San Antonio Street Performer Arrested For Dancing Fights Back
For the past ten years or so, Jose Valadez has been entertaining locals and visitors to San Antonio on the downtown sidewalks. Then a change in city policy led to several citations and ultimately ... an arrest. Now he's fighting back.
News4SA is reporting that Valadez, whose arrest took place about a month ago, has retained an attorney and is fighting the against charges and for his right to perform on the street.
According to the story on News4SA San Antonio ordinances do allow street artists to perform for voluntary donations, artistic expression, music, singing, and dancing at some locations. Restricted locations include the Riverwalk, Alamo Plaza, Main Plaza, and any outdoor space owned and controlled by the city of San Antonio. Those performances cannot block sidewalks or hinder pedestrian foot traffic.
Valadez was at Main Plaza and the video shows plenty of space to walk past.
Nevertheless, some downtown business owners have complained that Valadez' dancing hinders foot traffic and interferes with vehicular traffic. Their complaints don't seem to extend to the numerous mariachi bands that march through the area from time to time.
As a tourist I always enjoy the street performers when visiting a city. Whether those performers are mariachi bands, break dancers, acrobats of fire eaters. Hopefully the situation will be resolved soon.
Valadez' attorney is claiming that the San Antonio Police Department's aggressive enforcement of city policy was unnecessary and that the charges should be dropped.
The city of San Antonio says they cannot comment on any situation involving ongoing litigation, but Valadez is clearly taking the fight for the right to do what he's been doing for a decade as far as he needs to in order to continue his artistic expression.