DAMN: NYC Dep. Mayor: "New rules ban newspapers/art/books" (fwd)

P. Myers (mpwr@u.washington.edu)
Mon, 1 Jun 1998 10:29:35 -0700 (PDT)


interesting!  Pat

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"To live dangerously is to live
in the Borderland, where desire,
justice and love meet."
                    Henry Giroux

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 1 Jun 1998 11:44:37 EDT
Reply-To: damn-d@tao.ca
To: fair@fair.org, damn@tao.ca, feedback@winsnew.groupw.wec.com
Subject: DAMN: NYC Dep. Mayor: "New rules ban newspapers/art/books"

It=92s Not Just About Hot Dogs...
Deputy Mayor Washington Admits New Vending
Restrictions Ban Art, Books, Newspapers and Free
Expression From City Streets*; More Restrictions
On the Way -Contact: Robert Lederman (718) 369-2111

The following section in brackets is Quoted from: NEWSDAY
6/1/98 =93More Vendors Curbed / Rudy aide: Food rules hit art,
books, papers=94, by Dan Janison. STAFF WRITER pg A 23

[ =93Controversial new restrictions on food vendors on many
Manhattan blocks will also curb street sales of items otherwise
protected by the Constitution, a top Giuliani administration aide
confirmed yesterday. Deputy Mayor Rudy Washington said that
barring food vendors from a block means that artists, booksellers
and newspaper vendors, whose wares get special First Amendment
protections and do not need to be licensed, also can be legally
banned. "If you argue that a street is too congested to allow
vending, then you can exclude all vendors," Washington said. "If
you close a street, it's closed to everybody, but if it's open to the
food vendors, you have to open it to the unlicensed
vendors."...Those affected include sellers of black-oriented books
from small publishing companies that are often not sold in chains
but are popular with those who work downtown...Robert
Lederman, who heads a group of street artists who have been
fighting the city in court over free expression, also sees a ripple
effect.... If granted by the review panel, those curbs would affect
many artists who sell their work on Soho's streets, Lederman said.
His group is looking to work in tandem with the food vendors'
associations to press for changes in the city policies. In recent
years, the administration has lost several key court cases in which
it was found to have infringed on civil liberties by law or by
policy.=94 -Copyright Newsday]

Now that a top member of the Giuliani Administration has publicly
admitted that the new vending restrictions are not just about food
carts the media and the public might want to take a much closer
look at the Street Vendor Review Panel. This is not just about hot
dogs. The Panel, a key component in Mayor Giuliani=92s war on
vendors, is virtually eliminating free expression from large areas of
New York City=92s public streets. Newspapers, art, independently
published books, bibles...the public=92s access to these fundamental
elements of free speech and alternative expression is the next
casualty in the Mayor=92s =93quality of life=94 campaign.

 Does the Mayor have an agenda to replace free expression on city
streets with corporate expression, i.e. the Street Furniture
Initiative=92s muti-billion dollar proposal for advertising kiosks
disguised as planters, bus shelters, toilets and benches? Are street
artists and book vendors who can set up for free without a license
based on the First Amendment an obstacle to the corporate
takeover of our public forum?

There is much more than just, =93eliminating congestion=94 going on
here. The Mayor has already developed a policy of virtually
banning protest unique in New York City history. Under Giuliani,
any demonstration no matter how peaceful or mainstream in it=92s
goals can expect to be confronted by an overwhelming police
presence and forcibly removed to a distant location under threat of
arrest. Protest signs are being confiscated by the N.Y.P.D..
Holding a single cardboard sign (especially if it=92s a painting of the
Mayor) in front of City Hall now leads to being surrounded by
N.Y.P.D. Intelligence and told that you will be arrested. These
officers have told me that, =93Political expression is not allowed in
front of City Hall=94. The massive effort made to prevent cab drivers
from holding a rally in City Hall Park and the likelihood of mass
arrests at the City Hall Vendor Protest this coming Wednesday
may be the shape of things to come in the =93new=94 New York.

* The New York City Vending Ordinance prohibits the vending of
First Amendment protected fine art, books, religious materials
(bibles, Korans, crucifixes, etc.), newspapers, political materials
and all other written matter on any street where both food vending
and general vending are restricted. Since June of 1997 when the
U.S. Supreme Court denied Mayor Giuliani=92s appeal in the street
artist case*, artists have the same rights as book and newspaper
vendors and are correspondingly prohibited  from selling on the
same streets. The section of the vending law that pertains follows:

 [Title 20-Consumer Affairs; Rules of the City of New York;
20-473 Exemptions for vendors who exclusively vend written
matter. =93...except that on any street where both general vending is
prohibited pursuant to section 20-465.1 of this subchapter and
food vending is prohibited pursuant to section 20-465.1 vendors
who exclusively vend written matter shall not be permitted to vend
with the use of any vehicle, pushcart or stand...=94]

Wednesday=92s protest will feature a new series of satirical portraits
of Giuliani by Robert Lederman to replace those illegally seized by
police on 5/27 as the Mayor spoke at Cooper Union art school.=20

All Vendor Demonstration This Wednesday,  June
3rd City Hall Park 9 A.M. Protest the Restriction
of 144 Streets (Rain or Shine) Contact#: Robert Lederman,
President of A.R.T.I.S.T. (Artists=92 Response To Illegal State
Tactics)  (718) 369-2111  E-Mail: ARTISTpres@aol.com =20
*For more releases on this issue and to read court cases that
pertain to vending (artists, food, books etc) go to:=20
http://www.openair.org/alerts/artist/nyc.html=20
Also see: Newsday 4/20/98 cover story =93Under Giuliani City Has
Repeatedly Stifled Dissent=94; N.Y. Times 5/7/98 pg B4 =93For
Giuliani, A Different Big Picture=94; NY TIMES 5/24/98, =93Giuliani
Plans to Prohibit Food Vending in Wide Area=94.; NY TIMES
5/31/98 =93Vendors Face a New Round of Street Bans=94. Editorial:
=93the Big Chill=94 by Bob Herbert NY Times 5/31/98. =20

***For more information on the Street Vendor Review Panel
contact Deputy Mayor Rudy Washington or Earl Andrews Jr.
Chair of the panel at the Department of Business Services=20
(212) 788-0120. Dept. Of Consumer Affairs (212) 487-4222/4112.=20

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