Why Do Vendors Get Tents in Parks and Not Occupy Wall Street?

rlederman Why Do Vendors Get Tents in Parks and Not Occupy Wall Street?

Protest art!

Robert Lederman, a crusading artist and a bit of crank who was a frequent antagonist of Mayor Giuliani, thinks the Bloomberg administration is being two-faced in expelling the Occupy Wall Street protestors tents from Zuccotti Park. He points to tents set up for holiday markets as the unjust, commercial expropriation of public space.

The holiday vendors have permits, of course, and a portion of their proceeds goes to the parks they occupy, so there appears to be a public good here, whatever your opinion of overpriced tchokes. Mr. Lederman has his own agenda, as he has run afoul of the city for trying to sell art in parks without permits. Still, his thoughts, which he just emailed around, are intriguing in light of last night’s events.

Mayor Bloomberg claims that tents are not allowed in NYC parks. Ask him to explain the giant tents being set up right now in Union Sq Park and in Central Park at Columbus Circle for the corporate run Holiday vending Markets. These tents are set up for more than a month straight, 24 hours a day. They completely displace pedestrians, residents and park visitors for a fee of millions of dollars.

Mayor Bloomberg says generators are not allowed in NYC parks, yet the Holiday Markets operate huge generators as do most of the Greenmarket vending stands in Union Sq Park. There is even a weekly Greenmarket set up right outside the Mayor’s office with huge tents and generators.

Mayor Bloomberg says protestors cannot sleep in parks, yet he allows more than 100 homeless people to sleep in Union Sq Park every night. Instead of pretending that the Mayor is a defender of free speech, perhaps the media can ask him to explain these totally inconsistent policies.

mchaban [at] observer.com | @MC_NYC

Comments

  1. Meano says:

    these vendors are actually working…contributing to the tax base in NYC…and supporting themselves…now we want to compare themto idle, desctructive “protestors” who contribute nothing but mess and noise, health hazards, to the welfare of the city in general!!!

    1. Sohotimmy says:

      The illegal street vendors never pay sales or other taxes to the city.  Your lying when you suggest they do.  Ever seen an illegal vendor give someone a receipt for purchase or keep track of their sales???  How can you pay taxes on your sales if you don’t even keep track of your cash?

  2. Arthurrr says:

    Just as this city has SYSTEMATICLY  made selling art on the street, which is a first amendment right, a CRIME, so they have made protesting a crime. As for Robert Lederman, he was just a hardworking artist who showed on the street. The city’s relentless harassment and arrest of him turned him into the SPARTACUS of Artists rights.

    1. Please show me where exactly in the first amendment it says anything about the right to use a public space for commercial exploitation without contributing to the economy of the city…
      If you were giving the art away, you’d be within your constitutional rights to do it anywhere on publi property, but the moment you become greedy and go after nothing but profit, the amendment DOESN’T apply.
      Half the “artists” in Union Square aren’t even selling their own art, but are violating copyright… but I guess it’s OK to rip off another artists when you’re already ripping off the city….
      Please try and read the constitution before you comment.

  3. “unjust, commercial expropriation of public space.”
    But, Mr. Lederman wants to sell his own art without a permit, sales tax for the city, and money for the park he’s selling in.
    You can have a generator, as long as you have a permit, and the city does not “allow” homeless people to sleep in parks, I’ve seen police consistantly have them move.
    I’d love to see Mr Lederman’s attitude if someone started using HIS space to sell something without giving him anything for it

  4. “unjust, commercial expropriation of public space.”
    But, Mr. Lederman wants to sell his own art without a permit, sales tax for the city, and money for the park he’s selling in.
    You can have a generator, as long as you have a permit, and the city does not “allow” homeless people to sleep in parks, I’ve seen police consistantly have them move.
    I’d love to see Mr Lederman’s attitude if someone started using HIS space to sell something without giving him anything for it