Rights of Roman Street Artists sign now

To the attention of the President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano
18 July 2009
The precise goal of this petition is to oppose the repressive modification to the existing decision (no.68/2000), that regulates the practice of street artists in Rome. As already published, but probably by now read by few, the Committee that governs Rome, in the person of Signor Dino Gasperini, delegated Mayor for the historic center of the city, is in the process of proposing and causing to be passed a series of radical modifications to the laws governing such artists already in full force today.

Our response was immediately transmitted by a letter sent on the 8th of July 2009 to the Assessor of Culture, Signor Doctor Croppi, in which we ask:
1) That not one minute of the hours established previously for the exhibition of the artists be modified or cut back, having been established by the applicable law (article 1), specifying over and above that modification of article 4 of the same law, which seeks the cutting back of the hours to only 2 hours a day, which would cause overlapping of the shows putting all the artists in the same period of time in a small space.
2) That as to concerns on emissions of sounds, that the same norms which are in place today are kept and respected, which norms allow a maximum of 65 decibels during the day and 55 decibels during the night. We would concede to whatever means the authorities feel necessary, to require appliances which measure such decibels (phonometers) in an attempt to ease the fears of the municipal police, and others in the role of the proper functions of controlling and verifying with respect the limits of such sound emissions.
3) That one takes into consideration that the artists who observe the above-cited laws have the right to exhibit to the measure and in the number of components and helpers, necessary for their performances.
4) Finally, for that which concerns the article that regulates political manifestations (art. 7 of 68), we ask that the artist who always stays alone and far enough away from such manifestations be exempted from penalty. However, for that which regards the manifestations of a cultural and periodic nature (the periods of Christmas and Epiphany), which , as already happened and to which we refer to from this last Christmas period 2009/2009, to allow the artists to perform and be seen, with make-up so they look like children, or as the Befana, without in any other way changing their acts, because the artists are not backwards, and they do not suggest that Italy is a backwards country by allowing such cultural traditions from antiquity to go on to this day, we do not send Rome back one day by these costumes during the Christmas period (see for contrast that the Book Festival lasts from April 17, 2009 until May 20, 2009) we must ask therefore, the continuation in full force of the same article allowing our Christmas acts as allowed up until now.
Other various notices and articles have come out in noted Roman magazines, e.g., LEGGO and E-POLIS, which bear witness to our actions and reactions, always and, after inquiry of the citizenry, find the people to be open to dialogue. There are those who are truly and properly offended by moves that, especially by one noted daily Roman paper, define us as pseudo-artists, acts to turn our activities to the limits of extortion!
From this point comes an idea, suggested by an anonymous friend, of a petition on-line to give national and international exposure to this situation, therefore hoping to obtain also the needed and owed attention that such a situation as this merits. We know well and take into account that in many other cities and European capitals and worldwide are laws in full force and effect which set limits but also restore street artists their just respect, place in the world, and dignity.
If you value one of the last liberties conceded to the arts you must ADHERE and SUSTAIN us. It should be the biggest and most definitive NO, in the history of street art, or continued oppression as regards street artists themselves, who, descending from this most noble art form of expression, guarantee to themselves and to all, indiscriminately, the irrefutable right of power to express on the greatest stage of the world and to you citizens the right to be able to assist us, becoming , in your own way, also you, protagonists of an event that enriches our cities of culture, amusement and diversion/entertainment!! Who can deprive us of this right? Seems that someone believes to have this power and assignment, causing your help to become necessary to confirm that in a moment like this, so difficult and of extreme social concealment, we want to protect the right of all to be able to walk down the street and to freely help, if one so chooses, to exhibit musicals, shows, puppet shows, clowns, statues, etc.
A little color and fantasy in the daily grey of all of us!
And as happens on the street,you are again a part of the happening. Agreeing with this petition with your signature you can vindicate your right, and, by doing so, automatically reserving and preserving also ours!!

Many thanks, the undersigned Calabrese Marcello (artist of the street)

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