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Old 10-28-02, 02:45 PM   #1
Butterfly Man
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Angry A Call To Arms !!!! - Harborplace, Baltimore

A close friend of mine Jerry Rowen (also a street performer for 20 years or more) was recently terminated (Oct 21) from Harborplace in Baltimore (a pitch he has worked for 20 years) ... the gist of it involves him making what they termed as an "inappropriate remark" about the sniper ... and the lackadaisical Balt. police ... the cops (who should have been working not watching a street show) complained.
Can anyone point me in the right direction for any legal arguments or statutes that we might be able to use to build a case against them?

I have already e-mailed Stephan Baird & Ned (Flathead) ... any other idea's?

[ 11-06-2002: Message edited by: Jim ]</p>
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Old 10-28-02, 03:05 PM   #2
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Here's a bunch of people to contact:

http://www.therousecompany.com/whowe...ion/index.html

Them's the people who run the company that runs Harborplace. I'd write an email to each of them, but I bet you'll have to first explain to most of them what street performing IS and that there are street performers performing on several of their properties.

Or you could just have Jerry audition next year under a different name. That worked for Peter McLaughlin few years back after he pissed off management at Quincy Market. He came back the next year as Peter Panic and they loved him.

Jim
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Old 10-28-02, 05:20 PM   #3
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Can you post a copy of his contract, or whatever agreement he had with them? From the looks of their site, they're the appearance-oriented type of company and spell out to the letter what is and isn't acceptable and the grounds for termination.

Termination on the basis of one complaint seems excessive, especially as it's for political humor that was subjectively deemed inappropriate.

Also, he could try organizing or faking a grassroots letter writing campaign. "Please bring back that funny man who did that funny show, we used to come just to see him but then shop shop shop the evening away after his show. The kids loved him." Lots of letters, hand-written with different pens and different paper and different handwriting, sent through the mail, make a much bigger impact than e-mails, especially if they appear to come from the shopping community and not just from a bunch of your friends / fellow performers.

And no, getting your friends to write them and make them appear to come from the community isn't wrong. Major PR companies do it all the time.
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Old 10-28-02, 07:24 PM   #4
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[quote]Originally posted by HiveQueen:
<strong>And no, getting your friends to write them and make them appear to come from the community isn't wrong. Major PR companies do it all the time.</strong><hr></blockquote>

As my father would say when I asked if I could borrow the car...
"You gotta be shitting me."

I like what you write, Hive Queen, and respect your viewpoint, but if you see the morality of major PR firms as a basis for your choices, you be part of the problem. And I'm not saying don't do it, just that its way off to conclude it isn't wrong if the big boys do it.

You're headed down the right track, though, in looking for the rules and regs from the mall. That's the first thing a lawyer will need. The next is this, and I'm curious anyway... just what did he say? If he can get a video, exactly what he said can be determined. Otherwise, his word against the cops. Predictable outcome.
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Old 10-28-02, 10:07 PM   #5
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I just received this from Ned (Flathead):

His advise:

Get precise records of the incidents
names of people, dates, times, witnesses, history
is it private or public space
(perhaps public space, licensed to a management company - in this case
you would retain civil rights)
has he been ticketed, or warned off
is he operating under a city permit or is there no city permit, or a
contract (agreement with management)
what is the reason given for stopping him now
are these reasons written or witnessed
are there any witnesses to the event (warning/ticketing)
are there other performers allowed to work, while he is not
have you contacted the press - they love this sort of thing

send me the answers, i will forward them to someone local and see
if they have any thoughts

-- thoughts:
If it is Privately Owned land you have no case, unless you want to
challenge the private ownership of publicly accessible areas, which is
a big issue in and of itself. The owners generally have a right to
restrict behaviors on their property.

