Music

Police Protect Public from Threat of Music

By RTH Staff
Published April 13, 2010

The Spec reports that Hamilton Police are using a 1999 provincial law designed to deter aggressive panhandlers and "squeegee kids" to issue fines to street musicians for busking in public places.

Lawyer Michael Puskas is defending two recently-charged musicians pro bono because he believes "the police are really stretching [the law] to apply it to buskers" and the musicians are vulnerable because they cannot afford legal representation.

Filed Under: You Can't Make This Stuff Up.

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 13, 2010 at 10:36:41

let's just get it over with and turn our once-great city into Mississuaga Jr.
How pathetic.

Comment edited by jason on 2010-04-13 09:37:39

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By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted April 13, 2010 at 10:52:35

Meanwhile overly sensitive and faulty car alarms continue to echo throughout my neighborhood, and noisy vacuum trucks do sewer work at 3 in the morning.

But don't worry the homeless are sitting quietly along King Street; rest assured there are no musical instruments anywhere near them.

Excellent prioritization to ensure a lively, vibrant, and colorful streetscape. Oooh another car alarm ...

/headstillasploding

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By alrathbone (registered) | Posted April 13, 2010 at 14:57:21

Perhaps the police should actually work on catching criminals rather than going after musicians.

You know, so they don't have to tell businesses and churches on main streets to fortify themselves.

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By grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted April 13, 2010 at 15:46:26

I think it is great that the lawyer came forward to do this pro bono.

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted April 13, 2010 at 21:08:09

I agree with Grassroots - that was my first thought, and good for that lawyer.

Toronto's new free To.night paper (http://tonightnewspaper.com/) (published daily and distributed to people in the downtown in the afternoon) has been doing weekly features on profiling city buskers since its inception - both ones with a TTC permit and those who just busk outside.

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By Honest Ed (anonymous) | Posted April 14, 2010 at 00:10:39

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By bardofthewest (anonymous) | Posted April 14, 2010 at 00:21:17

Wow, BUSKERS do that in Hamilton? That's wild man. I don't think I've ever seen a busker crap on the street in thirty years. As for the rest, well, let's just say I've never seen a statistical distinction between buskers and payday-weekend twenty-somethings.

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By Michelle Martin (registered) - website | Posted April 14, 2010 at 06:53:10

Ha-- we had a couple in this neighbourhood once (after your time, Ben) who were a young professional couple (I seem to recall they were from Burlington). The woman would go out with her friends, and several times we were awakened in the wee small hours to her hooting drunkenly as she disembarked whatever car was dropping her back home. Fortunately they moved-- guess they thought Hamilton was too low-rent for the likes of them.

I'd have gladly taken a busker on the corner over that din.

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