HigterFrequency OVERSEAS NEWS


No Photo

international news _ JONTY SKRUFFF _ 11th Novemober, 2005

New York's No Dancing Laws Face Court Challenge

Village Voice nightlife commentator Trish Romano called on revellers and clubs to actively support a lawsuit challenging New York's infamous anti-dancing Cabaret Law this week, suggesting fear and apathy is preventing people from getting involved.

"Club owners are afraid to testify, and patrons and proprietors alike simply don't care, because the city's not messing with them too much. For now, anyway," said Romano.

"Such self-centered self-preservation is short sighted. The cabaret law, as long as it's on the books, will be dusted off whenever the city needs a magic weapon to wield against the unseemly world of nightlife."

Under the infamous Cabaret law, New Yorkers are allowed to dance in just 221 venues compared to over 12,000 premises in the 60s, with clubs and bars facing closure if patrons violate the no dancing rule, though cops have recently relaxed enforcement somewhat, according to Larry Tee.

"Just as cigarettes are becoming more commonplace again in many establishments here in New York City, the general feeling in the clubs is that there is less and less enforcement of the Cabaret laws," said Larry.

"Many hot clubs have even run dance floors for long periods of time without any interference from the nightclub monitors."

Larry, who currently runs Thursday weekly Distortion Disko at the licensed venue Duvet, admitted he didn't know much about the campaign to overturn the law, though agreed that the threat from the Cabaret Law remains very real.

"The interest in changing the laws is still very intense because the spectre of having enforcement appear again could definitely arise again with one nasty incident that gets the media attention," said Larry.

"Local politicians still hold an unhealthy disregard of the importance of a vital nightlife scene to the economy of New York."

Joe's Pub owner Serge Becker, who is backing Paul Chevigny's case with sworn statements agreed, telling the Village Voice "We can't let it stand and leave it to the benevolence of the powers that be."

"History has clearly shown us that a closet fascist like Giuliani is just around the corner," he warned. (Jonty Skrufff)