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by Barbara Peck
Friday, Jul. 08, 2005 at 10:58 PM
“Press Conference, Venice Beach-Style, on July 8 to Announce Federal Lawsuit Filed for Venice Free Speech Zone”
Finally!!! Carol Sobel comes through and Peggy Lee Kennedy redeems herself in the eyes of the world!
I know this sounds like sour-grapes but if you only knew how unpopular Peggy Lee Kennedy really IS on Venice Boardwalk. During the long, lean cold month of March when approximately sixteen of us (not Peggy and Calvin) got tickets for various acts of resistance to the Venice lottery, Peggy and her partner Calvin, were there, with the camera documenting every incident. They even requested copies of the tickets and all the incident reports made by activists, on the understanding that 'Carol Sobel' was going to file a lawsuit to stop the lottery.
Many loyal activists complied and cooperated with Peggy and Calvin, believing that they would eventually be represented in court. During the course of events, however, Peggy in her offensive, 'snappy' style, managed to alienate every single activist on the boardwalk. Her paranoia was rampant and if someone so much as breathed about the 'pending lawsuit' she would throw a fit. Then, the bubble burst when Calvin told us several weeks ago to "forget Carol Sobel" - telling us it may take months for her to file, if she ever does! When people asked for their 'evidence' back they were yelled at, ignored and down right chastised for bothering Miss Peggy. It became SO bad at one point that 'they' couldn't even show their face on the boardwalk and sent out a rumour that they were moving to Canada (in fact, they had to move out of their home and into an RV, I was told.)
Now Miss Peggy gets to shine in the light of Carol Sobel and re-make herself as the "Queen of Venice Activists" - while all along the boardwalk people will be hissing and muttering behind her back.
Thanks, Miss Peggy for doing us all a favor - too bad it was you, though, we would have preferred someone more popular with the locals. Ah well, that's politics for ya -
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Carol Sobel, President Los Angeles National Lawyer’s Guild (310) 393-3055
Peggy Lee Kennedy, Venice/Santa Monica Food Not Bombs (310) 365-0985
“Press Conference, Venice Beach-Style, on July 8 to
Announce Federal Lawsuit Filed for Venice Free Speech Zone”
Venice Beach, CA – A “Press Conference, Venice Beach-Style,” to announce the filing of a federal lawsuit by attorney Carol Sobel on behalf of Venice Beach Free Speech Zone activists and artists will take place Friday, July 8, 2005 beginning 11:30 am 1800 Ocean Front Walk at Windward Avenue on Venice Beach Boardwalk. The lawsuit alleges that the City’s recently enacted ordinance restricting Venice Boardwalk performers and vendors violates the First Amendment.
The informal and unique Venice Beach-style conference will be held by attorney Carol Sobel, free speech activists, performers, artists, drummers, and tarot readers in celebration of the first amendment rights that have been traditionally protected in the world famous Venice Beach Boardwalk Free Speech Zone under LAMC 42.15.
Venice Free Speech Zone activists oppose the December 2004 LAMC 42.15 amendments and the new lottery/permit system, enforced as of March 1, 2005, stating that now there is more commercial vending than ever before while excessive rules have choked free speech and artistic freedom on the Venice Beach Boardwalk. The system is definitely “un-Venice.”
UPDATE OF PRESS CONFERENCE RE: FEDERAL LAWSUIT FILED
Well, folks, here it is straight from the world famous Venice Boardwalk where Carol Sobel (and Miss Peggy Lee Kennedy) gave forth about the long awaited lawsuit. It's filed and will be sitting on Bill Rosendahl's desk THIS AFTERNOON. Now, I don't want to congratulate anyone until we see where the dust settles but let it be known that Carol Sobel is a top national Civil Rights attorney and, if anyone can do it, she can!
As for the content of the lawsuit: well, that's another thing! Venice Beach artist/activists, on the frontlines, facing down the LAPD, getting tickets and going to court, were NOT EVEN included!
Believe it or not, the plaintiffs are: Venice Food Not Bombs (VFNB - Miss Peggy & Calvin), Robert "Jingles" Newman (animal activist and Miss Peggy's best friend), and Woody (a wood sculptor). That's it!
Yet the original story, that supposedly came from Carol Sobel (via Miss Peggy) was that she would be filing on the 'Face of the Law' - meaning that it would not be for an individual but simply to defend the First Amendment. In retrospect, those of us who have been putting ourselves on the line, for Free Speech have been dissed in the most 'undemocratic' way.
Not only that but tactically alienated by Miss Peggy - which is to say we figure that she deliberately drove us away because she didn't WANT US ON THE LAWSUIT. Now why would lil ol Miss P want to do something like that? Could it possibly be that she didn't want to SHARE THE SPOILS?
Yep, I'm afraid that's what it looks like. Instead of including all the Venice artists/activists in a Class Action lawsuit they just did it for themselves!!!
WOW - CONSIDERING VFNB IS ONLY ON THE BOARDWALK FOR APPROXIMATELY 4 HOURS ONCE A WEEK ON SUNDAYS; NEVER GOT A TICKET OR HAD TO GO TO COURT THEY REALLY HAVE MANAGED TO MANIPULATE THE SITUATION TO SUIT THEMSELVES.
Well, it ain't over 'til the fat lady sings - so keep your ears and eyes tuned for the next episode...
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