NO BUSKER LEFT BEHIND FUND!
The City of Seattle literally threatens arrest upon every busker who does not pay for their "Free Speech Permit," which they insist is required, legally, in return for our free speech rights on the Market's public streets. Tired of going to jails and being assaulted by the Market's security squad (the PDA) and Seattle Police for merely trying to street perform at the Market without paying off the Mafia-like PDA, we have formed the NO BUSKER LEFT BEHIND Fund...
NO BUSKER LEFT BEHIND FUND!
Sponsor a street performer TODAY!
WHAT ARE WE DEMANDING?
1. NO FEES FOR "FREE SPEECH PERMITS," no fees to play the Market
2. BATHROOM KEYS (LIKE VENDORS) FOR THAT $30 a YEAR FEE WHEN TAKEN
3. ONSITE LOCKERS FOR INSTRUMENT STORAGE FOR THAT $30 FEE PAID
4. A BUSKER BILL OF RIGHTS, to assert our RIGHTS at the Market
The City of Seattle literally threatens arrest upon every busker who does not pay for their "Free Speech Permit," which they insist is required, legally, in return for our free speech rights on
the Market's public streets. Tired of going to jails and being assaulted by the Market's security squad (the PDA) and Seattle Police for merely trying to street perform at the Market without paying off the Mafia-like PDA, we have formed the NO BUSKER LEFT BEHIND Program, now bringing the community at large into the SUBSIDY program forced upon local buskers by the Pike Place Market.
ALL funds collected will go DIRECTLY to a busker for their $30 free speech permit at the Market for May 2007- April 2008. (So far, donations have purchased ONE busker permit today). You can donate online at http://resist.ca/~kirstena/pagenobuskerleftbehind.html. We need people in the community at large to understand that the busker population includes people who are homeless, people who are
disabled, people who are seriously low-income and to impose a $30 fee for free speech upon them will stop many from performing. Free Speech is free, and if the Market will not acknowledge that, if the City of Seattle is going to continue to let the PDA collect extorted Free Speech Permit rights, then it is time the community at large helped bear these rising prices of free speech. We are also working on getting SOMETHING for those $30 fees, such as bathroom keys like the crafters get, on site locker space such as crafters get, and a Busker Bill of Rights for the Market, all issues that the farce of a Market Busker Guild has failed to even address once on our behalf.
Did you know that the Washington State Auditor said last Fall that the PDA (the Market's governing arm), "generally followed spending laws but was a bit too bountiful with employee parties, perks, and refreshments last year," according to The Seattle Weekly
( link to www.seattleweekly.com)? The article says, "According to two new reports, the Market's governing arm, the Preservation and Development Authority (PDA), generally followed spending laws but was a bit too bountiful with employee parties, perks and refreshments last year. For example, says State Auditor Brian Sonntag, the PDA improperly spent $3,800 on a barbeque and holiday party for employees and families, spent $2,992 in reimbursement to employees who held their own parties which included booze and a bartender, and laid out $1,749 in five instances of staff meetings where food exceeded the "light refreshment" threshold (you know, typically cookies and coffee, a stripper maybe). Additionally, six Market employees whose names were drawn from
a hat won airline tickets valued at $1,200, while another $3,486 in gift certificates was given to vendors and employees. Sonntag says the payments were casually doled out rather than disbursed under pre-existing policies that define perks and how to earn them. He did not say whether this included any bonuses to PDA employees who evict marginally profitable businesses (see: Rainier Hardware)." They need to include local low-income street performers as those the PDA evict, as well.
So these people who spent $3,800 + $2,992 + $1,749 + $1,200 + $3,486 in perks to PDA and Market VENDORS AND EMPLOYEES, now are FORCING low-income street performers to cough up $30 each to the PDA for what again? Oh, right, our free speech rights, which take a backseat apparently, to booze, bartenders, refreshments at staff meetings, etc. *THAT* my friends, is why we have taken this fight public.
IF YOU ARE A MARKET BUSKER AND WOULD LIKE A SCHOLARSHIP FOR YOUR 2007-08 MARKET FREE SPEECH PERMIT, contact Kirsten, at Kirstena@resist.ca or talk to me on the street. We are taking a first come first serve busker waiting list and will apply every cent raised for the NO BUSKER LEFT BEHIND Fund on Market Busker Permits. Those without current permits will be given priority, but those who bought permits will be reimbursed if funding permits as well, so make sure to contact us.
IF YOU WANT TO SPONSOR A MARKET BUSKER, Please use the Donate button at http://resist.ca/~kirstena/pagenobuskerleftbehind.html and send $30 for a free speech permit today!
Some legal background:
The current Federal ruling about free speech in the Seattle area is Mike Berger V. Seattle Center ( http://funandmagic.com/decision.pdf), in which Mike won $50,000 in damages from Seattle Center for them trying to make him buy a permit to busk or be confined to certain spots at Seattle Center. Sound familiar? And the Seattle Center, just like the Market does now, tried to claim it was not public property but rather "a governmental egress and ingress!!!" Right...the judge in Berger's case clearly outlines the legal flaws with that argument and I reckon once we get the PDA in courts finally over these free speech infringements, that the Market's false claim that they are somehow "private" property will be blown apart too!
If you care about free speech rights, if you care about low-income folks getting the shaft from the City, if you value street performing at the Pike Place Market, please consider making a donation TODAY! The buskers are being hassled RIGHT NOW for their 2007 permits, which must be renewed in May. Please help!
BUSKING IS FREE SPEECH!
FREE SPEECH IS FREE!
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