If it is public space:::::

DOCUMENT EVERYTHING THAT YOU DO - time, date, who, what, everything

Part of it is Legal - but a big part is political

Don't let anyone be a LOOSE CANON, keep everyone on message (this is
hard to do with Street performers)

This may seem like a WEIRD idea, but pull a reverse move and go to the
police dept.'s public relations officer, explain the situation,
indicate support for police efforts, express that tension and
frustration of the current events and moment lead to the comments, but
defend and explain that it is the role of artists in a free society to
place before the public views which reflect and focus ideas about
current events - no matter how unpopular they may be. Try to get them
on board with this concept. Document this contact...!!! It will help
diffuse the US against THEM aspect of what you are doing and give
political cover for those who want to support you. Keep them in the
loop regarding your actions.

paint the issue as bigger than "I wanna play and they won't let me, i
am losing a lot of money, poor me" Make it so that by helping you -
others will be helped, then you will gain support

federal law allows for cities to pay attorneys fees in constitutional
cases, but you need to find an attorney who knows about this stuff -
with federal Court experience, as it will likely move beyond the local
(municipal) courts. (they usually back local authorities) The ACLU is a
great resource and may wish to be involved, but they can be hard to get
the attention of, as they are under-paid and they are a lot of big
civil rights cases right now ( can you say,"Arrests without due
process, for thousands of Muslims)- but they could give you contacts,
and maybe - who knows,....

If it is public space that is licensed by a management company, there
are questions that have never been resolved as to whether the
management company is able to ignore your civil rights. the courts are
much more conservative than they once were (meaning that they might
rule you have no rights) - but the management company could probably be
bluffed into re-instating him if they were threatened with a lawsuit -
as it would be horrible publicity. (repeat_ the PRESSSSS)
Often a management company will try to set up a system to restrict
access to only a location or two - THE THREAT IS , that if they push
the issue, they could have their entire system thrown out the window
and be forced to take any and all performers. this would represent a
loss of control for them, WHICH THESE TYPES OF PEOPLE HATE (which would
not be such a bad thing, anyway - this IS America, you know)
(unfortunately many "better" performers buy into this discrimination as
it gives them exclusive access - BUT that is selling your soul - as
you can see the nasty results when it turns out you are the next ones
to be discriminated against)

you should try to get all the other performers in the area to get on
board and support any action you may take - handouts, signs, work
stoppages, parades, organized moments of silence (everyone for ten
minutes at the beginning of the hour) It is often because Performers
are so eager to SLIT EACH OTHERS THROAT that individuals, or the group
can get picked on, and they gain no respect from the City or
management.( let the Press know you are doing this)

It would appear from what you are saying, this is a case where a
certain behavior was acceptable until someone expressed a certain
political point of view, in what is commonly thought of as a public
space
-- That's First amendment (Speech) and 14th amendment (equal protection)
-- Federal Law US 1982 allows for suing individuals (police, City
Attorneys, etc.) who operate under "color of law" who violate your
constitutional protections, as they are sworn by their oath of office
to uphold those rights. (ala. Rodney King)

you need to create a clear case that he was operating for years and you
need to have evidence that it was the speech violation that cased the
issue. You need to "paint" this picture very clearly and then get the
press and an attorney interested.
or::::::
you need to challenge the system, or lack there of, that allows the
police, or City, or management company to discriminate against certain
types of Speech in a public place. The issue may be that the CIty is
passing on the attority to the management company to discriminate what
can be said in Public Spaces, which would allow you to sue BOTH.

Find the 'Most Liberal" City Council Member and - once you get your
story together - send him/her emails and phone messages, try to set up
a quick meeting - perhaps before a council meeting, or other event that
they regularly attend - to explain your situation and what you want.
Council members are the police's BOSSES and THEY MAKE THE CONTRACTS
with the management companies. They tell the City Attorneys what to do.

If you have a liberal Mayor, contact the mayor's office.
If you have a liberal City Attorney, contact that office.

once you have connected with one council member, get the information to
the entire council - you will then see things start to happen behind
the scenes. Work the connections.

Making all of these moves and actions may seem like a lot and you might
feel that you just are "scratching the surface or the system" BUT, they
are what get you noticed and make you look like you are not going to
back down. most of the time, this is enough to get what you want,
without spending years in court - which is how long it can take - as
these people have a lot invested in their current established order.


