Friday, July 17, 2009
Move-Along Law protest and arrest of HUFF activist
by Becky Johnson
July 17, 2009
Santa Cruz, Ca. -- When Cynthia Mathews teamed up with Ed Porter, they created the "Move-along" Law which allows police to move, under threat of citation or arrest, a political table on a public sidewalk if it has been there for over one hour.
Councilmember Ed Porter claimed he was inspired by the Voluntary Street Performers Guidelines which said that if one performer desires the location of another performer, he can ASK him/her. They then have one more hour in that location. Ed, took the "voluntary" out of the law, and turned a courtesy and a consideration, into a criminal act if not obeyed, and enforceable, not by complaint, but simply by any police officer who chooses to enforce it. Mathew Hartough was willing to openly disobey to the point of arrest and jail, MC 5.43.020(2) -- a subsection of the "Display Devices" ordinance. In the video you can see that Corey McDonald, better known as Mr. Twister, was allowed to continue his use of a display device for three hours. HUFF later learned that the owner of the Pacific Trading Company liked Mr. Twister but disliked HUFF, demonstrating how such a law is inevitably selectively enforced.
This video was taken on July 6, 2003, but the Move-along Law is still being enforced, usually against political tables, street performers, and homeless people.