Friday, June 29, 2007

Street Musicians Beware!

Apparently the police have cracked down on street musicians in Philadelphia. A classical flutist is fighting back though, claiming it is his right to play a musical instrument on the streets of Philadelphia. I'm not sure that is one of our rights, or that this is a free speech issue. In our town, I believe you have to have permission from the town. One person's music is another person's noise. But, I am biased in favor of classical flutists--and playing music outside. flutist_singer_charged_in_philadelphia/

Flutist, singer charged in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA --It's all in the ears of the beholder.

A classical flutist who was handcuffed amid a crackdown on street music in a genteel neighborhood has sued the city.

Felix Wilkins' arrest in March came a day after police charged another man for singing in Rittenhouse Square. Both were charged with disorderly conduct.

A judge dismissed Wilkins' case last month, but this week the musician filed suit.

Wilkins claimed that he was taken to a police station and detained for merely "assert(ing) his right to play a musical instrument on the public streets of Philadelphia."

The singer, 20-year-old Anthony Riley, is due in court next week.

The arrests came as police cracked down on street musicians and performers amid complaints from residents.

City Solicitor Romulo Diaz, responding to an outcry on free speech grounds, hopes to forge a compromise between the parties. Diaz declined to comment on the lawsuit.

© Copyright 2007 Associated Press.

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