Friday, August 2, 2013

As Performers Continue to be Arrested, #iTOMB Keeps Calm and Carries On:)

Soviet Union c. 1975: A violinist was arrested in the subway last week for, you didn't guess it,  playing a violin. And yes, those of us old enough to remember what we were told about that evil Soviet empire at the time might find that odd, but that was then, and this is now - in America, nonetheless.

How's that New World Order workin' out for us?

But Matthew Christian, the violinist and staunch advocate of Buskers Rights,  is not alone. All over the city, musicians, performers and artists are being summonsed, arrested and harassed for their exercise of their, and your, First Amendment rights. And if you don't think that really matters to you, read on.

#iTOMB Tim Purdue Skateboard (PathOfLife) 07.26.13
Last Friday on the High Line, my regular spot for over one year, I painted this skateboard for a really nice guy named Tim, whilst under the watchful eye of Captain Rowan of the NYC Park Enforcement Police (PEP) for roughly two hours. And yes, for free - which was my offer to Tim from the start.

But the law in NYC parks regarding artists and performers, over the past few months, has changed - very different from the law on streets or in the subways.

It is  now illegal to take any money in CP, Union Square, The High Line or Battery Park (unless in an already taken designated spot) for any expressive endeavor - in a  public space, a space that we all own - in this capitalist country, a country that revolted against British rule over double taxation (and wearing truly silly red uniforms:).

Performers, and facilitators like myself, in NYC parks above, are now, not allowed to accept money for exercising their First Amendment rights - even if people enjoy it :-?

#iTOMB Girls At Work 07.26.13
So with my brush in hand, I listened to Captain Rowan explain all the ways in which he could bust (harass) me, even for promoting art and expression for free - and it was clear that if I didn't leave, he would simply make up a reason to bust me. And with my previous unlawful arrest experience in this trade, I packed up, and went home. Reluctantly.

And it wasn't your first amendment rights being violated, was it? Only another's. But you could just wait until the NSA is using your last cellphone message against you in your trial for speaking your mind, couldn't you?

Please support your local artist and do sign the petition supporting artist's rights here.

To support #iTOMB outside the parks, we have just launched the #iThinkOutsideMyBox product store online. Here you can find designs that help support the cause: To make sure you can say whatever you want, even when big brother says you can't:) Our first item is Tim's skateboard design, entitled: PathOfLife.

Keep Calm and Carry On:)

#iTOMB Anon 07.27.13

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