Lloyd_Carew-Reid_Justice


Lloyd Carew-Reid speaking out at a Public Justice and Truth rally has in the past been asked to campaign
to be the Lord Mayor of News York because he is interested in the rights of the ordinary American Citizen
is now being requested by his million of twitter followers from around the world to put himself up for to be the next American President
..Lloyd Carew-Reid's answer is..".. I am just a little guy you campaigning for truth and justice in my local area and I will leave the running America to Mr Wijat  and  His WIJAT Team..."

                                                              

 Mr Wijat and His WIJAT Team

ERF The Worm  Al Wijat   Marvin The Marvelous  Majic Rabbit

also speaking out for Truth Justice and the True American Way



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"Provocative, frightening, informative, humorous- Your view and knowledge of the way the legal, police, political, public trustee business circles operate in Western Australia will never be the same.. after reading these volumes...A must real for present and budding legal eagles, police, politicians, litigants in person, anyone interested in and/or studying the law or the legal system, high school students, also anyone wanting to search for the truth and/or just interested in a book that is about a unique situation where one takes on City Hall which has unlimited resources and gives them a run for it's  money - with little and very little resources to fight City Hall with. It has been described as a real David V Goliath affair, and also described by Ian Wilson, Western Australian solicitor, as one of the greatest legal debacles he has ever seen in his legal practice.  Ian Wilson tried to negotiate an amicable settlement many years ago without success. The Public Trustee and the Western Australian Government felt there were simply too powerful and untouchable to bother with negotiating in a reasonable manner. Now they are among 69 respondents, including judges, magistrate, senior police, senior prosecutors, senior politicians, well known lawyers and barristers, public trustee accountants and managers, court officers etc., being sued in The Australian Federal Court  for conspiracy to defraud the Carew-Reid Family, who are asking $100 million in damages.. Volume 2-Edition 3 is about 1,100 pages plus photos........" Australian Weekend News publishers of The Triumph of Truth (Who's Watching The Watchers?) 
The Triumph of Truth (Who Is Watching The Watchers?) by Stephen Carew-Reid volumes one to nine, original manuscripts of the first 8 volumes stolen by Queensland Police in Australia to try and cover up the information in these volumes
and illegally removed from the Western Australian Batye Resource Library without any court order from pressure from State Government Law Office
http://usaweeklynews.com/TriumphOfTruth_Book.php
   http://www.usaweekendnews.com/TriumphOfTruthBookStolen.html
Click here to check the strange justice in Australia http://usaweeklynews.com/Mickleberg_Conspiracy.php

 

I must have upset some in powerful places when I help investigation corruption in the Australian Political, Freemason, Legal, Court, Prosecution, Police, Prison, Public Trustee, media and business world when I helped Stephen Carew-Reid with his nine volumes of The Triumph of Truth (Who's Watching The Watchers?) when the firtst eight volumes were illegally and wrongly removed destroyed from the Western Australian Batre Library after being purchased with public money, without any court action or court order and also the original manuscripts were stolen by Queensland Detectives Gregrory Stormont and Barry Zerner on behalf of the the powerful people in the Australian Political, Freemason, Legal, Court, Prosecution, Police, Prison, Public Trustee, media and business world and Queensland Government ..at the same tried tried to lock up the author Stephen Carew-Reid ina menal institution to stop him speaking out and destroy the creditabity of what was written in his books..then after I sent it my investition reports tot he Queensland Government..25 police were sacked which I thought was a great idea as this will save the Queensland Governmen $1 million a year in paying salaries to corrupt police that are committting more crimes than they are solving... and now the Queensland Government faces a $100 millin wirt for damages..unless they take the oppportnity selttle out of court with a resonable offer before the court action commences.

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Lloyd Carew-Reid who is 
a classical guitarist living in New York City,
who once played a cat-and-mouse game with Manhattan cops to fight
for the rights for buskers to make music in the New York Subways. now continues to campaign average american's constitutional rights...
 
"This is America!" was his thought.
 "They can't do this to me! It's against my constitutional rights!"
The musician and the First Amendment double-teamed the court and won.
 
 





For three years Lloyd Carew-Reid, a classical guitarist living in New York City, played a cat-and-mouse game with Manhattan cops. What the man wanted to do was make music in the subway system, hoping his melodies would coax some change out of commuters' pockets. But there were rules against such conduct. In time Carew-Reid, an Australian, got down on himself for trying to make a living in so frustrating a fashion. Then one night a banal but correct notion changed his life. "This is America!" was his thought. "They can't do this to me! It's against my constitutional rights!" The musician and the First Amendment double-teamed the court and won. These mornings you can catch him happily playing below-ground Bach at 59th and Lexington, where he says, "It's a free world down here now."

So it goes throughout this litigious land. In Wisconsin, Selena Fox, a witch, is fighting local zoning laws so that she may conduct religious ceremonies on her property. In Oklahoma, Lucille McCord and Joann Bell, two mothers, successfully ended school prayer with a suit, then, after Bell was assaulted and her home burned, the women sued again and won undisclosed damages from the school district of Little Axe. In Montana, Donna Todd filed her tax return after typing on her 1040 form, "Signed involuntarily under penalty of statutory punishment." The Internal Revenue Service fined her $500 for filing a "frivolous" return. Todd and the courts battle on. Here and there, sanctuary, sanctuary, sanctuary is all the word. Kay Kelly of Tucson, for example, was placed under house arrest for refusing to give the name of the Guatemalan she had sheltered. She contended her right to keep silent on the name was a religious issue.

