stand;
(6) Within 15 feet of the entrance or exit of a building, whether publicly or privately owned, including without limitation any residence, business, event venue or athletic facility. Nothing in this subsection (6) shall prohibit monetary solicitation within fifteen feet of any other portion of a building other than its exit(s) and entrance(s);
(7) Within 15 feet of or within a line for entry to any building, whether the building is publicly or privately owned, including without limitation any residence, business, event venue or athletic facility;
(8) In a parking lot or garage owned or operated by the City of Atlanta, including entry ways or exits and pay stations connected therewith;
(9) Within 15 feet of any public property "vending site" where a "vending business" is in operation, as defined in the Atlanta City Code, Chapter 30, Article XXIII, Division 1, section 30-1401; or
(10) Within 15 feet of any private property "valid vendor location" where a "vending business" is in operation, as defined in the Atlanta City Code, Article XXIV, Division 1, section 30-1461
(c) Aggressive monetary solicitation. It shall be unlawful for any person to monetarily solicit in any of the following manners:
(1) Blocking the path or passage of the person solicited;
(2) Not allowing the person solicited to leave the presence of the solicitor, by following immediately behind or walking alongside the person solicited;
(3) Using profane or abusive language, either during the solicitation or following refusal;
(4) Continuing to monetarily solicit a person after that person has refused the solicitation verbally or by gesture;
(5) Continuing to monetarily solicit a person located in or on a motor vehicle after that person has refused the solicitation verbally or by gesture;
(6) Making any statement, gesture or other communication which a reasonable person in the situation of the person solicited would perceive to be a threat that is intended to compel or force the person solicited to accede to the demands of the solicitor; and/or
(7) Touching the person solicited.
(d) Penalties.
(1) Upon conviction under section 106-85(b) above, the violator may be sentenced to one or more of the following: the performance of up to 30 days community service; a monetary fine not to exceed $1,000.00; and/or imprisonment not to exceed 180 days.
(2) Upon the first conviction under section 106-85(c) above, the violator may be sentenced to one or more of the following: the performance of up to 30 days community service; a monetary fine not to exceed $1,000.00; and/or imprisonment not to exceed 180 days.
(3) Upon the second conviction under section 106-85(c) above, the violator may be sentenced to one or more of the following: the performance of up to 30 days community service; a monetary fine not to exceed $1,000.00; and/or imprisonment not to exceed 180 days, provided that the sentence must include a minimum of 30 days imprisonment.
(4) Upon the third and future convictions under section 106-85(c) above, the violator may be sentenced to one or more of the following: the performance of up to 30 days community service; a monetary fine not to exceed $1,000.00; and/or imprisonment not to exceed 180 days, provided that the sentence must include a minimum of 90 days imprisonment.
(Ord. No. 2012-44(12-O-1324), § 1, 10-8-12; Ord. No. 2013-31(13-O-1103), 7-10-13)




I know I've had this conversation before any nobody wants to believe that "busking" is "soliciting", but I think the Atlanta definition of "solicit" clearly states that if you hat your audience, you are "soliciting".

I hope this information helps you. Good luck! Smile

-JoeJoe
Amazing JoeJoe on YouTube[url=https://www.youtube.com/user/AmazingJoeJoe]
writeall
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JoeJoe, I believe it. After all, isn't the mantra: "Make 'em stop; make 'em stay; make 'em pay?"
Endless West
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Thanks for the info JoeJoe, I appreciate your mojo fo'sho though!
Busking is permitted in Atlanta on the sidewalks within the rules above, for sure. My concern is whether the GWCC owns the sidewalk around the outside of the park, like the officer claimed. I was always under the impression that 3 feet from the curb in was city property and after that its the private property owner. Though, I still argue the validity of private management of a public park being able to decide who can practice free speech within and who can't. I see no difference between guys practicing their football throwing in the park than me practicing my magic. Even if I didn't have a hat out they'd come make me pack up and leave because in their minds it's just not allowed.
Anyway, like I said, thank you for the info!
JoeJoe
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Quote:
On Apr 21, 2014, writeall wrote:
JoeJoe, I believe it. After all, isn't the mantra: "Make 'em stop; make 'em stay; make 'em pay?"


Yes it is. Make em pay. Some seem to think "solicitor" is a bad word, no it is not. A girl scout selling cookies is a solicitor. A politician asking for a campaign contribution is solicitor. I embrace the term.



Quote:
On Apr 21, 2014, NeutronBomb wrote:
My concern is whether the GWCC owns the sidewalk around the outside of the park, like the officer claimed. I was always under the impression that 3 feet from the curb in was city property and after that its the private property owner. Though, I still argue the validity of private management of a public park being able to decide who can practice free speech within and who can't. I see no difference between guys practicing their football throwing in the park than me practicing my magic. Even if I didn't have a hat out they'd come make me pack up and leave because in their minds it's just not allowed.
Anyway, like I said, thank you for the info!


You might want to search Municode for Centential Park, as I noticed there it was given a lot of special attentions but I didn't pay them much mind.

You are most likely correct. It seems to me that with all those "15 feet away from" rules, a cop could pretty much find a way to run you off anywhere you set up should he want to do so.

Did you have a table? Football players wouldn't have a table. Some cities don't allow you to set things on the sidewalks, often you'll find cute little exceptions for things like suitcases and briefcases. Is amazing to read through the varies ordinances across the country.

Like I said, I'm not a lawyer. I don't really know. I just made it a habit to start reading this stuff.

-JoeJoe
Amazing JoeJoe on YouTube[url=https://www.youtube.com/user/AmazingJoeJoe]
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