CHECK OUT THESE GUYS....!!!!!!! they have and are fighting all the same
fights.
http://www.openair.org/alerts/artist/nyc.html
http://communityartsadvocates.org/streetartsintro.html

Let me know
Best of luck

Ned
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Old 10-28-02, 10:27 PM   #6
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[quote]Originally posted by Mr.Taxi Trix:
<strong>

I like what you write, Hive Queen, and respect your viewpoint, but if you see the morality of major PR firms as a basis for your choices, you be part of the problem. </strong><hr></blockquote>

Irony, darling, irony. I think the sort of PR firms that employ those (and far nastier) sorts of tactics are BAD, BAD people who are betraying the public trust in exchange for very large sums of money.

However, you will find that these bad people tend to get exactly what they want. This guy's objective is to get his gig back. (As I understand it, he was functioning as an employee of the shopping district's management company, yes?) Since his situation involves dealing with a large, corporate company, it seems that using the tactics employed by large corporate companies might be effective.

Sure, he could set up a little booth outside of the company's property line handing out fliers and collecting signatures, but word of that would get to the powers that be real fast, he would be branded a troublemaker for drawing negative public attention to the "wholesome, family-oriented shopping district," and his chances of getting his gig back would drop to nil (though if his lawsuit case is good he could get a settlement.) They just don't want the bad press.

If, instead, he can show (or make it appear) that retaining his services has a direct positive financial impact on the company (backed up, if possible, by a solid contract or other legalness showing that they don't actually have a choice,) they can hire him back while keeping up their public appearance which, after all, is what this is all about.


The system is an unpleasant, nasty thing. You can ignore it, you can bash your head in against it, or you can make it work for you.

--hq

ps: There's a wonderful book that will make you angry, called

Toxic Sludge Is Good For You!
Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry

Your local independent bookstore should have it (or be willing to order it) or you can order it directly from PRWatch.org at
http://www.prwatch.org/books/tsigfy.html

[ 10-28-2002: Message edited by: HiveQueen ]</p>
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Old 10-28-02, 10:30 PM   #7
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Ned for President.
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Old 10-29-02, 01:02 AM   #8
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Hi
Very sorry to hear about this and offer full support for anything we can do for the dude.Maybe we all could do a collection like we did for flying bob.Everyone just send him money orders,i don't know,it might help while he isn't working.
Whattdya think
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Old 10-29-02, 12:01 PM   #9
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He also might try contacting the ACLU as this might be construde (sp?) as an infringement on his first amendment rights.

What did he say that pissed the cop off so bad? The other side of this coin is someone the cop knew may have been a victim and any joke made about it would not sit well. You'd have gotten lynched in Washington Square if you made poor taste jokes about 9/11 last year.
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Old 10-29-02, 11:50 PM   #10
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I composed this non-threating letter so I could maybe get an interview with this lady on behalf of Jerry ... I will send it off tomorrow... any changes?


October 30, 2002

Adair Fogarty
Director of Marketing
Harborplace, Baltimore
200 East Pratt St. 4th Level
Baltimore, MD 21202

Dear Ms Fogarty,

My name is Robert Nelson. I am a Baltimore native, currently based in Los Angeles, CA. I am an active member of the Community Arts Advocates Program, an organization dedicated to expanding the public awareness, participation in and support of the street arts through performances, publicity, educational forums, consultation services, and collaborative projects.

By way of introduction, I have helped start several street performing programs throughout the United States, including Quincy Market in Boston, Pier 39 in San Francisco and Universal Citywalk, here in Los Angeles. Since the early '70's, I have worked closely with the Tom Gilmore and the Rouse Corporation setting up programs in Baltimore (Harborplace), Miami (Bayside) as well as the short-lived programs in Tampa & Nashville. In the past, I have worked with Jane Powell, Joan Davidson and John Pezzulla on special projects for Harborplace, so I am quite familiar with your superlative program and your standards of excellence.