Well, one could go on, but the point is that the civil docket still makes room for more than whiplash, malpractice, what have you, still accommodates the citizen who has nothing grander to gain than the Republic's concession that he was right and it was wrong, which is pretty grand. In Louisiana, a Vietnamese schoolgirl, no bigger than a pencil sharpened to a nub, had no larger scheme than to publish a newspaper for the "out crowd" at her Louisiana high school, but she ran afoul of her principal nonetheless. In California, a black entrepreneur who sports a thick thatch of provocative dreadlocks and enjoys late-night strolls, even in white neighborhoods, didn't particularly care for being stopped 15 times for vagrancy. He felt that his looks, race and whereabouts were what had invited police inquiry and that these things added up to undue cause. Neither the schoolgirl nor the entrepreneur gave up; they went to the bench.

None of these people are larger-than-life Jimmy Stewarts in a Frank Capra piece; rather, they are obscure citizens who felt slighted on their home patch and sought redress. As subjects, they are what crusty journalists of another age called the "little people." Forty years ago, Joseph Mitchell, the New Yorker writer, bridled at this condescension: "They are as big as you are, whoever you are." With that in mind, herewith the cases of the guitarist, Carew-Reid; the student, Cat Nguyen; and the entrepreneur, Edward Lawson.

Lloyd Carew-Reid, the street musician from Perth, is a squirrelly little guy, blond beard, soft speech, 37 years old, who lives on the rim of the Chelsea area of Manhattan in a dog-eared hotel where drug deals and muggings go down every month or so, where one mad woman thinks she's a rooster. His home environment to some would seem a nightmare; his work environment to most would seem hell. After a day of breathing the iron filings in the New York City subways, one would think he could blow his nose and sink a Hudson River liner. Worse, a braking train in a tunnel in this town can sound like a ten- ton banshee caught in a vise. And yet there he sits, caressing an acoustic guitar in bedlam, playing Bach and Mozart, Francisco Tarrega and Erik Satie, and one of the reasons he got his back up about it was that the city had the gall to hit him with an environmental charge: making unnecessary noise.


In 1985 the Metropolitan Transit Authority issued 3,000 summonses for "unauthorized noise through a reproduction device," a catchall ordinance that covered radios as well as musical instruments, amplified or no. In April of the following year, Carew-Reid was also ticketed three times for "solicitation for entertainment." "Right," the guitarist said sarcastically. "It's a horrible situation down there, and it should remain so." What really got his goat was "the bureaucratic arrogance of it all. Rules. Rules. You've got to have rules. How can rules apply to aesthetics?"

The transit authority replied that musicians setting up shop on densely packed platforms posed safety problems. Said a spokesman: "We do not allow any unsanctioned playing of instruments on the subways." Carew-Reid chose to challenge the constitutionality of the authority's rules against his unsanctioned playing. The T.A. dropped all charges against Carew-Reid in January, stopped issuing summonses to musicians (unless they are found to be blocking an entrance or interfering with train operations -- rare instances, both), and said it would rewrite its regulations.

"It was the best possible victory," Carew-Reid says. "I was almost developing a hate-cop mentality. Now I feel pleased when I see one come up. Sometimes they say, 'That was nice.' "

One recent drizzly morning, a lot of people expressed similar sentiments. "God bless you," a woman said in a note she dropped into the musician's guitar case, along with a dollar. "Lovely," said others. "Just beautiful." At the end of the day, the guitarist pockets between $40 and $60, his normal take. Then he returns to the fleabag he calls home, takes up his duties as president of the tenants' association and works for better housing conditions. "This is America, isn't it? People don't have to live in squalor."

A year ago this spring Cat Nguyen was 16, an honors student at West Jefferson High School, just across the Mississippi River from New Orleans, and an editor of a soon-to-be mimeographed school paper called Your Side. Five years before that she had reached this country from Viet Nam, with no command of English. Having come so far so quickly, she thought the world was at her ! feet -- until Principal Eldon Orgeron saw the paper and banned it.

He had not been consulted, Orgeron said; what was more, he seemed to read the paper's tone as seditious. Nguyen went to the American Civil Liberties Union. "I had to do it to prove I can fight for my rights and to show other kids they can fight for theirs."
He had not been consulted, Orgeron said; what was more, he seemed to read the paper's tone as seditious. Nguyen went to the American Civil Liberties Union. "I had to do it to prove I can fight for my rights and to show other kids they can fight for theirs."

Nguyen is one of those wunderkinds who inspire pride, envy or both. Her mother came from Saigon to New Orleans in 1980 to be near a brother. Cat soon followed. Her mother got a job teaching elementary school and rented a long, skinny house -- a shotgun house -- hard by the levee in the little town of Gretna. Cat conquered English, became an honors student and grew to a height of 4 ft. 9 in. She also got an after-school job in a grocery, where she has to stand on a case of beer to reach the cash register.

Last year, as part of a class project on freedom of the press, she and her friend Regina Saenz and a couple of casual contributors put out their 14-page mimeographed paper. They thought they were being ironic, funny, irreverent. They included references to unresponsive counselors, the selling of term papers, sex, drugs, cheating. "Don't try to cheat unless you're really sneaky, have years of experience and sit way in the back of the class," they wrote in a parody of an advice column. To a would-be dropout, they preached, "Just stay home, get a job at some gas station, get married, have a couple of kids, and before you know it, you'll be 70."

"This was not responsible journalism," said Orgeron. "This school does not extol those kinds of things. That's why this paper has to stop." The principal seized the last 30 of the 150 copies Cat had run off. She had sold the rest at 50 cents a pop. The young woman likes to tell her own story:

"I used to be a waitress in a restaurant, and I knew some lawyers, and they told me to call the American Civil Liberties Union. For a week they didn't accept me. They thought I was just some student mad at my principal. When they did accept me, the A.C.L.U. contacted the school and threatened to take it to court. The school board's lawyers settled out of court. I got the right to print more issues, but I couldn't sell it. We had no money. How could I print without selling?

