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Proposed Bill Forces Cops to Spy on Musicians and Live Shows — This is Art in a Police State

Philadelphia, PA – Philadelphia City Councilman Mark Squilla sparked outrage this week by proposing a bill that would force venue owners to collect the personal information of all of their performers for the creation of a police database. The proposal would require venue owners to supply police with the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all the bands, DJs and rappers that perform at their club.

The proposal also places additional licensing requirements on shows and venues that would allow the police to pull the plug on events at any time and for any reason. The councilman intends to create a virtual ban list of artists who have large crowds or crowds that have been reported to police in the past for small disturbances like noise or litter.

According to the bill, artists could be banned from performing in the city if their events coincide with any “crime, traffic, litter, noise, parking and hours of operation; as well as any community concerns, particularly those of neighbors in the immediate vicinity.”

Councilman Mark Squilla told Billy Penn in an email that, “Giving performers’ information to police when requested enables them to review past performances to see if there were any public safety issues during their events.”

Squilla also said that clubs who stream music will also be targetted.

“Some clubs were operating without a license because they found a way to have music without a DJ or live performer/band. This legislation will include new forms of music/streaming that weren’t around when this first Special assembly bill became law,” he said.

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The councilman claims that this legislation is not aimed at any specific artist or crowd while at the same time claiming that live music attracts crime.

Local promoters are saying that this new legislation is an attack on the local music industry and that it is entirely unreasonable.

Sean Agnew, owner of R5 Productions pointed out in an interview with Billy Penn that this plan is not even practical.

“This is news to me. I’m not sure what the reasoning or theory is. As someone who books 600+ shows a year, I have never once received an artist’s home address or phone number. It’s all through booking agents, managers, publicists. There is a firewall in place with the artists. I can’t imagine a band’s representatives wanting to give their clients information over to the police without a really good reason,” Agnew said.

In addition to giving police authority over which entertainers are allowed to perform in the city, the bill will also make it more expensive to do business for venue owners. Currently, it costs $100 per year for a venue owner to get licensed to host events, however, under the terms of the new bill the license will cost $500 every two years.

The bill has met resistance from the Pennsylvania ACLU, who have pointed out that the police should not even be involved in these types of matters.

Mary Catherine Roper, Deputy Legal Director of the Pennsylvania ACLU, said that “This bill reflects a strange expansion of police duties and a dangerous muddling of the line between law enforcement and business licensing. No one can expect the PPD to approach this function the same way that L&I would approach it. They will approach it as another police function, informed by police priorities that may not be appropriate to the task.”

Attacks on music gatherings are occurring all over the country with increasing intensity. As we reported last year, politicians in California are attempting an outright ban on music festivals, supposedly to prevent overdoses that happen on rare occasions at some events.

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John Vibes is an author and researcher who organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference. He also has a publishing company where he offers a censorship free platform for both fiction and non-fiction writers. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can purchase his books, or get your own book published at his website www.JohnVibes.com.

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  • too late….. this is being settled… bill re-worded….. but at least the outcry worked 🙂

  • Stupid waste of time and money.

