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What You Can and Can't Buy on the Venice Boardwalk Now

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Yesterday, the LA City Council passed the latest set of rules for what can and can't be done on the Venice Boardwalk. A prior set, which created a lottery system for vendors and performers, was blocked by a judge in October 2010 on First Amendment grounds. The LA Times reports that the past year has been dog eat dog on the western side of the boardwalk, with transients reserving spaces for pay and "some vendors harassing and assaulting others to secure locations among 205 selling slots." According to Venice Patch, 30 people spoke during the public comment period on the matter yesterday, "mostly against" the new rules. The new ordinance, which allows vendors spots on a first come first serve basis, seems to be aimed squarely at the First Amendment. Here's what it says can and can't be sold or given away:

-- Straight up traditional free speech activities like petitioning are allowed and people can sell "newspapers, leaflets, pamphlets, bumper stickers, patches and/or buttons."

-- People can sell art they've created, including "books, audio, video, or other recordings of their performances, paintings, photographs, prints, sculptures or any other item that is inherently communicative and is of nominal value or utility apart from its communication."

-- Items that don't qualify and are therefore forbidden include "housewares, appliances, articles of clothing, sunglasses, auto parts, oils, incense, perfume, crystals, lotions, candles, jewelry, toys and stuffed animals."

-- "Performers can Perform," but the ordinance says that performance doesn't include any kind of inking or bodypainting, massage, hairstyling, the "completion or other partial creation of visual art," or the creation of handcrafts. Image via Chad McDonald
· Los Angeles law would limit selling on Venice boardwalk [LAT]
· L.A. City Council Unanimously Approves Venice Boardwalk Ordinance [Venice Patch]