"I could not sue without parental approval because I'm underage, and my mother works for the school board and she wouldn't sign. If I had my way, I would have taken it all the way. At the end of the school year I decided to publish another issue. Since I couldn't sell it, it came mostly out of my pocket. I just wanted to prove my rights. It made the teachers mad. The principal said he decided not to censor it -- with the lawyers and everything he didn't have the right -- but he just wanted to sound tough."

What dispirited her about the ordeal, the student says, was the apathy of the student body. "I wanted a paper for the majority, the D students. The minority, the A students, have their own paper, the official paper, the Jolly Roger. But when my paper came out, the minority was against me and the majority couldn't have cared less. I wanted to be a lawyer and change the world. But when I saw the minority wasn't with you and the majority didn't care, it looked to me just like politics. I have decided to become a doctor and help people whether they want it or not. I don't want to have anything to do with politics."

Cat Nguyen was graduated from West Jefferson High last month with perfect scores and a four-year Martin Luther King Scholarship to Brandeis University, where she will start the long road toward becoming a physician.

"The dictum that for every wrong there is a right is not true reality. There are a lot of people out there who have been wounded, with no remedy." This is Ed Lawson talking, and can he talk. It is a stunning San Francisco dawn, and Lawson has rejected an invitation to breakfast. "I do not like to do two pleasurable things at once, converse and eat. I find one gets in the way of the other. We'll find someplace outdoors to languish." In moments he secures a public bench not far from Union Square, and occupies it with a self- assurance that all but says aloud, "I am a taxpayer. This is mine."

Lawson ran into trouble in San Diego, where, as an "avid pedestrian," he was stopped repeatedly for vagrancy on his midnight walks, prosecuted twice and convicted once under a provision of the state's penal code that required him to produce "credible and reliable" identification for any police officer who had reason to be suspicious. Lawson saw the matter simply: he was black, his looks were not conventional, and he was treading white sidewalks. His suit called the law unconstitutionally vague and said it violated the Fourth Amendment's guarantee against "unreasonable searches and seizures" and the Fifth Amendment's self-incrimination protection. The U.S. Supreme Court did not subscribe all the way with Lawson, but it did agree that the statute was % too vague to satisfy the due-process clause of the 14th Amendment. Today Ed Lawson's nightly constitutionals are nobody's business.

"I took a terrible beating for years," Lawson says, drinking in the day. "Somewhere back in here is Melvin Belli's office." He sweeps an arm round San Francisco. "I sat there. He said, 'No remedy. No money in it.' I went to the best-known attorneys, the highest priced. They said by and large you don't win against the police department. They didn't understand that I knew I could beat them on my own turf, the media. Most people who can communicate, communicate. Those who can't, carry guns. I thought surely at some point sanity would prevail. But they would not give up, and so it went all the way to the Supreme Court."

In May 1983, the night the Supreme Court struck down the California statute that the San Diego police had used to nail Lawson for vagrancy, Lawson, who was called the California Walkman in headline shorthand, was all over the networks, sauntering, as the news programs had it, wherever he pleased. He said at the time, "If you are one of those individuals who, over coffee and the morning paper, says, 'This is terrible. Somebody ought to do something about this,' you will probably see the person who should do something when you look in the mirror to shave."

To this day he keeps his principles handy, as you would a wallet. Born 41 years ago in Buffalo, he remembers blacks rapping in the streets in a time before they were called raps. "They were always saying, 'They won't let me do this.' My frequent comment would be, 'Who are they?' Much of my life has been uncovering that prevailing myth."

Somewhere along the line, Lawson, an odd duck by any measure, got press smart. He knew he was photogenic, he knew he was bright, and he knew his cause was right. Innocent black man arrested for taking a hike? It was a natural. The notoriety his case received has led to his involvement in other "meaningful battles," as he calls them.

Lawson makes a living in an ill-defined sort of way. "I'm neither a butcher, a baker nor a candlestick maker. I do joint ventures with the entertainment industry. I'm a member of the Screen Actors Guild. I wrote a screenplay. I've got a horrendous project involving the integration of entertainment with education. You want to call me a consultant? Will your stomach settle? Okay, I'm a consultant. But really I do whatever the Sam Hill I want to." Lately he has been involved in something called Pro Per Inc., + which is "attempting to de-lawyer and re-people the American court system by encouraging Americans to represent themselves in court." And there is something Lawson calls the "Unauthorized Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution." He is publishing a biweekly pamphlet called Common Cents, which encourages the common man to celebrate his favorite part of the Constitution in his own way, as opposed to what Lawson sees as a white, snobbish celebration along the Potomac.

"The measure of an advanced civilization is how it treats its worst people, not its best," he says, rising from his bench. "Those who have the most reason to celebrate a Constitution are the poorest. The people in the BART ((Bay Area Rapid Transit)) station. That gentleman asleep on that bench over there." Then Lawson strides away, a man with a purpose.

New York Times

New York Times

About New York; Europe Can Wait: Musician Adopts An S.R.O. Hotel

On his way to Germany from Australia to pursue a career as a classical guitarist, Lloyd Carew-Reid somehow landed at the Kenmore, a dismal single-room occupancy hotel on East 23d Street. His neighbors included many respectable people, low on cash like himself, as well as reputed drug dealers and prostitutes and one woman who seemed to think she was a rooster.

