Actually, the right to perform on the street is purely American, and neither right nor left wing. That's been borne out over the last few decades by court decision after court decision. It *always* goes in the street performer's favor--that is, if they have a lawyer to go the distance for them.
As author of the book, *Be a Street Magician!: A How-To Guide* (Aha! Press, 1998, $30, now available almost exclusively from me), I can tell you that this battle is fought over and over again all across the country.
It invariably goes like this:
Street performer starts performing on a regular basis.
Merchant complains about either noise or crowds blocking their doorway or some such.
Cops tell the street performer that what they're doing is illegal.
Street performer resists.
Cops gives him a ticket.
Ticket gets thrown out of court by judge.
Street performer gets more tickets. Those, too, are thrown out of court.
City attorney confers with merchants, who complain that street performing is bad for business, that it conjures up images of beggars. City attorney says that it's legal. Merchants pull strings. City attorney and police try to make it very difficult for street performer, in essence harassing him or them.
Street performer enlists an attorney if he's lucky. It may take a year or two for the whole process, but when it finally goes to court, city always loses.
We got a Constitution, man. Freedom of speech. It's not a left or right political thing, it's what it means to be an American.
Will cities never learn?