Monday, June 25, 2007

Panhandling laws challenged

Miami Beach laws aimed at curbing panhandling "effectively prohibit panhandlers, street performers, artists and others from freely expressing themselves," alleges a lawsuit filed by the ACLU.

In April, the Miami Beach City Commission established 12 rotating zones along Lincoln Road where street performers and vendors can operate during certain hours: 8 a.m. to midnight Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. on weekends.

The law was drafted after the ACLU successfully challenged a 2005 law that required performers and art vendors to have a permit.

"Together, the city's ordinances create a scheme that is so broad that it would limit not just street performers, but any political, artistic or religious free speech activity including Girl Scouts selling cookies, Salvation Army volunteers asking for donations during the holidays, as well as religious and charitable solicitations," says an ACLU statement announcing the lawsuit.

Read the lawsuit here and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel report here.


At 7:52 PM, Blogger Sunny said...

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