''I couldn't believe it,'' said Mr. Carew-Reid, who had never been to New York before. ''I thought this was what happened to all New Yorkers - it drove them crazy. I thought, 'I've got to get out of here.' ''

Some of the residents had come to their $90-a-week rooms at the hotel between Lexington and Third Avenues from mental institutions. Even for those suffering from only the usual neuroses, life at the hotel, as Mr. Carew-Reid soon learned, was a daily test of will, one that threatened to drive all but the most resilient -or perhaps the most detached - to the brink.

In a building with 22 floors, the elevators were constantly breaking down - and that was a relatively minor problem. Elderly women had their purses grabbed out from under the communal toilet stalls. A man got into a fight with his girlfriend and stabbed her to death. Another woman was raped.

That was 18 months ago. Mr. Carew-Reid never made it to Germany. He was beguiled by Manhattan and, in a strange way, by the Kenmore. He stayed on there, even after he was making enough money playing Mozart in the subways to move to better quarters.

How could he leave? The 37-year-old traveler from Perth had become president of the first Kenmore Hotel Tenants Association and was embroiled in legal battles against the landlord in an attempt to improve conditions at the hotel. ''I keep saying, 'Lloyd, you've got to cut back, you're losing yourself,' '' he said. He was sorting through his legal files in his cramped room on the 20th floor, where his book collection includes ''One Hundred Years of Solitude'' as well as that other classic he swears by - ''Tenants Rights and How to Protect Them.''

His fellow tenants regard Mr. Carew-Reid as their own ''Crocodile Dundee,'' but unlike the movie hero, he does not live at the Plaza.

''He's our guiding light,'' said Mary, a secretary who has lived at the hotel since 1954. ''We trust him.''

''We're blessed to have him,'' said Peggy, an 11-year resident.

''The Kenmore is my family,'' Mr. Carew-Reid said.

Shortly after his arrival, he found a notice of a tenants meeting under his door, and went. It had been called by Norman Silvar, a retired merchant seaman who lived at the Kenmore for 30 years, until his death of a heart attack last summer. Mr. Silvar apparently remained an inspired idealist until the end.

''He had a whole pipe dream,'' Mr. Carew-Reid said. ''He had a computer in his room. He wanted us to write a constitution. He wanted to have floor captains. He was an old union man. He kept telling me, 'Lloyd, you've got to go and get Robert's Rules of Order.' ''

Mr. Carew-Reid did buy Robert's Rules of Order, but he never uses them. This group of tenants has concerns far more pressing than the observance of the proper protocol. ''You cannot organize the Kenmore,'' he said.

The latest meeting was held in the hotel's dirty, windowless lounge, with its neon-green vinyl chairs. The tenants, among them a gentleman dressed only in a black slip, swatted flies as they recited their complaints. The latest hallway mugging was reported. A member of the management stopped by uninvited to suggest that the tenants had sabotaged the elevators by stealing key parts.

Mr. Carew-Reid listened calmly. ''Meditation is the answer,'' he said later. He also finds it helpful to make regular visits to a psychologist, who gives him a break on the fee.

Like most landlord-tenant battles, this one drags on. Progress is measured in small triumphs like the reappearance of the security guards, the repair of the elevators, a steady supply of toilet paper. Constant vigilance is required on the part of the tenants. The Kenmore, according to lawyers at MFY Legal Services, which is handling the tenants' case, is not the worst single room occupancy hotel in the city, nor is it the best.

Mr. Carew-Reid has already won one battle against the bureaucracy. Last year, while playing his guitar in the subways, he was given a summons by the Metropolitan Transit Authority for ''unauthorized noise through a reproduction device.'' He argued First Amendment rights and the charges were dropped.

It is all part of the adventure for this Australian, a former gymnast, dishwasher and accountant, who once worked in a gold mine in the Outback, 200 miles from the nearest town, where summer temperatures reach 120 degrees.

The gold mine turned out to be valuable preparation for Mr. Carew-Reid's experience at the Kenmore. As he put it: ''I'm in the outback of New York here.''

A version of this article appeared in print on Saturday, August 22, 1987, on section 1 page 29 of the New York edition.

Know Your Rights!
A Guide for Subway Musicians & Other Performers

(revised edition, © 2004)

Prepared by Susie Tanenbaum with The Street Performers Advocacy Project and City Lore

PURPOSE OF THIS GUIDE

You have a right to perform in the subways, on the sidewalks and in the parks of New York City. The purpose of this guide is to clarify your rights and responsibilities as public space performers, especially when you are setting up underground. We also hope that officers in the New York Police Department, Station Managers, and hearing officers will find this guide useful when they are implementing New York City Transit regulations permitting subway performances.

The Street Performers' Advocacy Project was formed in 1996 as a coalition of musicians and activists who were united in their belief that street and subway performers make a valuable contribution to this city. They decided that a guide would advance their goal of encouraging spontaneous expression and a sense of community whenever and wherever possible. In the same spirit, we have revised the guide to reflect more recent court rulings and current government policies. Now that the guide is on the web, we hope to update it on a more regular basis.

The sections of this guide are as follows:

SOME HISTORY shows that, as a street performer, you are carrying on a tradition that is as old as civilization itself.

YOUR RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES outlines the New York City Transit regulations, and explains what you are authorized to do.

COURT DECISIONS IN YOUR FAVOR highlights many of the legal rulings that uphold the rights of street and subway performers.

THE TRANSIT POLICE explains the role of officers underground and suggests some options for dealing with confrontations.

TRANSIT POLICE FACT CHECK is a quick reference so that you know what is true and what is false.

STATION MANAGERS explains their role and suggests ways to handle confrontations.

MUSIC UNDER NEW YORK describes the MTA's music program and how it co-exists with freelance performances.

LEGAL ASSISTANCE lists names of attorneys who have agreed to be contacted for advice.

