Current artists: Amon Azizov, Wei Chen, Qiao Fu, Gao Min, Guo Kun Sheug, Artashes Karslian, Ji Yin Jin, Li Qun, Lin Ruo, Dean Lu, Ren Jien-Guo, Jorge Rivera, Sharif Sadiq, Peter Walsh, Xiang Yue Chuan, Dario Zapata, Zhuang Xuemin

Organized by Peter Walsh, Ongoing.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Artists Peter Walsh and Joel Kaye Testify, Hearing to Continue Wednesday

"It smells like a license, it walks like a license, it talks like a license," said plaintiffs' attorney Jon Schuyler Brooks as he described the Park Department's new medallion scheme today in Justice Milton A. Tingling Jr.'s courtroom at 60 Centre Street in Manhattan. New York City laws and multiple court rulings forbid the city from imposing a licensing system on artists working in city parks.

Brooks and fellow Phillips Nizer attorneys Kevin B. McGrath and Jeffrey L. Shore presented arguments in favor of converting the standing Temporary Restraining Order against the Revised Park Rules restricting artists' ability to show and sell art in NYC parks into a Preliminary Injunction that would be in effect pending a final court ruling. The city's attorneys argued against the TRO and the Injunction saying that the revised rules were "reasonable time, place and manner restrictions." Attorney Brooks countered that since the rules only place restrictions on the number of artists who can work in the park, that they aren't in fact time, place or manner restrictions at all.

Artist Peter Walsh testified first confirming that he had shot video of artists being forced to race for authorized spots in Central Park. The video was then shown to Justice Tingling and the courtroom.

Artist Joel Kaye then testified about several videos that he had shot at Union Square Park including footage explicitly showing that the city's "authorized spaces" place artists dangerously close to speeding cars and buses, that Greenmarket trucks cause far more congestion than artists, and that there are large open spaces in Union Square Park at even the busiest of times.

The hearing will continue this Wednesday, September 15 at 2pm at the New York County Supreme Court building at 60 Center Street, Room 321 in Manhattan.

(Image: The New York County Supreme Court building at 60 Centre Street in Manhattan. Photo by Peter Walsh.)

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