Street performer sues Ocean City over restrictions

July 11, 2011|By Michelle Deal-Zimmerman | The Baltimore Sun

A street performer is suing Ocean City, alleging that he has been harrassed and his First Amendment rights violated by an ordinance banning him from setting up at North Division Street and the Boardwalk.

The performer, artist Mark Chase, who uses spray paint to create paintings, said in his complaint that the city was acting in retaliation, according to a report in The Dispatch. The City Council has cited safety concerns as the reason for restricting access to the area.

Earlier this year, Ocean City began requiring street performers to purchase a permit to set up on the Boardwalk. Chase has been critical of the new fees and says he has been the subject of retaliation for speaking out.

The town solicitor has said there are other places along the boardwalk where artists can perform and he doesn't believe Chase's rights have been violated, according to The Associated Press.

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