PERFORMING ON THE STREETS AND IN THE PARKS provides basic information about recent rulings and policies affecting performances in the city's other major public spaces.

OUR VIEWS is where we share with you how we think the rules governing subway music could be improved.

CONFRONTATION SHEETS are intended to help you document problems you might have while performing in public spaces.

Here are some abbreviations that you will come across in this guide:

MTA: Metropolitan Transportation Authority
NYCT: New York City Transit
NYPD: New York Police Department
MUNY: Music Under New York

Please let us know what you think of this guide! You can reach us at: (212) 529-1955 or at Steve@citylore.org. 
Thanks,
Susie Tanenbaum, Street Performers' Advocacy Project
Steve Zeitlin, City Lore

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SOME HISTORY

There have been street performers as long as there have been streets. In ancient Egypt and Greece, people entertained and passed the hat for donations. During the Middle Ages—in Europe, troubadours were the personal street performers of the aristocrats, while minstrels and jongleurs brought joy to the general public.

In colonial America, twelve-year-old Benjamin Franklin sang on the streets of Philadelphia! At the turn of the century, immigrants helped to make street performing popular in New York. There were German marching bands and Italian organ grinders—"hurdy gurdies"—who serenaded women below their tenement windows and during the Great Depression, banjo players set up on subway and elevated platforms.

Government authorities never knew exactly what to make of street performing. They seemed to think its spontaneity was a threat to law and order. In the 1930s, New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia called them beggars (he defended the poor but disapproved of panhandling), and he made it illegal to perform on New York City's streets. 

Although street performing was allowed once again after 1970, subway performances were illegal until the 1980s. And yet the elevated and underground subway platforms were not quiet. Artists still expressed themselves and attracted an audience underground. In the 1940s, for example, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and others involved in the growing Urban Folk Revival Movement pulled out guitars while waiting for their trains. Not only did they reclaim public space, they believed that songs could change social conditions.

In the early 1960s, young African American and Italian American men sang doo-wop inside subway cars and received donations from appreciative riders. In 1987, with the creation of an official MUNY (Music Under New York) program, public performers have been re-recognized by authorities. The program is now funded and directed by the MTA Arts for Transit office.

Whether you were raised in New York City or in a country with its own street performing tradition, you are helping to carry on a venerable urban tradition.

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YOUR RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO PERFORM IN THE NEW YORK CITY SUBWAY SYSTEM
The New York City Transit (NYCT) is the subdivision of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) that operates the city's subways and buses. The NYCT authorizes these types of free expression in subway stations:

"Public speaking; distribution of written materials; solicitation for charitable, religious or political causes; and artistic performances, including the acceptance of donations [emphasis added]."

The statement we just quoted comes from Section 1050.6 (c) of the New York City Transit rules and regulations governing "non-transit use of transit facilities". As a consequence of the regulations, these activities are also protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution [See the end of this guide for the full text of the regulations]. Government (in this case, the NYCT) can only regulate the time, place, or manner in which the activities are presented, and only if restricting them advances a substantial government interest. This translates into the following restrictions on performances:

• setting up at least 25 feet from a token booth

• setting up at least 50 feet from the marked entrance to an NYCT office or tower

• not blocking access to an escalator, stairwell or elevator

• not interfering with transit services or passenger movement in general

• not performing in an area where construction is underway

• not performing during a public service announcement

• not performing above 85 dBa measured at 5 feet, or above 70 dBa measured at 2 feet, from a token booth

• not performing in subway cars

YOU DO NOT NEED A MUNY PERMIT TO PERFORM IN THE SUBWAYS
Some subway performers are members of the MTA's Music Under New York program, also known as MUNY. Other performers are independent, and in this guide we refer to them as freelancers.

MUNY schedules performances on designated mezzanines in the subway system and commuter railroad terminals. You have to pass an audition to become a member of MUNY. Twice a month, MUNY members receive a schedule ("permit"), which gives them priority in the spots where they are scheduled to perform. You do not have to be a MUNY member to perform in the subway system! Also, MUNY has nothing to do with subway platforms.

YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO PERFORM ACOUSTIC MUSIC ON SUBWAY PLATFORMS
Freelancers are authorized to perform on subway platforms. But the NYCT prohibits the use of amplification devices on platforms, including battery-operated Mouse amps and microphones. Freelancers, just like MUNY members, may use amplification when they perform on subway mezzanines.

NO CASSETTE TAPE OR CD SALES: Neither MUNY members nor freelancers are authorized to sell recordings in the subway system. Many of them do anyway, and they risk getting ticketed by the Transit Police or having their work confiscated.

YOU CAN FREELANCE IN PARTS OF GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL
Freelancers can request a special "permit to engage in non-commercial activity" to perform in Grand Central Terminal's 42nd Street Passage or in the Graybar Passage. Requests have to be made at least 2 days in advance. The permits are good for 7 days. Write to: General Superintendent, Metro-North Commuter Railroad Company, Grand Central Terminal, 89 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017.

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COURT DECISIONS IN YOUR FAVOR

By the 1970s, street performers in many U.S. cities were going to court to have their Constitutional rights upheld. Here are some highlights:

  • Goldstein v. Town of Nantucket 477 F.Supp. 606 (D. Mass. 1979) established that street music, even when performed for donations, is protected First Amendment activity: "The fact that plaintiff troubadour accepted contributions of passersby during his public performance would not dilute his protection under the First Amendment."
  • In Davenport v. Alexandria, Va. 683 F2d 853 (1983), 748 F2d 208 (1984), the court held that there were no valid safety arguments to stop musicians from performing: "There has been shown no safety interest to outweigh the plaintiff's First Amendment interests."
  • As for the New York subways, already in the 1960s People v. St. Clair 56 Misc.2d 326 (Criminal Ct. N.Y. Cty. 1968) ruled that "for First Amendment purposes, no distinction can be wrought between a subway platform and the public street."

