20 February 2008

KingCast says Boston Mobius artist Milan Kohout should seek a Federal Court Injunction against First Amendment oppression here in Boston.

Enough about Judge Somma. Let's get back to things like the Civil Rights of people in Franconia/North Country and on the Streets of Boston. KingCast says this is a no-brainer: Milan Kohout was a proactive force in liberating the Czech Republic in the bloodless "Velvet Revolution," as noted by Czech U.N. Ambassador Martin Palous, appearing in Artist Kohout's experimental artists class at Tufts University.

According to Palous, part of the underground culture included "philosophical lectures and debates." The totalitarian regime tried to suppress these activities, Palous said.

Spot the difference, then, between that regime and Boston: Artist Kohout was using Nooses to protest unscrupulous and predatory lending policies as Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama is discussing, as noted in this post. The Nooses were clearly not "For Sale" (do you SEE a cash register?) but were a metaphoric representation of the situation mortgagors are finding themselves in. Having closed a couple of hundred residential loans myself in 2004-2005, I understand his anger. Somehow, and for some reason, the Boston Pee Dee took his signs, and charged him with Transient Vendor Unlicensed c101 : 008 -- an antiquated law, applied in an Unconstitutional manner as you can see in the legal commentary in the comments.

See Dunigan Enterprises, Inc. v. District Attorney for North..., 11 Mass. App. Ct. 254 (1981), holding that a Federal Court may enjoin law enforcement authorities from pursuing "a deliberate pattern and practice of constitutional violations" (Lewis v. Kugler, 446 F.2d at 1350), and from enforcing a constitutional statute in an unconstitutional way.

There is a press conference about this matter scheduled for 9:00 a.m. Friday, 22 February 2008 at the McCormack Building
Room 403, One Ashburton Place, Boston. Reporters to the courtroom are welcome and I wouldn't miss it for the World.

KingCast says you can "threaten" to call a press conference about whatever you want to talk about. I taught a few people in Law Enforcement, including NH AG Kelly Ayotte all about that as noted in the short video: "Arraignment Press Conference," and indeed went on to win my case as should Artist Kohout. But I don't watch that video often because it still sends chills up my spine to know that someone in government hated my message so much that they would try to pull that crap. Same thing here.

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Mobius is an International constellation of artists that appears poised to exhibit strength through its membership. Mr. Kohout's press release and more case law is in the comments.

Nothing new for KingCast; I was covering Unconstitutional application of laws twenty (20) years ago in Cincinnati, with Robert Mapplethorpe and Dennis Barrie at the Contemporary Art Center, as noted in this post. I love black and white, and in fact was just sharing my favorite picture, and likely the "best" picture I'll ever take with a friend of mine the other day:

4 comments:

Christopher King said...

Boston, MA ) Political performance artist Milan Kohout, a member of the Mobius Artists Group, is embroiled in a legal incident that is the unintended consequence of a 6 minute performance that took place in November, 2007, in downtown Boston .

Kohout's performance, entitled “Nooses On Sale,” took place outside of Bank of America's Boston headquarters. The performance was Kohout’s response to the mortgage bank industry’s orchestration of the falling stock market, mortgage fraud, and foreclosures. Kohout stood in front of the bank with a collection of nooses and the sign “Nooses On Sale.”

Within minutes of taking his position in front of the bank, police arrived and cited him for not having a peddler's license. Two months later Kohout received a summons to appear in court and he is now facing criminal charges for his actions.

The result of Kohout’s “Nooses On Sale” has taken an unexpected legal turn due to a trivial (and antiquated) law, Transient Vendor Unlicensed c101 : 008, that could indeed be enforced. What initially was a peaceful commentary on the nation’s mortgage crisis has now become a freedom of speech casualty of the judicial system.

Over the course of two hearings, Kohout has been unfairly treated in court by police officers and by the two presiding judges who have continued the case for reasons far beyond the merits of the charge of Transient Vendor Unlicensed c101 : 008. It appears that the judges are using their own personal bias in order to stretch the truth far beyond the facts of the case.

