Being Legally Asked to Leave a Public Event

Think Before You Pink by Sheila Dee, used with permission

Think Before You Pink by Sheila Dee, used with permission

My friends called me for clarification this past Saturday morning. They were at Tempe Beach Park where the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk was taking place. My friends’ friend was there with another breast cancer organization called Breast Cancer Action.  This is a “national, feminist grassroots education and advocacy organization working to end the breast cancer epidemic.”

Breast Cancer Action’s goals are to (1)  Advocate for more effective and less toxic breast cancer treatments; (2) Decrease involuntary environmental exposures that put people at risk for breast cancer; and (3) Create awareness that it is not just genes, but social injustices — political, economic, and racial inequities — that lead to disparities in breast cancer outcomes.” They have a Think Before You Pink campaign to ban toxic chemicals found in “pink” products aimed at increasing breast cancer awareness.

Think Before You Pink by Sheila Dee, used with permission

Think Before You Pink by Sheila Dee, used with permission

The group brought their petition to the American Cancer Society’s walk at Tempe Beach Park and was asking for signatures. Given that my friends’ called me at 10 a.m., I don’t think the Breast Cancer Action group solicited signatures for long before they were asked to leave. Tempe Beach Park is a public space and these volunteers weren’t doing anything illegal. My friends wanted to know whether the officers had the authority to tell this group to stop what they were doing or leave.

In this situation, the police probably had the authority to make the Breast Cancer Action people stop petitioning. The American Cancer Society had a permit for their event in the park so they had a greater say over what activities could go on in the space they were permitted to use for their walk. If the Breast Cancer Action people were soliciting signatures within those boundaries, the walk organizers could make them stop or leave. The petitioners could have stood on public property outside the boundaries stated in the permit and continued to solicit signatures as long as they weren’t breaking any other laws like harassment, disorderly conduct, blocking a thoroughfare, etc.

This scenario reminded me of the P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon and half-marathon in January. The routes take runners through the streets of Phoenix, Tempe, and Scottsdale. The race organizers get permits to close the public streets, or at least lanes, along the route. The race has a strict “No Bandits” rule. You must be wearing a race number to run in the race. If you’re not wearing a number, you’ll be kicked off the route and possibly arrested for trespassing. If you’re a jogger who didn’t register for the race, you can’t decide to take advantage of the streets being closed and jog on the race route that day.  The race organizers have the permit for the area so they set the rules regarding who can and can’t be on the race route that day.

So that’s why groups who get permits for their events have more say over who can be there even when the event is in a public park or a public street. When you have the permit, you set the rules. If you want to chat with me about this or any other topic, you can connect with me TwitterGoogle+FacebookYouTubeLinkedIn, or you can email me.
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Creative Commons Images For Your Blog

Question Mark by Ryan

I talk about blogging a lot, both about general blogging information and the legal side of blogging. One of the things I always talk about is the images. Every blog post needs at least one picture. It makes the post more interesting and it can help you portray your subject matter or the emotional impact of your message.

I am not a photographer, so I have to rely on other sources for my photos. If you don’t have a photo that you yourself have taken to use with your post, you can find quality images on Creative Commons. Creative Commons is a license that photographers put on their images that allow you to use them. The particular license tells you how you’re allowed to use it and what credit you have to give to the image owner.

Attribution only – You only have to give credit to the image owner. You can modify the image and use it for   commercial purposes

Attribution-ShareAlike – You may modify the original work and use it for commercial purposes, but you must allow others to use your work in the same way. You must give an attribution to the original image owner.

Attribution-NoDerivs – You may use the image for commercial purposes but you can’t alter the image in any way. You must give credit to the image owner.

Attribution-NonCommercial – You may modify the original image but you may not use it for commercial purposes. You must give an attribution to the image owner.

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike – You can modify the image but you must allow anyone to use what you create. You can’t use it for commercial purposes and you must give credit to the image owner.

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs – You may only use the image, as is, for non-commercial purposes. You may not modify the image, and you must give an attribution to the image owner.

When I look for photos for my blogs, I always pick photos that come with an Attribution only or Attribution-ShareAlike license, and I encourage everyone to do the same. When I add a photo to my blog, I put the name of the image and the attribution to the image owner in the caption, and make the caption visible on the post. In the image description, I include a link back to the original image, which is usually on Flickr.

I use these license because they are the most user-friendly. If you need to crop a photo, these licenses will allow you to do that. I also recommend always using photos that you’re allowed to use for commercial purposes.  Even if you don’t make money on your blog from ads or by having you blog connected to a business now, you might in the future. If you start making money via your blog and you have images on your blog that you’re not allowed to use for commercial purposes, you have to go back and remove those images from your site. It’s easier in the long run if you have permission to commercialize all of your images from the start.

If there’s an image you really you want to use on your blog, but it doesn’t come with a Creative Commons license, you can always ask the image owner if you can use it. I have standing agreements with Devon Christopher Adams and Sheila Dee because I ask to use their photos so often.