Still, until 1985, musical performances were not permitted in New York's subway system. Then guitarst Roger Manning received a ummons on the Lexington Avenue & 59th Street platform for "entertaining passengers", which he challenged in Manhattan Criminal Court. The case became known as People v. Manning Docket No. 5N038025V (Criminal Ct. N.Y. Cty. 1985). In this case, the court decided that the total ban on subway music "was unconstitutionally violative of the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution."

In 1989, the Transit Authority (the old name of the NYCT) proposed to ban music on subway platforms. At some remarkable public hearings, musicians, subway riders, politicians, and civil liberties attorneys spoke, sang, and juggled in opposition to the ban. The Transit Authority listened, but it banned amplification devices on platforms instead.

Guitarist Lloyd Carew-Reid, who had formed an organization called STAR, Subway Troubadours Against Repression, challenged the amp ban in court. Carew-Reid v. Metropolitan Transportation Authority, 1990 WL 3216 at 6 (S.D.N.Y. 1996), was the first federal case to affirm that "the TA [Transit Authority] has designated the subway platforms as public forums for musical expression."

Still, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Transit Authority's right to impose the amp ban on platforms, which remains in effect today.

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THE TRANSIT POLICE

The Transit Police Bureau is a subdivision of the New York Police Department. Transit Police officers are responsible for enforcing the NYCT rules and regulations.

Many officers are friendly to subway performers, and some really appreciate the way a performance can brighten up the subway environment. At the same time, the police are allowed to use their discretion in implementing the NYCT regulations. So, if a performer is not playing by one of the rules, officers can decide whether to let it go, issue a warning or a ticket, eject the performer from the station, or even put the performer under arrest.

If you have a confrontation with the police—if they tell you to change the way you are performing, move you, or tell you to leave—you still have options.

Objecting: You may want to assert your rights by raising objections with the officers. Be aware, however, that in doing this, you may run a greater risk of receiving a summons, having your property confiscated, being charged with "disorderly conduct", or getting arrested.

Complying: Another way of asserting your rights is to comply with the officers' orders (doing what they say) for the moment and to challenge their actions in court later.

Here are some other options, depending upon the situation.

Volume: If the police stop you for playing above the 85-decibel volume limit and you think they're wrong, you can say that you want them to measure your volume with a decibel meter. Their district command should have a decibel meter.

Harassment: If you feel that the police are treating you unfairly or using excess force, take down their badge numbers. Also, ask riders standing nearby if they are willing to be your witnesses, and if they are, take down their names and phone numbers. Use one of the Confrontation Sheets on this web site to collect all of the information. Then you can call one of the attorneys listed on this web site for further advice.

If you get a ticket, make sure you show up in court or respond by mail before the court date. Most tickets require performers to appear either at the Transit Adjudication Bureau at 505 Fulton Street in Brooklyn, or in Criminal Court at 100 Centre Street in Manhattan. It is difficult to challenge a ticket if it charges you with violating one of the NYCT rules, but check the ticket for errors. You can also contact one of the attorneys on this web site for advice.

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TRANSIT POLICE FACT CHECK

During our research, we learned from many of you that some Transit Police officers get the rules wrong. Be aware of what's false and what's true!

FALSE: You need a MUNY permit to perform in the subways.
TRUE: Everyone has a right to perform in the subways, subject only to time?place?manner regulations.

FALSE: You can perform, but not for donations.
TRUE: You are authorized to perform and accept donations.

FALSE: No music is allowed on subway platforms.
TRUE: Acoustic music is allowed on platforms. Acoustic or amplified music is allowed on mezzanines.

FALSE: Subway music is banned at certain stations.
TRUE: Transit Police officers have the discretion to decide whether or not to enforce regulations. They may also tell musicians to lower their volume or to stop performing for a while, for instance, during rush hours. But they can not keep musicians out of a station permanently.

If you feel that some officers are misenforcing the rules, show them this guide!

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STATION MANAGERS

Station Managers are the NYCT employees responsible for monitoring the "quality of life" of their stations. They do this by overseeing any necessary repairs or renovations and by providing customer service to subway riders.

Some performers have reported at least as many confrontations with Station Managers as with the Transit Police. Station Managers do not have the authority to give you tickets, but they have the same discretion as police officers to tell you to lower your volume, or to stop performing at times when an area of the station is very crowded.

Here are a few things you can do in confrontations with Station Managers:

Objecting: You always have the option of raising objections. Just realize that this may lead to an escalation of the conflict.

Complying: Instead of objecting, you can comply with the orders, and use the Confrontation Sheets on this web site to write down everything that happened. Then you can contact one of the attorneys on this web site for advice on how to proceed.

Educating: Show the Station Managers a copy of this guide, and specifically Section 1050.6 (c) of the NYCT rules and regulations. They might appreciate learning something about the rules that they didn't know before!

Reporting: If none of these steps resolve the situation and you believe you're being treated unfairly by a Station Manager, you can "complain to the boss"— write to the NYCT President, Lawrence Reuter, at New York City Transit, 370 Jay Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Or contact us at City Lore! [steve@citylore.org]

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MUSIC UNDER NEW YORK (MUNY)

What it is
MUNY is a program of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the agency that oversees the NYCT. The MUNY program schedules performances on a number of mezzanines, in two commuter railroad terminals—Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station—, in Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium, and in the Duffy Square traffic triangle above ground in Times Square. MUNY has nothing to do with the subway platforms. [http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/mta/aft/munyfacts1.htm]

How to apply
To become a member of MUNY, you have to audition and be accepted. Call (212) 878-4678 to arrange an audition. The auditions are held only once a year and the MUNY program is asking applicants for an audio tape or a video of their performances ahead of time. Please be aware that a great audition doesn't guarantee you a place in MUNY; the program only has space for about 10-20 new members a year. But once you're accepted, you're in—your membership doesn't expire.

