9-19-11: The Right to Perform on the Street
“Our expression is not verbal, it’s visual, and we can actually have a tangible item to sell. It doesn’t mean it’s less protected than someone giving the Gettysburg speech sitting on the Boardwalk.”
That’s what Mark Chase, a Maryland-based spray paint artist, says about his right to sell his paintings in the street. He was arrested yesterday in Baltimore’s inner harbor for performing without a permit. He’s also the same street performer who brought a lawsuit against Ocean City in June over several city ordinances that place restrictions on buskers there. The Ocean City law requires a permit to allow artists to perform, or sell goods. Chase says the restrictions stepped on his First Amendment rights. Earlier this month, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction requiring Ocean City to lift the permit requirement.
Sheilah talks about how Baltimore deals with street performers with Maryland Morning arts and culture editor Tom Hall, and about how the First Amendment applies to street performers, generally, with Mark Graber, Professor of Law at the University of Maryland.