Click Here To Purchase Book

Home
Buy Book
Blog/Wall
Press
Calendar
Gallery
Heidi Kole
Music
Videos
Mailing List
Bio
Film/TV
Contact
Twitter Facebook YouTube MySpace LinkedIn

Oct 20 2014

NYPD at it (illegally) again

 

Video: Cop Reads Law Permitting Subway Busking, Arrests Singer Anyway

http://gothamist.com/2014/10/19/video_subway_busker_arrested.php

A subway busker was arrested for loitering after a confrontation with an NYPD officer over whether or not he was allowed to be performing. The incident happened at the Lorimer Street / Metropolitan Avenue station on the southbound G train platform around 1:30 a.m. on Friday.

Here’s how the video uploader described the quality of life incident: “One of NYPD’s finest arrests a man for playing in the subway after he recites the law word for word that allows him to perform for donations,” the uploader wrote. “He continues to sing as he is being handcuffed. A “fuck the police” chant subsequently follows.” Watch the confrontation below.

 

buskerarrest

 

 

YouTube Preview Image">YouTube Preview Image

The video starts with busker Andrew Kalleen, 30, already arguing with the officer over whether or not he is allowed to be performing there. “You just need to know the law,” Kalleen says to the officer while begging him to read MTA’s own “Rules of Conduct” about the matter. As onlookers shout, “we have bigger problems in New York City than someone playing guitar,” the officer eventually reads the relevant section of the rules (Section 1050.6c, which Kalleen wisely seems to have memorized) from a phone:

Except as expressly permitted in this subdivision, no person shall engage in any nontransit uses upon any facility or conveyance. Nontransit uses are noncommercial activities that are not directly related to the use of a facility or conveyance for transportation. The following nontransit uses are permitted by the Authority, provided they do not impede transit activities and they are conducted in accordance with these rules: public speaking; campaigning; leafletting or distribution of written noncommercial materials; activities intended to encourage and facilitate voter registration; artistic performances, including the acceptance of donations

The onlookers clap at the end, but the officer is unmoved, insisting that Kalleen needs to leave: “Being ejected doesn’t mean you’re arrested, it means you’re getting thrown out of the station.” Kalleen says the officer is harassing him, and more and more people begin asking the officer under what grounds the busker is being ejected, to which the officer doesn’t respond.

Kalleen goes back to singing Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” for a bit before the officer shuts him down. You can hear people yelling, “On what grounds?” “You don’t have something better to do?” and “There are people breaking laws, dangerous people in this city.”

Kalleen briefly starts singing again when the officer walks away before returning with several other cops. The officer takes the guitar off of Kalleen, hitting him in the face in the process, then arrests him. Onlookers loudly boo and start yelling “Fuck the police,” as Kalleen is taken off.

An NYPD’s spokesperson tells us that Kalleen was playing guitar, singing and accepting donations “without permit of permission” from the MTA. Because he is a “transit recidivist,” which the spokesperson explained as someone having an open ticket or warrant, perhaps related to turnstile jumping or a similar offense—he was arrested and charged with loitering. There was no mention of him impeding transit activities.

BuskNY, a coalition of freelance performers, gathered on the steps of City Hall over the summer to call for an end to officers arresting, jailing, and slamming them with pricey summonses for an activity they know to be legal under the MTA’s guidelines.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Oct 11 2014

“Boo!”

T-Ricky sharing his new Subway Diaries “T” w/ the farm help :)

ScareCrowT

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Oct 08 2014

A small disruption to the banking system

I really do kind of like the look on the teller’s face at the Chase Bank, Times Square, when I pay my credit card bill like this :)

#abuskerslife

 

2014-10-08 16.31.15

And, so today, after counting all the $1′s the teller grabbed his handy dandy hand sanitizer & ‘de-subwayed’ himself, at which point I asked for a dollop too so I could ‘de-Chase’ myself :)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Oct 08 2014

An unlikely tipper

Tonight, I think I got tipped with a $10 from a hooker #undergroundfirst

hooker

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Sep 13 2014

Fancy Secret Underground Stuff :)

Tonight a guy walked by & dropped a clean $2.00 in a fancy hard plastic sleeve into my case. My busker buddy, Ron Wingate, happened to be standing there & told me this mystery guy apparently does this a lot #fancysecretstuffunderground

