Is Busking in D.C.'s Metro Stations Protected Speech?

The ubiquitous sight of a performer or musician asking for money in a New York City subway is conspicuously absent from Washington D.C. Metro stations, because busking is verboten in the nation's capital. A July lawsuit aims to change that policy.

"Alex Young, sued Metro last month, arguing that he should be able to play music on Metro property while asking for donations from passers-by," reports Perry Stein.

Unlike in New York City, the "Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority strictly prohibits people from engaging in commercial activities on Metro property, unless the parties have struck an agreement with Metro beforehand." 

Now the question will be answered by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, which will have to decide "whether busking is considered free speech, commercial activity, or simply glorified panhandling, which is banned on Metro property."

Full Story: Should Busking Be Allowed in Metro? A Musician Suing WMATA Thinks So.


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