I have recently received a copy of a letter from your office, addressed to Jerry Rowan (October 21st), notifying him of his termination from your Street Performers Program. Since I am familiar with Jerry and his work, I am taking it upon myself to see if there is anything I can do to remedy this unfortunate situation. My intention is not to compromise anyone's authority, only to facilitate artist and management communication. It is my belief that a mutual understanding between the artistic and corporate communities can benefit everyone and create a safe, exciting and entertaining environment for the public to enjoy.

I will be arriving in Baltimore on Nov. 6th and will be staying through the 10th, I would appreciate a short meeting with you during this time, at your convienience, in an attempt to better understand and perhaps resolve this matter equitably.


Sincerely,

Robert A. Nelson
PO Box 2732
Venice, CA 90294-2732
Telephone: 310 827-3692
cell: 310-251-8896


Cc. Community Arts Advocates
Stephen H. Baird, Executive Director
PO Box 112, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Telephone: 617-522-3407
E-mail: mail@communityartsadvocates.org
Web site: http://communityartsadvocates.org
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Old 10-30-02, 08:43 AM   #11
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Looks great. Rather than waiting for her call, though, I'd tell her you'll be making a follow-up call early next week (or in a few days) to schedule your meeting.

Also, take out "perhaps" before "resolved" in the last paragraph, and change the comma after "10th" (same paragraph) to a full stop.

Good luck!
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Old 10-30-02, 10:27 AM   #12
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Hat

HiveQueen,
Thank you ever so much ... here are the implemented changes;

I will be arriving in Baltimore on Nov. 6th, and will be staying through the 10th. I would appreciate a short meeting with you during this time, at your convenience, in an attempt to better understand and resolve this matter equitably. I will give your office a call to schedule an appointment. Thank you, in advance, for your kind cooperation.

I hope she bites and my wig don't fall off!
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Old 10-30-02, 01:56 PM   #13
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And remember, if she doesn't cooperate it's okay to kill her pet bunny and leave it in the office microwave -- major PR firms do it all the time!

Oh, wait, no, that was something else.

-hq
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Old 10-30-02, 08:04 PM   #14
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Piggy

Jerry should have kept the pity money I gave him.
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Old 10-31-02, 01:55 PM   #15
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Exclamation

Ms Fogarty just called ... she R-E-F-U-S-E-D to meet with me ... bitch!

I have to go eastward ... out of touch, but here's what Stephain said:

******* Stephen for President! ***********

Butterfly Man:

Great to hear from you. The web site at http://communityartsadvocates.org
has an extensive Street Artists Court Case Citation listing plus historical
references.

Rouse Company malls have been sued in civil court numerous times for First
Amendment violations. The case in Boston was decided in Federal Court on
August 27, 1990 (Citizens to End Animal Suffering v. Faneuil Hall
Marketplace, Inc., US District Court, CA No. 90-10722-T) and determined that
animal rights activists had a right to picket and protest at Faneuil Hall
Marketplace They were arrested for passing out leaflets to restaurant
patrons to not eat veal). Judge Tauro stated Faneuil Hall Marketplace must
be considered within its historical context and cannot be considered private
property.

The redevelopment agreements by Rouse Company with various cities usually
have clauses that retain these areas as "public-right-of-ways" which also
means they retain public property status as a First Amendment Forum (Unlike
an enclosed mall with doors or an amusement park that charges admission).

Technically the audition systems at these urban malls are illegally content
based allotment for times at a public space. The First Amendment does not
say "one has to be good" or "professional" to speak at a public space.
Space can be given and shared on a lottery or first-come and first-serve
content neutral basis. (My opinion of how the marketplaces need to schedule
spots is that they can do an audition and pay small honorariums plus
guarantee pass-the-hat rights to the schedule artists, but must always leave
a space open on a "first-come, first serve basis" so folks who are
traveling through or new people who are developing their craft still have a
forum.)

