Boardwalk Performer Sues Ocean City On Free Speech

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) — A street performer is suing Ocean City, saying the town violated his First Amendment rights by restricting where he can produce his art and keeping him off the boardwalk.

Mark Chase, a spray-paint artist, used to perform daily near North Division Street, making and selling his paintings on the
boardwalk. But the City Council voted to ban activities there that draw crowds. The fire department had said there were potential safety issues.

Chase alleges he has been harassed by police who shooed him away from a different boardwalk location. He also takes issue with the town requiring performers to pay for permits.

Ocean City Solicitor Guy Ayres says there are other areas where street performing is permitted. He says he doesn’t believe Chase’s rights were violated.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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