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Superheroes Free To Panhandle

For years, at The Grauman’s Chinese Theater on Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angelas, CA street actors have earned a living on tips from tourists who wish to be photographed with Superman, Spider-Man, Batman , the Incredible Hulk, and other pop culture icons. Because of a few aggressive and unruly costumed medicants (Fancy word for street beggar) a ban on street performing was put in place. Performers were basically forced to have a license to entertain on the street or take the chance of being arrested. The performers weren’t to keen on this crackdown. Afterall playing dress up is their life. It’s their career. Fuck the man and fuck the law. Despite the iron fist our heroes of the street refused to comply. This of course led to many arrests. Which led to continued protests. A two-part webisode of the situation ran on craigslist TV. Titled Superheroes Strike Back it had Superman, Batman, Darth Vader and others taking their fight to city hall and the press.

Just when it looked liked our heroes were going to have to turn in their duds and live as normal (sane) civilians they got a break from the federal government. A U.S. Judge blocked the crackdown.

U.S. Judge Dean Pregerson on Wednesday blocked police from cracking down on the costumed characters who perform and pose for pictures for tips along the fabled street.

It may not seem like a traditional form of free speech, but their right to perform is protected under that provision of the U.S. Constitution, Pregerson wrote in the ruling that was welcomed by the performers.

YAY? Weird people making a living and doing it within a constitutional right. That’s a good ruling indeed. However, nobody but the street folks themselves are happy about this. Local business owners and law enforcement are shaking fists.

“We think that the judge did not bother to take into consideration the situation on the street,” Gubler told The San Francisco Chronicle. “I would just say it’s basically a license for these characters to harass the public. “We have had no one – and I repeat not one person – who has said they miss the characters.”

Personally I think that regardless of constitutional law they should be licensed. Make them take tests to qualify and get a permit, tax their earnings. Or the Theatre which has long said they don’t like them should get their own out there. At-least make them wash their costumes from time to time. Nobody wants to be harassed by fat, sweaty and smelly Bat-man.

Source: Comics Alliance Via San Francisco Chronicle

Category: Comics, Cosplay

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