Generally the artists who are on the roster of approved participants will
not support challenges to the Rouse Company Management for fear of losing
income. The Rouse Company lawyers would also note Jerry Rowen accepted the
preferred treatment when other artists were excluded. This means Jerry Rowen
and all the other artists who have performed at the Marketplace have at
least tacitly accepted the Marketplace right to exclude artists. This
history and political reality will make any "Pure First Amendment" challenge
difficult.


Strategies?

1. Jerry might consider offering an apology for the remarks through an
attorney and ask to be reinstated with only the unstated threat that he is
making the apology through a lawyer.

2. Jerry might consider offering an apology for the remarks, but assert that
they are "protected speech" through an attorney and ask to be reinstated.

3. Jerry might consider a full challenge to the Marketplace with the help of
the Maryland ACLU.

Resources for and ramifications of these options need to be explored
carefully with folks in the Baltimore area. I do not know what legal
challenges that have been made previously against the Harbor Marketplace. I
do not know if the Maryland State Constitution gives more First Amendment
protection than the Federal Constitution or how the recent Maryland state
and federal courts have ruled.

Good luck with the challenge and keep me posted. I would be happy to be an
expert witness if it reaches that level of confrontation.

My best,

Stephen H. Baird
Executive Director
Community Arts Advocates, Inc.
PO Box 112
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
617-522-3407
mail@communityartsadvocates.org
http://communityartsadvocates.org


----------
&gt;From: ButManJug@aol.com
&gt;To: mail@communityartsadvocates.org
&gt;Subject: legal issue for Stephan Baird
&gt;Date: Mon, Oct 28, 2002, 3:40 PM
&gt;
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Old 10-31-02, 02:07 PM   #16
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I want to know WHAT Jerry said.

I don't know Jerry and I've never met him or seen his show, but I have been a part of the Faneuil Hall Street Performers program and I know they have never kicked anyone out of the program for ONE slip of the tongue. (Hell, Gazzo is in the program!)

I am not taking sides, but being the Devil's advocate, I find it hard to believe that this is the ONLY reason he was kicked out of the program. Did he have previous warnings for other comments? Was this a third strike? I'm just trying to understand the whole picture. Can anyone tell us the entire story???
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Old 10-31-02, 09:53 PM   #17
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Hey Jim et al,

Just to let you know I am still going to have a go at this lady once more before resorting to my dastardly tactics ... the jokes he apparently made about the sniper and the Balt.PD pissed off the beat cops ... but this did happen before in April (that time is was just donut shop jokes and some stupid cop who tried to make him wear a helmet before he rode on his mini mini bike (a la Alakazam)) ... Jerry has an excellent act and while some of his humor is not entirely PC, my feeling is that this whole deal stems from a lady who felt threatened that she could not put a guy who has worked the pitch longer than dirt has existed, under he thumb ...it's all politics mate ... I will give you more on this debacle as it develops ...
I am in NYC tomorrow to work the clubs with Master Lee then I will see you all in Connecticut on Monday if the yellow dog cuts me loose and I survive the unhygienic environ.

P.S. Tell Gazzo he is a still a tea bag toting twit!
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Old 11-01-02, 10:25 PM   #18
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I've met Adaire on several occasions... She asked me to do my show in the shopping areas of harbouplace, although I would not be allowed to pass the hat nor would I be paid.

She said I should do it for my art.

yeah, right.


etienne

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Old 11-02-02, 03:05 PM   #19
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test
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Old 11-02-02, 03:10 PM   #20
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Harborplace will react to bad press. You need to get tv stories and newspapers stories going. You need to paint this as David vs. Goliath.

I believe that all other performers should stop working at harborplace till Jerry is reinstated and Start picketing immediately. This will make for great tv footage;

In my opinion the performers should formally form a union. Unions prevent this kind of thing.

good luck. If Bill Maher got kicked off Politicaly Incorrect for being... Politically Incorrect, then I don't know what chance Jerry has a "family attraction." But I hope he is reinstated and soon.
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