How it works
MUNY members request spots twice a month. They receive schedules printed up on cards that are often referred to as "permits", listing the locations and the times at which they are scheduled to perform.

Membership Advantages
Priority in popular spots: If independent, "freelance" performers are in your spot when you are scheduled to set up, you can ask them to leave.

Access to commuter railroad terminals: Only MUNY members are authorized to perform on Grand Central Terminal's lower level and in Penn Station's Long Island Rail Road waiting area.

Less police harassment: Since MUNY members have been scheduled by an official program, the police are less likely to tell them to move. If MUNY members do get harassed, they can report incidents to the MUNY program and ask for help.

Cassette tape and CD sales in commuter railroad terminals: MUNY members may legally sell cassette tapes and CDs in the terminals.

Special events: The MUNY program holds special events during the year, and MUNY members are paid a small stipend to be a part of them.

Referrals: Corporations and individuals call the program to find out how to contact and hire MUNY members.

Rules and restrictions
MUNY members are subject to the NYCT regulations just as freelance performers are. In addition:

Permits and banners: MUNY members are expected to hang their orange-and-black banners behind them when they perform. They must show their official schedules ("permits") to police officers or Station Managers when asked. They are not supposed to display any other visual devices (such as photos of themselves).

No cassette tape or CD sales on mezzanines: Just like freelance performers, MUNY members are not authorized to sell cassette tapes or CDs in the subway system. Many of them do anyway, and they risk getting ticketed by the Transit Police or having their work confiscated. When this happens, the people who run MUNY generally can not help their members in court.

Contract waiver: MUNY members must sign a contract that requires them to give up certain rights in case of accidents.

Many MUNY members "double" as freelancers when they are not scheduled to perform with MUNY. This is allowed.

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LEGAL ASSISTANCE

The following attorneys and organizations are willing to be contacted if you have confrontations with the police or experience other problems during your public space performances. Please call or write them for advice:

Marni Berk, Esq.
Director of Pro Bono Programs
New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
151 West 30th Street, New York, NY 10001
(212) 244-4664

Paul Chevigny, Esq., Professor of Law
New York University School of Law
Vanderbilt Hall, 40 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-6249

Art Eisenberg, Esq.
New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU)
125 Broad Street, New York, NY 10004
(212) 344-3005

Gene Russianoff, Staff Attorney
New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG)
9 Murray Street, New York, NY 10007
(212) 349-6460

For legal advice on matters other than performing in the subways and on the streets, you can contact one of these Legal Services offices:

Manhattan — (212) 431-7209
Brooklyn — (718) 237-5500
Queens — (718) 392-5646

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PERFORMING ON THE STREETS AND IN THE PARKS

Streets and parks are traditional public forums, places which "by long tradition or government fiat have been devoted to assembly or debate." [Perry Education Association v. Perry Educators' Association, 460 U.S. 37, 45-46 (1983)] This means that you definitely have a constitutional right to express yourself in them.

Streets
Since the 1970s, musicians have not needed a license to sing or play on the streets of New York, but now there is a sound amplification permit requirement. Street performers who use amplification devices are required to apply for a permit from the local police precinct Community Affairs Office overseeing the area where they wish to perform. The permit costs $45 a day, and musicians are expected to apply for it 7 days before they perform.

During the 1990s, a street musician went to court to challenge these regulations. In Turley v. Police Department of the City of New York, Robert Turley argued that the city's sound amplification permit system was overly restrictive and unconstitutional. The Second Circuit upheld the city's policy with regard to amplified music. Robert Turley may be appealing this decision to the Supreme Court.

Turley also argued that New York City's vendor permitting scheme violated his right to free speech and denied him equal protection of the law because he was effectively barred form selling cassette tapes and CDs during his performances. The court rejected Turley's argument, because it found that the city's permitting scheme satisfied the conditions for meeting a "legitimate government interest."

The sound amplification permit requirement is not enforced consistently throughout the city. Some amplified musicians continue to perform without this permit. Some also continue to sell cassette tapes and CDs. They risk getting ticketed by the police, or possibly having their work confiscated.

Parks
Parks Department regulations require street performers to apply for the same sound amplification permit from the local police precinct, if the performance in question can be heard outside the immediate area.

In addition, the Parks Department requires performers to obtain a $25 Special Events permit, at least 21 to 30 days in advance, if either of these conditions apply:

 the performance is expected to draw a large crowd (over 20 people) 
• the performer wants to set up in a particular location

A single Special Events permit can cover 3 dates in different locations, or up to a full month (every day) in a specific location. Permits are granted subject to availability and if the Parks Department deems the location to be appropriate for the performance. In general, performers are also expected to comply with Parks Department rules and regulations, which can be found on the web site:www.nyc.gov/parks.

To obtain the Special Events permit, you have to fill out a one-page application and submit it in person, by mail, or on the Internet. The application is available as a link on the Parks Department's web site: www.nyc.gov/parks. The office address is: Borough Permit Office, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, 24 West 61st Street (between Broadway & Columbus Circle), 5th Floor, New York, NY 10023. Subway: A B, C, D, 1, 9 to Coulmbus Circle Station. Fax: 212-408-0236. Hours: 10am-5pm Mon-Fri (other times for appointment).

If your request for a Special Events permit is denied, you can appeal the decision to the Parks Department's legal office. Normally, these problems are resolved through negotiation.

