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Old 07-08-12, 09:05 AM   #1
sippy's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 39
Default Montreal Busker Taken Down by Police

Here's an article you may have seen popping up around the internet of a Montreal Busker who was taken down by police midshow. Police claim he was being combative and warned several times during the week to move:

This Busker had worked the same spot for 30 years. Was he right in resisting arrest? No. Was he right for performing there after cops asked him to move? No (it says that right in your permit). Do I advocate his actions? No.

But I do find it deplorable that the city of Montreal changed the bylaw mid season after he had already purchased his permit and took away his rights to work a spot on city property he had worked for 30 years! That's not right! While I don't agree with the actions he took, I also find the actions of the police to be far beyond "reasonable force" as they try to take him from behind when he's posing for a picture and attempt to pin him. When he escapes and holds his hands up, they attempt again to pin him down. Completely unreasonable actions by the Montreal Police.
The business owners complained about his presence, but after 30 years at the same spot, if that district is any type of shopping destination it's likely BECAUSE of Buskers like this guy providing entertainment and a draw for locals and tourists. Just because you open a store, doesn't mean customers will show up! It's whether the area has a reasonable draw of culture and programming to offer them more than draining their wallets.
I'm sure this will get mixed reactions from people, but I view it through the lens of being an extreme scenario of a performer who has made his living in the same spot for 30 years being told he no longer has a right to that spot. It's city property, and while I respect and follow bylaws, I don't always agree with them (especially when it pushes a seasoned Busker who had a big part in creating the draw of an area out of his home pitch).
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