  • ᵀʰᶦˢ ᶦˢ ˢᵒ ˢᵐᵃᶫᶫ ᵗᵒ ʳᵉᵃᵈ ᵉᵛᵉᶰ ᶠᵒʳ ʸᵒᵘ ᵇʳᵒ⋅ ᴰᵒᶰᵗ ᵗʳʸ ᵗᵒ ᶜᵒᶰᵗᶦᶰᵘᵉ ʳᵉᵃᵈᶦᶰᵍ ᵗʰᶦˢ ᵇᵉᶜᵃᵘˢᵉ ʸᵒᵘʳ ᵉʸᵉˢ ʷᶦᶫᶫ ˢᵗᵃʳᵗ ᵗᵒ ʰᵘʳᵗ ˢᵒᵒᶰ ᶦᶠ ʸᵒᵘ ᵈᵒᶰᵗ ˢᵗᵒᵖ⋅ ᵂʰʸ ᵈᵒᶰᵗ ʸᵒᵘ ˢᵗᵒᵖ﹖⋅⋅⋅⋅ᵍᵒ ᵃʷᵃʸ ᵇʳᵒ ᵃᶰᵈ ʳᵉᵃᵈ ᵗʰᵉ ᶰᵉˣᵗ ᶜᵒᵐᵐᵉᶰᵗ⋅ ˢᵗᵒᵖ ʳᵉᵃᵈᶦᶰᵍ ᵃᶫʳᵉᵃᵈʸ﹗ ᴵ ˢᵉᵉ ᵗʰᵃᵗ ʸᵒᵘ ᵈᵒᶰᵗ ʷᵃᶰᶰᵃ ᵍᶦᵛᵉ ᵘᵖ ʳᵉᵃᵈᶦᶰᵍ﹖⋅⋅⋅ʷᵉᶫᶫ ᵒᵏ, ʸᵒᵘ ʷᵒᶰ ᵗʰᶦˢ ᵗᶦᵐᵉ, ᵇᵘᵗ ʸᵒᵘ ˢʰᵒᵘᶫᵈ ᵍᶦᵛᵉ ᵐᵉ ᵃ ᶫᶦᵏᵉ ᶠᵒʳ ʷᵃˢᵗᶦᶰᵍ ʸᵒᵘʳ ᵗᶦᵐᵉ ᵃᶰᵈ ˢᵗʳᵉˢˢᶦᶰᵍ ʸᵒᵘʳ ᵉʸᵉˢ ᵗʰᵒ

  • what are they looking for????

    • Whatever potentially offendable statute they can invent…

  • I wouldn’t be surprised if it had already happened.

  • Welcome to East Berlin 2015.

  • Good..there are a lot of underage children at these events without supervision..getting backstage will get them educated..if you get me!

    • You would have fit in great in Nazi Germany, shouldn’t the parents raise their children instead of the state? Or would you just like to sit back and release all ur responsibilities to the government

    • Earl Huffman WTF! Government has no control over rock concerts…they are scummy events.. show business is Evil..ok let your underage daughters go…they will be exposed to sex and drugs…Government? Fuck them!

    • All they have to do is turn on the t.v. for that, and they shut down rammstein shows do some research before you open your uneducated mouth

    • You probably voted for Bush both times and believe Kennedy was killed by a lone gunman to.

    • Earl Huffman Bush is my distant cousin related by King Edward..Kennedy was killed by them

  • Want REAL news that’s actually happening in the World right NOW?? New’s that Mainstream media doesn’t cover or report on?? Then LIKE our page ‘THE TRUTH’ for Worldwide News, Current Affairs, Government Corruption and much more……. DAILY UPDATES…..

  • thugs

  • That is one way to get a free ticket.

  • Wilkommen auf der Polizeistaat

  • Waaooo!!!! There goes Freedom!!! And we live in a nation of freedom????

  • Councilman fucktard is going to cause bands,Djs and other musicians to avoid this Nazi town. It will cause loss of revenue for the Business and the city. This Assclown needs to be removed for the sake of Businesses!!!!

  • Well, good thing I had no real interest in becoming famous for music. Using a pseudonym and obfuscating my identity was an idea I had to begin with, now it just seems practical more than anything

  • JAY-Z don’t let this go down.

  • This makes me sick…..what has become of this once great nation


  • They taking our freedom away right in our face…. Wake up y’all its the time for us as people to come together before it’s to late we don’t have to accept what they doing…. Good thing God is in control because the devil out here y’all…..

  • Just the latest, check what happened in Louisville KT on 3/8/93… http://www.thefreelibrary.com/BLACK+CROWES+ENTOURAGE+MEMBER+BEATEN+BY+UNDERCOVER+COPS%3B+BADLY…-a013125253

  • big brother is watching.

  • They did it nwa, bone thugs, disturbed, bob Marley. Because the fan base was so massive and they based music that goes against certain establishments. Its always happend. Because they are scared

  • Ayoye Geneviève Vézina-Tardif

  • Echoes of Islam!?

  • Artists are dangerous because they make people think and feel

  • And everyone told me we won the war on Nazis