If you intend to have vendors at, sell anything at, charge for, or conduct any other revenue-generating activity at your event on parkland, you will require a Temporary Use Authorization (TUA) (PDF, 16 KB) from Parks' Revenue and Concessions Division. For more information about TUAs, call (212) 360-1397.

For specific information about Parks Department regulations outside of Manhattan, you can contact the Borough Parks Offices directly:

Bronx - (718) 430-1847
Brooklyn - (718) 965-8912
Queens - (718) 520-5941
Staten Island - (718) 390-8023
Manhattan - (212) 408-0226 (Recording)
Citywide - (212) 360-1319

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OUR VIEWS

In the previous sections of this guide, we aimed to make you aware of the existing regulations governing public space performances, especially as these apply to the subways. Now we want to share with you how we feel the rules could be improved.

* ALLOW AMPLIFIED MUSIC ON SUBWAY PLATFORMS. The authorities argue that amplified music on the platforms produces "excessive noise", which they say interferes with transit operations and reduces public safety. But another argument, which we agree with, is that unamplified instruments such as drums and horns can be just as loud as amplified guitars and vocals. According to this view, the amp ban should be lifted and the NYCT's volume limit could be uniformly enforced with the use of a decibel meter.

* ALLOW THE SALE OF CASSETTE TAPES AND CDs IN THE SUBWAY SYSTEM. We support the argument advanced in Carew-Reid v. MTA that sales of cassette tapes and CDs are an extension of the performers' creative expression. Aside from this, a commercial licensing system can be set up for performers to sell their own recordings. Such a permitting scheme was discussed at the end of the Carew-Reid case, but there was no follow-up. It is not too late to explore such an arrangement.

* MAKE THE SOUND AMPLIFICATION PERMIT AFFORDABLE FOR STREET PERFORMERS. The fee (see the section entitled PERFORMING ON THE STREETS AND IN THE PARKS) is more than some performers earn in one day. If a sound amplification permit is required, we feel that it has to be affordable so that it does not prevent some performances from occurring in the first place.

* MAKE THE SPECIAL EVENTS PERMIT READILY AVAILABLE. The Parks Department requirement to give at least 21 days' advance notice should be reviewed to ensure that it does not result in a "chilling effect" and eliminate spontaneity—a hallmark of street performing since it began centuries ago.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

We would like to know how you feel the rules governing street and subway performances are working, and also about your experiences as public space performers. You can reach us at City Lore by phone at (212) 529-1955, or by email, steve@citylore.org.

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CONFRONTATION SHEET
PDF version to print

Your Name: ___________________________________
Your Telephone Number: ________________________

INCIDENT (Please check as many as apply):
__ Stopped 
__ Ejected 
__ Ticketed 
__ Harassed 
__ Other: 

Date: _______________________
Time: _______________________
Place: _______________________

WHO WAS INVOLVED:
Name: ___________________________
Title/Badge # if any: ________________

Name: ___________________________
Title/Badge # if any: ________________

Name: ___________________________
Title/Badge # if any: ________________ 


WITNESSES (Please include riders and other performers)
Name: ____________________________________
Telephone Number: _________________________

Name: ____________________________________
Telephone Number: _________________________

Name: ____________________________________
Telephone Number: _________________________

WHAT HAPPENED (Please describe briefly below)
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

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SOURCES

Baird, Stephen. Street Artists Guild newsletters.

Campbell, Patricia. Passing the Hat: Street Performers in America. New York: Delacorte, 1981.

Harrison-Pepper, Sally. Drawing a Circle in the Square: Street Performing in New York's Washington Square Park. Mississippi: University of Mississippi Press, 1990.

Tanenbaum, Susie. Underground Harmonies: Music and Politics in the Subways of New York. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1995.

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

Arthur Eisenberg, Esq., Executive Director, New York Civil Liberties Union, for his extraordinary assistance in updating this guide

Alan Silver, Esq., NYCLU Fellow, for his extensive research

Stephen Baird, Street Artists Guild; Paul Chevigny, Esq., NYU Law School; Gene Russianoff, Esq., Staff Attorney, New York Public Interest Research Group; and George Sommers, Esq., for their indispensable advice

The original SPAP: Jorge Cabrera, Candace Kim Edel, Bruce Edwards, Eric John, Marcial Olascuaga, Robert T. Perry, Benjamin Salazar, Naomi Schrag, Ricardo Silva, and Steven Witt

Written by Susie Tanenbaum and edited by Steve Zeitlin

Photographs by Jason McConathy

Website publishing by Makalé Faber

Public programs, audience expansion, and long-range institutional development at City Lore are made possible by a major grant from the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund. Funding for this project has been provided by the Puffin Foundation and the Joyce Mertz Gillmore Foundation.

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Purpose of this Guide | Some History | Your Rights & Responsibilities | Court Decisions in your Favor | The Transit Police | Transit Police Fact Check | Station Managers | Music Under New York | Legal Assistance | Performing on the Streets and in the Parks | Our Views | What do You Think? | Confrontation Sheets | Sources | Special Thanks

Carew-Reid v. Metropolitan Transportation Auth., 903 F2d 914 (2nd Cir. 1990);

 

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS

FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT

no. 1172 AUGUST TERM, 1989

Argued March 7, 1990 Decided May 18, 1990

 

Docket No. 90-7143

Celebrating self-expression as a basic human right essential for the

healthy growth of youth, individuals and communities

COMMUNITY ARTS ADVOCATES, INC.

Stephen H. Baird, Founder and Executive Director

PO Box 300112, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130-0030

Telephone: 617-522-3407

Email: info@communityartsadvocates.org

Web site: http://www.communityartsadvocates.org  

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