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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
reggie miles NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle) (162* d) RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers 05 May 10


"We do not want to remove street performers from the Festival, unless they are in violation of the rules set in place by Seattle Center and Northwest Folklife. These rules provide for the safety and enjoyment of all who attend the Northwest Folklife Festival."

This strikes at the very heart of the matter. As previously pointed out, certain rules, that the city of Seattle was trying to enforce via the private company that the city hires to manage the Seattle Center were already deemed by the Court to be "unconstitutional" and yet NW Folklife has ignored the Court's ruling on the matter. They seem to deem themselves above the laws of the land.

Their rules are in direct violation of the what the Court has said are protected rights under the First Amendment, our freedom of expression. They are the ones who are in violation of law. The city of Seattle and the Seattle Center were already taken to task on this matter last June and they lost. The Court ruled in favor of those who perform on public property and not the city or those who manage the Center.

I love this country. I'm glad that we live in a country that recognizes the rights of their citizens and actively discourages corporations and cities from stealing away those rights. I'm astounded that private business entities like those who manage the Seattle Center would try to enact rules that restrict our First Amendment rights. The sad fact is, that they are not alone in their attempts to try to privatize public property and violate our rights to freedom of expression. Their actions are merely the tip of the iceberg.

The Court even awarded Mike, the fellow who challenged the rules, $20,000.

Now, NW Folklife is trying to pretend that the Court's decision didn't happen. They are feigning ignorance of the law and in so doing are stepping on the rights of all Americans under the First Amendment. If they're so intent on being petty dictators, why don't they simply go out and find their own piece of ground to do so, preferably, somewhere far away from this land of the free!

NW Folklife has drawn their rule book directly from that which the Seattle Center tried to use and then added many more restrictions, "for the safety and enjoyment of all who attend." This statement is simply hogwash with regard to what happened to me last year. No one's "safety" was threatened by my presence and many were enjoying my presence there but their enjoyment was cut short when the head of NW Folklife's security walked up to me to threaten me, intimidate me and ultimately have me forcibly removed from the event by the police.

Playing folk music is not a criminal offense, unless you happen to be playing it at the NW Folklife Festival! Criminalizing freedom of expression is against the law! If whoever posted the post above as GUEST Northwest Folklife had a pair they wouldn't have posted as an anonymous GUEST and would have addressed the actual issues here instead of spouting PR BS. The only reason they didn't do so is because they haven't got a legal leg to stand on.


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