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Forum Post: Occupy Could DIVERSIFY movment via u.s. supreme court ruling, re: 1st ammend. for Street Artists!

Posted 10 years ago on Sept. 8, 2012, 2:53 p.m. EST by artingmyself (0) from Ann Arbor Charter Township, MI
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Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but when (in 1998!) the u.s. supreme court decided in FAVOR of artists in NYC SELLING THEIR ART IN PUBLIC WITHOUT FIRST HAVING TO OBTAIN A PERMIT, didn't that set a precedent for the REST of the nation?? (i mean, when the court sided on the right to school integration for Blacks, that made it THE LAW OF THE LAND!)

I've travelled widely x-country passing this info out (i.e. via pages like sacredlight.to/pages/decision.htm --now only viewable via www.archive.org's wayback machine), but have yet to see ANY non-NYC group daring to challenge the reality that, in most places, it seems artists are NOT (?) willing to stand up for this "free speech" right!

Why are artists NOT willing to stand up? I think it's mostly because we are not organized in any real way (beyond professional groups who keep artists "in line", divided from 'the masses', and working towards status-quo interests), or, because we simply DON'T KNOW info like this!

Am I right?

If the Occupy movement began standing WITH artists' right to sell their art on the street freely (how many are already a part of the occupy movement??!), this could really, I think, make a powerful impact, and help build up the movement!! Because diversifying is a power we have!

Think how many artists around the country feel marginalized by the politics of gallery showing (and how about the costs?!) and all the b.s. that comes with that. And HOW MANY would come out of the woodwork, occupying everywhere, to have this economic power! Wouldn't that greatly aid the occupy movement if many many artists were able to sell their art around the country in this much more informal and heart-inspiring way of public sharing??!! I for one am willing to sue for my right to sell art on the street! Who will join me?

I've already tried, in several areas (Illinois, Michigan, California), to wield my 'right' via this decision, and have NEVER been allowed to, by cops (or town officials, and their alleged lack of knowledge). I've been threatened to have all my art taken from me, and threatened, at other times, with arrest. Even when I tried to sell it only for donations! (note that I am a "good artist", i.e. see various peices of mine at: visionary4evolution.wordpress.com)

Questions for local NYC artists who are knowledgeable about this precedent:

What are recent developments with this ruling? I haven't yet found public access to a law library, and my searches online have met with no recent news info, even tho I spent hours looking over a few days. I guess I just don't know where to look?? Or?



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[-] 2 points by MsStacy (1035) 10 years ago

Are you sure it was an actual US Supreme Court decision? I found this article from 1997 where the Supreme Court decided not to hear a case decided by the 2nd circuit. It essentially upheld the circuit court's decision without comment.


New York could not require a permit to sell art works, as long as the vendor didn't impede traffic. Part of the problem with their requirement for a permit was that the number of permits was fixed and therefore not available to any artist that wanted to "speak" through his paintings.

[-] 2 points by Nevada1 (5843) 10 years ago

Good Post

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 10 years ago

Try and find a para legal in Ann Arbor.

The UofM, has a school full of them. It shouldn't be too hard to find a class of them willing to help.........:)

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 10 years ago

I actually didn't know about this court ruling either. Thanks for the post.