September 13, 2009

"City of Madison cracks down on socialists: Citations to newspaper hawkers set up First Amendment clash."

A story in Isthmus:
"If the city is going to require a permit and then not issue a permit to political speakers... it's really saying you can't speak on State Street" [says lawyer Andrea Farrell, who represents members of the International Socialist Organization who received tickets for vending without a license for selling $1 copies of the newspaper Social Worker, an activity they've engaged in on State Street for decades].
[Chris Dols, one of the vendors who received a ticket] sees a larger pattern, which includes demonizing the homeless, redoing Peace Park and regulating street musicians.

"It seems like there are political forces interested in changing the character of State Street," he says. It's an effort he feels is sure to backfire, given the election of Barack Obama and ongoing activism.
Given the election of Barack Obama?! Oh, yeah! I know that feeling. It looks like this: Celebrate, good Obama, come on!... Who let the Obama out... Ooh! The police are here... Boo! What are you, a McCain voter? Sorry, pal, but Obama's President now! Obama! Obama! Lift the cop car! Lift the cop car!... Yes, we can.... Obama, you're so fine, you're so fine, you blow my mind. Obama! Obama!
"The city's decision to create more barriers to speech comes just as thousands of Madison students feel politically relevant for the first time," Dols says. "The timing is terrible. The city should have tried this with Bush in office, when we were still used to losing."
There's some logic to that. The Socialists were down, and the cops could have trodden them down further, and they might have suffered silently. That was back when they were "used to losing." But now, as Obama says, "I won." They won. They feel like they won anyway. They, meaning the Socialists. Hmmmm..... Anyway, they're feeling all Celebrate, good Obama, come on! Obama's President now! Obama! Obama! Lift the cop car! Lift the cop car!

Hey, it's my boss! Hey, Boss!
Oh... hello, Marsh.
Yeah. Ya know what? FUCK you!
You heard me, you fuckin' piece of SHIT! I can finally tell you what I think of you, fuckin' ASSHOLE!
[STAN:] Dad, what are you doing?
It's okay, Stan, everything's changed. I don't need his stupid fuckin' JOB anymore. You're a stupid fuckin' assfuck, piece of shit. You know what Obama said? "YES WE CAN!"
HEY, I voted for Obama!
Obama's not talkin' about YOU! [Punches boss in face.]


peter hoh said...

Wait, if the Madison cops are making life difficult for Socialists, that means that . . . .

Some kind of computational error occurred.

m00se said...

"Streetwise! Get your Streetwise here!"

If they were homeless Socialists would it make them any better?

Oh wait! I'll bet none of them are homeless - doh!

bearbee said...

Madison police ought to stuff it.

Meade said...

peter: May I suggest considering the source?

Bissage said...

God bless America, my friends.

AJ Lynch said...

That was a great South Park episode.

kentuckyliz said...

Our city requires permits for street vending, stoplight donation soliciting, etc. It protects the public from shady sales and panhandler people.

Welcome to the 20th century.

Or they can leave it the way it is and rename the street Statist Street. heh

wv shipac
a political action committee for the septic tank industry lobby

Jason (the commenter) said...

Now that dissenters are likely to be conservative, perhaps the stifling of first amendment rights is in best interests of Madison politicians.

AJ Lynch said...

Couple other good punchlines in that episode:

Hey where are my pants?

Hey where is my TV?

The Crack Emcee said...

I like that this idiot Ann quoted noticed this anti-socialist crack-down didn't occur under W, even if he doesn't draw any other lessons from that. I mean, according to his kind, it should've, right? That's what they were afraid of, right?


We are the American Right.

The Macho Response

TosaGuy said...

Why are the selling their paper for a $1. Shouldn't it be provided for free to the collective?

chickenlittle said...

Sounds like Madison police need to ease up a bit. I used to hawk the Madison Press Connection in the late '70's on street corners downtown. I was by no means a lefty, or a socialist.

People who sell things on streets are different species than people who outright beg for money.

Synova said...

People like a sanitized life.

Vendors need a license and they need to pay taxes and who's supposed to decide which people are quaint and colorful and lend to the atmosphere and which ones are obnoxious, unlovely, and harass pedestrians and shoppers?

I think it's sort of sad. Regulating street vendors is one more way that it is increasingly illegal to be poor... as if illegality solves poverty.

Agnst said...

Does the "Social Worker" tabloid provide ObamaCare qualified health insurance for its workers?

... or do I pay for their health care ... :-(

traditionalguy said...

The new policy in Madison is clearly from a smart young go getter that wants to help clean up things, but it is wrong and must be repealed. Democratic life needs speech and publications of free speech to happen at all. Free speech is is seldom a clean and inoffensive activity, but like On Wisconsin being played by a Marching Band at 6:30 AM Saturday, it is a necessary part of the way we have set up our lives since 1789.