A “pretrial conference hearing” will occur this coming Friday, February 22nd, at 9 am. It will be held in the McCormack Building, Room 403, One Ashburton Place, Boston.

For further information, please contact Milan Kohout : milan@vzavenue.net, 617-439-8643, 617-319-7246 (cell). His website, http://mobius.org/mobius_artists.php?id=milan, gives a detailed accounting of the incident and its snowballing aftermath.

This announcement is by no means a performance art joke. Reporters to the courtroom are welcome.

***********

ROM Dunigan Enterprises, Inc. v. District Attorney
for North..., 11 Mass. App. Ct. 254 (1981).

A court of competent jurisdiction has the power to
grant injunctive relief to prevent unlawful
interference with a plaintiff's right to carry on
business in general [***6] and to protect
constitutional rights against actual and threatened
violation. See Kenyon v. Chicopee, 320 Mass. 528, 531, 533 (1946); Norcisa v. Selectmen of Provincetown, 368 Mass. 161, 166-167 (1975); Lankford v. Gelston, 364 F.2d 197, 201-204 (4th Cir. 1966); Lewis v. Kugler, 446 F.2d 1343, 1350-1351 (3d Cir. 1971), and cases cited. This power may be exercised, in appropriate cases, to enjoin law enforcement authorities from pursuing "a deliberate pattern and practice of constitutional violations" ( Lewis v. Kugler, 446 F.2d at 1350), and from enforcing a constitutional statute in an unconstitutional way. See generally cases
discussed in 1 LaFave, Search and Seizure § 1.10
(1978); Note, The Federal Injunction as a Remedy for Unconstitutional Police Conduct, 78 Yale, L. J. 143, 146 n.17 (1968).

***********

Norcisa v. Board of Selectmen, 368 Mass. 161 (1975)

Basically he doesn't fit the statute, and I'm sure the
Boston Statute reads the same. But look at the end,
the whole Federal Relief remedy because this could fit the requirements of the Dunigan case.

FROM NORCISA:

Governments > State & Territorial Governments >
Licenses HN2 A transient vendor is defined as any person, either principal or agent, who engages in a temporary or transient business in the commonwealth selling goods, wares or merchandise, either in one locality or
in traveling from place to place. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 101, § 1. Temporary or transient business is further defined as any exhibition and sale of goods, wares or merchandise which is carried on in any tent, booth, building or other structure, unless such place is open for business during usual business hours for a period of at least twelve consecutive months. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 101, § 1. More Like This Headnote | Shepardize:
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Christopher King said...

A noose of a different colour:

Just a moment about this case vis a vis the Tiger Woods/Kelly Tilghman/Golfweek thing: I come out in favor of Golfweek. For putting a noose on its cover to raise attention to a stupid comment made by a commentator about how to stop Tiger's roll.

People in chatrooms all over the World are discussing the issue yet the editor was fired and accused of not fostering an environment where people could discuss the matter intelligently.

Well that's incorrect, ipso facto.

And just because Tighlman (who is kinda hot -- oops, sorry for the digression it kind of trivialized her -- made the comment) and Woods are friends does nothing to dispel the FACT that her comments "take him in a back alley and lynch him" to stop his rolll have an epistemology -- and etymology -- in race.

She didn't say "run him over with a truck," or "bust his leg with a pipe like Tanya Harding, yo'."

To the extent that people may have backlash against Milan for his use of nooses, unlike the Tiger episode Milan is decrying the genesis and impact of commercial business practices that have had a disproporationate effect on blacks and other minorities.

Those who shun him -- and I hear from one cute little birdy that a small handful of artists are so doing -- do so at their own peril because they might be the next to fall under the knife of unwarranted censorship.

Just my $.02

Christopher King said...

Another point of clarity:

I'm not even saying that Tiger was wrong when he said the Reporter Tilghman had no malice.

What I AM saying is that her choice of words is inherently steeped in race, even as Tiger is correct to celebrate his entire chain of ancestry -- the infamous "I'm not black" quote.

In the U.S., 1/16 Tiger makes you as black as I am, 1/16 Cherokee but still BLACK.

Quadroon, Octoroon...

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