Oldspeak:” On this Memorial Day, supposedly a day to remember those who have died in war for freedom and “The American Way”, understand that your rights to free speech and freedom of assembly are no longer valid in public spaces. The Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, where musicians have shared their art free of charge for 100 years, is now designated as a “Quiet Zone”. If you decide you’d like to dance, picket, or make a speech at a national memorial, those actions are now “banned activities”, and will be met with a violent response from law enforcement. Think about that. Under these “laws” the March on Washington and Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech would have been against the law. Public spaces, the commons are being more and more privatized and rigidly policed, you need permits to film/photograph at public national memorials. Your rights are being abridged every day in this burgeoning police state masquerading as a democracy. Civil Disobedience on a grand scale is what’s necessary to combat this absurd violation of our rights.”
Related Video: Adam Kokesh body slammed, choked, police brutality at Jefferson Memorial
By NBC Washington:
A handful of dancers got cuffed on Saturday for doing what they say the Founding Fathers would have wanted them to do – expressive dancing in National Parks.
A court recently ruled that expressive dancing was in a category with picketing, speechmaking, and marching – a banned activity at national memorials.
A small group came out on Saturday to protest the ruling, by dancing together inside the rotunda of the Jefferson Memorial.
But after a few minutes, their moves got busted by Park Police.
Five were arrested, while listening to earphones and moving rythymically in the shadow of Thomas Jefferson.
“The founders understood that the only thing that was going to make the American experiment succeed was the people standing up for these rights,” Jared Denman, a demonstrator, told NBC Washington.
The memorial was shut down while demonstrators got arrested.
Some visiting from out of town were less than impressed with the protesters’ interprative moves. “I think its ridiculous,” said Edward Kelly of Richmond. “We just traveled up the steps and we’ve been waiting for 15 minutes.”
Musicians chased from Central Park
By Cynthia R. Fagan @ The New York Post:
City officials began blitzing street musicians with nuisance summonses and posted a “Quiet Zone” sign last week at the beloved Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, where virtuoso performers have been making beautiful music together for over a century.
On weekends, baritone John Boyd, 48, would belt out spirituals backed by a choir including six of his nine children and fellow classical buskers. But two months ago, Parks police descended on the Bethesda Terrace arcade with a message: Muzzle the music.
Last week, they posted a Quiet Zone sign banning Boyd and other serious musicians from playing in the arcade where world-class performers offer their talents for free to ordinary New Yorkers.
The silky baritone’s clash with officials started two months earlier.
“The Parks Department cops came and said the rules will be revamped,” Boyd told The Post. “A month ago they started issuing me summonses because I would not stop singing.”
After being hit with five summonses totaling $2,300, the former choir director from Detroit was arrested by Parks cops Wednesday and hauled in handcuffs to the Central Park police station.
“I have a right to free speech,” said Boyd. “When I sing, it is expressing what I believe in. I told them, ‘You are not chasing me away.’ ”
Classical harpist Meta Epstein, 59, of Mill Basin, Brooklyn, won first prize at the Paris Conservatory of Music in the 1970s. But she’s afraid to play in the park.
“It was very intimidating. It was a patch of dirt. They told me I was destroying the ground, but there were picnickers right there. Now I’m afraid to play, especially in the fountain terrace,” she said.
Double-bass player Vasyl Fomytskyi, formerly of the Cairo Symphony Orchestra, has been playing his beloved Bach near the fountain for two years.
“If I play softly by myself, [cops] still have threatened to arrest me and confiscate my instrument,” he said.
Newcomer Shigemasa Nakano, 31, a classical guitarist and opera singer, says he’s disappointed because acoustics in the arcade are superb.
“But . . . I don’t want to get a ticket,” he said.
On Friday, passer-by Rhonda Liss, 63, of Yonkers, asked Boyd if she could join him in an impromptu duet.
“You have such a beautiful voice,” said Liss, a onetime Met opera singer and “Phantom of the Opera” cast member in Toronto. The pair tossed off a jazzy rendition of “My Favorite Things.”
“Is this what they want to arrest people for — singing joy to the people?” she asked incredulously.
When asked about the music crackdown, a spokesman for the Central Park Conservancy, the cash-flush nonprofit that runs the park for the city, said: “The fountain is a place for quiet reflection.”