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Indybay Feature
O'neill's Surf Shop, Police Hassle Street Performers, Collude to Thwart City Ordinances.
by Brent Adams
Monday Jan 19th, 2009 1:42 AM
Managers and employees of O'neill's actively harass street performers and colluded with Santa Cruz Police Officer Brandt to thwart local city ordinances by writing a ticket per California Code. Even when no crime is being committed. Those are our Civil Liberties.
I play in a street percussion group called Love Gutter. We've been playing on Pacific Ave. in Santa Cruz (downtown) for 4 years.
We know the city ordinances and are considerate to other performers and business. Considering our louder sound level, we've chosen two
places for us to play to distance ourselves as far as possible from dwellings and where pedestrians have a wide radius of physical space around us. As we began to set up in front of O'neill's store at the corner of Pacific & Cooper, an employee said that we'd need a permit
to play there. We told him that we don't need one and we've been playing this location for years. He said that things change. We began to play and did so for 40 minutes. There were many dancing children... let me share what a friend had written about our performance today.
"..you and wireless had people slowing down in cars to watch you...old people smiling, kids dancing, my boys sitting mesmerized..."
Former Mayor Chris Krone himself actually put a few dollars in the pot while his daughters enjoyed the music.
We had made a fist full of $$ and didn't see one unhappy person in the crowd that was ever-present.
Officer Brandt of the Santa Cruz Police approached us to inform that there was an anonymous person ready to sign a ticket if we did not
stop. The ticket was a very rare street performer "Disturbing the Peace" State Law #415. section 2.
"Any person who maliciously and willfully disturbs another
person by loud and unreasonable noise." We certainly didn't do THAT.
A second employee from O'neill's shop stepped out of the store to say that he had called.
We chose to stop playing but now, after learning the contents of the law. I wish we'd kept playing and received that ticket.
We'd have to go to court to plead our case. Maximum fine for "disturbing the peace" is $400 and no more than 90 days in jail. HARSH!!
Officer Brandt is the constantly ill tempered bald Aussie with a tan. He was abrasive as usual. I was argumentative and loud.
Upon hearing that an O'neill's employee was responsible I began yelling, "Boycott O"neill's Today!" Like a loonie-tunes fool.
I realized I was pushing my luck and aquiessed like a good obedient bump.
The main problem in all of this is that O'neill's management has been actively open space managing the large concrete area at the corner.
There is a very large iron sculpture where kids play and is an area traditionally used as a street performance area.
There are local ordinances drawn up for this very purpose. There is a one hour allowable time that an act can legally play no matter how
good or bad they are. If a person wishes to stop us they may sign a city noise ordinance. Writing a ticket siting a state law instead of a hard fought local law is an intentional thwarting of hard fought local law that was forged to protect our local artists this type of thing.




LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the latest comments about this post.
These comments are submitted anonymously by website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
what is crazyAzi fedouiTuesday Feb 16th, 2010 7:26 AM
why who youAzi fedouiSunday Jul 26th, 2009 7:29 AM
Let me answer that ShadowResident of Santa Cruz - Alan BeckerMonday Jan 26th, 2009 10:01 PM
Anon asksShadowMonday Jan 26th, 2009 4:58 PM
bummer...but oneill paysjack strawSaturday Jan 24th, 2009 8:46 AM
restrictions lead to more restrictions lead to more restrictions lead to....restriction=a type of boundaryFriday Jan 23rd, 2009 10:10 PM
Copwatch at O'Neill's next Tuesday 2 PMRobert NorseFriday Jan 23rd, 2009 8:05 AM
no ampsbrentWednesday Jan 21st, 2009 4:10 PM
Question to performersSandyTuesday Jan 20th, 2009 11:22 AM
fuck pacific ave!an anarchistMonday Jan 19th, 2009 7:46 PM
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