Photo & Skin Grafitti – Mitchell Parsons
Posts tagged: Busking
It was wild on the streets tonight, so loud it was difficult to hold a conversation on the street. The helicopters swarming overhead & masses of protesters shouting on the streets below following the Eric Garner verdict, made for a night of tossing & turning here in NYC when trying to sleep. The noise felt like a war zone / rock concert and I was very grateful to the building guards here where I live for their great efforts as they were instructed to stay overnight to keep watch out for the garage & building alike. I am glad we are on the streets. I am saddened that it’s taken such back to back tragedies to bring us to this point. And I am beyond concerned for our future rights & freedoms, whatever of them still remain, here in the United States.
One final blow was released today regarding Ramsey Orta. Ramsey Orta was the man who filmed the death of Eric Garner & was indicted yesterday here in NYC for that filming.
With much media coverage following – see some of the coverage in links below:
Video: Cop Reads Law Permitting Subway Busking, Arrests Singer Anyway
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.
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 theÂ relevant section of the rulesÂ (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 offenseâ€”he was arrested and charged with loitering. There was no mention of him impeding transit activities.
BuskNY, a coalition of freelance performers,Â gathered on the steps of City HallÂ 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.
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 ðŸ™‚
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 ðŸ™‚
‘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.