Monday, December 7, 2009

Artist suing city and Friends of the High Line

From the Villager:

Following his arrest on the High Line for selling art without a permit on Nov. 21, street-artist activist Robert Lederman is now working on his latest creation — a lawsuit for millions in damages that he plans to file against the Friends of the High Line and the city.

Meanwhile, the Friends of the High Line and the Parks Department are both being tighter-lipped than Tiger Woods, refusing to simply say whether it’s legal or illegal to vend art without a permit on the new elevated park.

Lederman said just 30 seconds after he had erected his display around 9 a.m., he was confronted by a High Line staff member. A few minutes later, he was surrounded by eight of them.

“All of them had High Line uniforms with High Line logos on them, baseball caps with High Line logos and walkie-talkies with High Line logos,” he said.

According to Geoffrey Croft, of NYC Park Advocates, an outspoken critic of the new park, these employees are known as High Line Rangers, and are paid for by Friends of the High Line.

Then at 3:30 p.m., a city Park Enforcement Patrol officer, whose nameplate read “B. Joseph” issued Lederman three noncriminal Environmental Control Board summonses: for disorderly conduct; “failure to comply with a direction prohibition on sign”; and “unauthorized/failure to have display comply with required permit.”

He showed the officer the newspaper articles on his lawsuit victories, and said the officer “seemed to believe it himself,” yet still wrote the tickets.

The PEP finally handcuffed him after he wouldn’t go away. Many tourists witnessed the arrest, Lederman added, noting some were standing with their “mouths open” in concern, as the officer and Rangers — wrongly — warned them it was illegal to videotape the arrest.


Taxpayer said...

What is it about the First Amendment that the Commissar detests?

That it limits government, not individuals?

That free expression competes with his version?

What is it about court orders (2 of them) that the Commissar detests?

That someone other than the Commissar is giving the orders?

Robert Lederman, sue this dwarf Commissar right into a jail cell.

Anonymous said...

More ways to waste the city's money. How could we think of using our funds to keep schools open or provide fire protection. No, we need to waste precious funds on this nonsense.

Tell the cops to stop rousting the artists, and send this artist away with a dollar in damages.

Anonymous said...

New York City police "officers" are some of the most INCOMPITENT people in the city. They constantly violate peoples rights (some fully aware and some fully unaware) and we (taxpayers) are the ones who have to pay up.

Klink Cannoli said...

Robert Lederman is an opportunist riding on the coattails of the First Amendment. A failed artist looking for his entitlement money from you and me.

Anonymous said...

Once you set up shop, you stop being an artist and become a vendor.

georgetheatheist said...

Cannoli. I think you're right. But if not Lederman, some other "artist" will come down the pike pulling the same schtick. The issue does have to be addressed.

Anonymous said...

C-mon folks...Lederman is a publicist and con artist!

Common sense should dictate the rules here.

No food, no souvenirs, no "art" for sale along narrow restrictive causeways.

At the beginning or end of the High Line provide public spaces for individual artists selling art.

Union Square park provides such spaces.

Queens Crapper said...

It's not a narrow causeway. Read the link at the other post.

georgetheatheist said...

Crapper, it's not the Sheep Meadow. It's a confined space, albeit bigger than the rest of the pike, but still relatively small.

Can you imagine the fisticuffs that will arise if let's say 20-30 "artists" vie for space there?

Klink Canolli said...

"Cannoli. I think you're right. But if not Lederman, some other "artist" will come down the pike pulling the same schtick. The issue does have to be addressed."

George, the issue has been addressed in Court order. And as a Citizen of such lawful constructs, I would agree to adhere to the rulings. This I have no qualm. However, I will ardently postulate and infer that Lederman is a rogue beholden to the extrapolation of this this ordinance. Simply a sham.

If you slap down Lederman, you'll put a big dent in the "following." He's a small fry in anything that means Constitutional relevancy to the First Amendment.

I'm a artist myself, though not visual, and have an emotional attachment. So please forgive the verbal intensity. I deplore the peoples that hide behind the veil of artistry as a means of a continuance for their mediocracy. It's merely a form of narcissism. And it's loathsome from any of moral perspective.