Wednesday, May 8, 2013

"Hokahey!" - Performing Artists Now Under Attack in NYC Parks

"Hokahey!" - It's what Crazy Horse's warriors screamed when running into battle and it back-translates roughly in English to be "It's a Good Day to Die" - and was meant to say that they were not afraid of the battle, or dieing in it.

And so will cry the New York City performing artists tomorrow when the city declares war on performers and artists being financially rewarded for their lawful expressions of art in America. The law is simple as such: You cannot perform for money in New York City Parks unless you are an organ grinder with a monkey (defined as "mobile" with only your feet touching the ground) - but should the monkey touch the ground, or you both stay in the same place for more than 15 minutes, you're pretty much screwed.

In the video above, Manhattan Parks Commissioner, Bill Castro, lies horribly in describing the new law on performers (I know, I was there) to an entire room of concerned citizens about the effects of a new law governing performers in NYC Parks. The truth is, if you do anything artistic and take money, you WILL be busted, either by a $250-1000 summons, or by arrest. Period. Read the law, listen to Bill and then realize that what is real is the written law and not any at all what he says. This will make  Joe Mangrum, the sand-painter in Union Square illegal. This will make Collin Huggins, the guy with the baby grand in Washington Square illegal. It will also make iThink Outside My Box (#iTOMB) illegal - which essentially makes citizen input and expression illegal - if you give me money. So I have a solution.

#iTOMB was founded at Occupy Wall Street in the fall of 2011. Here's us in the Wall Street Journal, and a comment from a reviewer at the site.

#iTOMB and David Everitt-Carlson - Photo by Bryan Derballa for the Wall Street Journal 10,07.11
"This photo captures a number of the responses I've had. The guy really is thinking outside his box, and that's the power he wields: not pepper spray, but wit, intelligence, ideas, and language. Ideas, combined with courage, intelligence, and character are power." 

Your government is currently enacting laws to first curtail me from helping you express yourself and in response curtail you - from speaking and expressing freely. "Just shut up", they say. Please do one of the following to preserve your First Amendment rights.

1) Sign the Petition to Mayor Bloomberg and New York City Parks Commissioner, Veronica M. White to repeal the ban on performers in New York City Parks.

2) Contact New York City Parks Commissioner, Veronica M. White, and tell her that you support performers in our parks. This will make your voice heard to those who are serving you.

3) Tweet or Instagram with your #iTOMB photo, "I like #iTOMB @HighLineNYC". This will let park admin know that #iTOMB is much more a community service than a business. News about our 501(c)3 non-profit application, soon.

4) Contribute to the iTOMB legal defence fund, here. 

"Hokahey!" - It'time to take your rights back from those who police you.

Andrew Purchin of 1000 has said that that "The Making of Art is True Democracy". Let's prove him right and reject this fascist repression of citizen rights.

In the following 1961 film by Dan Drasin, "Beatniks, roving troubadours and their followers" were beaten by police in Washington Square Park over their right to sing folk music. Time to repeat history, NYC? The folk singers won this one:-)

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