2014-09-13 19.37.30 2014-09-13 19.37.47

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Sep 13 2014

‘Soul Knowing’

‘Best human of the night’ award goes to the homeless underground NYC tonight who really listen, they hear & never fail to give even though they most likely have less than anyone else on the platform at any given time. There’s some kind of etherial connection between me & the homeless who hear me sing. I cannot tell you exactly what it is, it’s some kind of a ‘soul knowing’, but we ‘get’ each other somehow. We rarely say anything to each other, but it’s clear, it’s in the eyes.

wheelchair-man

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Aug 30 2014

Gymboree on Steroids

It was like Gymboree on steroids underground tonight. A gazillion happy, spazzy kids all dancing their own highly creative spazz-dances & many grateful parents thanking me as they hopped on their respective trains in anticipation of their children going home & sleeping like rocks <3

subwaykids

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Aug 28 2014

A Goospimply Day

Most favourite underground comment; “Your singing gave me goosbumps” Today was a multiple goospimply day 

#subwaylove 

articleshot3

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Aug 28 2014

Busking Gifts

People kept stopping by bearing random gifts today Underground. First it was a Box of Girl Scout Cookies, then some kinda fancy-schmanzy shampoo & conditioner (at least the lady who dropped it in my case said it was). By the end of my day I kinda felt like the baby Jesus & the three wise men  #newyorkundergroundlove

2014-08-28 14.42.132014-08-28 14.42.432014-08-28 14.42.51

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Aug 19 2014

“YES, BUSKING PERMITS IN THE USA ARE ILLEGAL”

YES, BUSKING PERMITS IN THE USA ARE ILLEGAL.

” busking licenses themselves are unconstitutional.In the USA, public performance is protected by the First Amendment

 http://gravitydefiance.net/wp/yes-busking-permits-in-the-usa-are-illegal/


I count myself as a veteran street performer, though by no means am I among the oldest-school of us. Having performed on the streets of fourteen cities in five different countries, I feel like I have a fairly dialed show. I have a good grasp of public space, social dynamics, crowd control, and comic timing, and on a good day I can pull a month’s rent in my hat.

It also means that I have been chased around by a lot of police and private security. Like most hecklers, they usually fall back on the same lines – “you can’t vend here, it’s a safety issue, this public street is private property” – but what they don’t know is that shutting down a street show in the USA is illegal. Not only that, but busking licenses themselves are unconstitutional.

* * *

In the USA, public performance is protected by the First Amendment. When in public, you have as much right to sing a song called “The President Is Stupid” as you have to sing a song called “Give Me A Dollar.” Singing “Give Me A Dollar” with a hat on the ground does not make you a business or a vendor, even if someone puts in money; and whether that public space is publicly or privately owned has no bearing on whether you still have your First Amendment rights while there. As a matter of fact, it is a crime to shut down a street show under the color of law — i.e. to tell you that it’s not legal to do so under the claim of any kind of legal authority. Source: Title 18, USC, Section 242: Deprivation of Rights Under Color Of Law. All this has been established and re-established all over the country by a variety of courts, including the Supreme Court, on multiple instances.

Unfortunately for street artists and our audiences, no police officer knows this. And half the time, even if shutting down a street show is illegal, they’ll still make up some other reason to cite you (in the UK, they’ve been using a literalistic interpretation of a century-old vagrancy law). And when a city council decides they’re going to limit the time, place, and manner of free expression in their towns, it’s rare that the local population of buskers can afford to spend the time and money to fight these anti-busking laws in the court.

* * *

A handful of precedents go like this:

• In 1970, Allen Ginsberg challenges and beats a 40-year-old anti-busker law in New York City, which had been established for reasons of “safety” regarding conflicts over performance space.
• In 1979, Goldstein vs. Town of Nantucket was decided in favor of a busker who successfully argued that street performance isn’t vending.
• In 2005, a street magician won over $47,000 in damages from the City of Seattle after it argued that its private ownership of a central park allowed it to place limits on street performance.
• In 2007, a visual artist’s right to sell his art at his street shows was upheld by the Supreme Court, referring to two other decisions which noted that free speech doesn’t get limited just because the speaker is financially compensated.
• In 2010, a judge threw out Venice Beach’s permit/lottery system which required buskers to buy into a lottery for space.

buskerstreet

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.