The ongoing saga of International Mobius artist Milan Kohout continued unabated today in Boston Municipal Court in room 511 before Judge Sommerville. The State refused to dismiss the charges against him after he metaphorically offered “nooses for sale” to criticize the Mortgage Industry while standing before Bank of America. See in order of publication, KingCast blawg post #1, BostonNOW coverage by James O’Brien, and KingCast blawg post #2.
“I am not a regular noose merchant,” chided Kohout over lunch. “My motivations were that the banking industry is causing crisis and suffering…. it was a completely cynical plan for them to make money because they knew people would default after the teaser rate…. and the plan was to sell the mortgages the next day anyway.”
[KingCast says: Having closed 200 of these loans, now I see the Big Picture and it was indeed heinous. See the recession post.]
“I’ve done events like this in China, even… crowds so big they clogged a main street and the police just stood there and smiled.” In point of fact, he is on a first name basis with Vaclav Havel for his involvement in the the Velvet Revolution of the Czech Republic.
Mr. Kohout’s attorney has filed a Motion to Dismiss the action, to which Commonwealth Prosecutors must respond before Trial Date of 7 March, 2007.
“The First Amendment is not a mitigating factor, it is an absolute defense,” said Pyle, when asked about the ridiculous statement issued by the Prosecutor’s office that they would “consider the First Amendment in mitigation…..” Pyle said “They are required to dismiss cases when there is a protection afforded by a First Amendment Right.”
The Motion, portions of which KingCast may JPEG over the weekend, correctly argues that the State can’t even meet a prima facie case because he’s not a transient vendor. He doesn’t sell goods and he doesn’t carry on his business in a tent, booth or other structure.
“I am very concerned about the chilling effect on other artists and protesters,” added Pyle.
Fun Fact #1: Mr. Kohout covered his sign and proclaimed “Nooses for Free!” when accosted by Boston’s finest. Apparently they failed to make the distinction.
Fun Fact #2: Time for a drink in solidarity with my new First Amendment brother.
KingCast: Civil Rights with a vengeance.