Attorney Carol Sobel filed a new federal lawsuit on behalf of Venice Beach Boardwalk Free Speech Zone activists, artists, performers and vendors. The lawsuit alleges that the City’s second try at amending LAMC 42.15 in two years, an ordinance designed to restrict activity on the Venice Boardwalk, violates both the First and Fourteen Amendments.
Under this latest version of LAMC 42.15 Susan B. Anthony would not be able to set up a card table, petition signatures, accept donations, and
campaign for a woman’s right to vote on Venice Beach without a permit and an assigned space until after noon - even if there were plenty of empty spaces on the Boardwalk. American flag lapel pins would be banned and no one could sell a copy of the Bible because she did not write it herself. The lawsuit also challenges recent noise restrictions that are enforced against some performers and ignored by the police for everyone else.
Venice has a long and unique history of celebrating freedom of speech and diversity. This ordinance unduly restricts constitutionally protected expressive speech and threatens to change the historic character of Venice Beach forever.