Street Performers and Aggressive Panhandling

The debate over whether or not panhandling should be outlawed has a history of controversy. It seems right that solicitation of this kind should not be permitted on private property. However, it is not always clear where the line between free public speaking and aggressive solicitation should be drawn. The above article describes a case in which street performers were arrested for demanding payment from their “audience.” The performers were then restricted to performing only within a defined space. Can this kind of aggressive street performance almost be considered a form of robbery? Are anti-panhandling laws a violation of the performers rights?

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