aspect of Western thought is the idea ofrnhuman rights, and this idea can be manipulatedrnHkc all other ideas. But justicernhas to be done in a legal way, within therncountries, perhaps with an internationalrnpresence. Otherwise, it is an externalrnpressure to the sovereignty and independencernof our countries, hi a Westernrndemocracy, we do not have the idea thatrnsomeone outside the country can judgernthe guilt or innocence of a Serb, Muslim,rnAmerican, or German. The idea of anrnoutside judge is a very dangerous notion,rnbecause it means that the world orderrnhas a boss who is going to decide whatrnthis order will be. This contradicts thernbasic ideas of self-determination andrnsovereignty of a state. So, I think that thernwhole process needs to stay within nationalrnboundaries. Otherwise, shouldrnthe world not also judge those who killedrncivilians in, say, the Persian Gulf Wir?rnWhat about Vietnam, Rwanda, Afghanistan?rnWhy were international tribunalsrnnot established for these wars?rnYorgos Filiopoulos is a graduate studentrnin journalism at the University ofrnMemphis.rnLetter From Sohornby Ann SandhorstrnArt FelonsrnIn Prince Street’s early morning sunlight,rnRobert Lederman carefully removes thernbungee cords holding a wooden “jailrncell” to the top of his car. He sets up thernmetallic grey cell along the curb and surroundsrnit with protest signs, blow-ups ofrnnewspaper articles, and photographs ofrnsome of the nine times he’s been arrestedrnfor selling his art. Next to the cell, hernopens a folding screeir on which brightlvrncolored jazz prints and stark black-andwhiternstreet scenes arc displayed. Drinkingrna cup of hot coffee, he greets otherrnartists as they arrive and set up their ownrnart displays. The scene, although reminiscentrnof an artist colony in Woodstockrnor Paris, is actually a battlefield, and Ledermanrnis a resistance fighter preparingrnfor battle.rn”On Saturday, thev usually come betweenrnnoon and two o’clock,” he savs, referringrnto undercover police assigned tornarrest artists for illegal vending. “Theyrndrive by once or twice in unmarked vansrnor taxieabs and look over the street.rnThen they drive back around and makernthe arrests.”rnThe “jail cell” is part of an ongoingrnprotest that Lederman and the artistsrnhave waged since last fall, when policernbegan handcuffing and arresting artistsrnand confiscating their work. Most of thernart that gets confiscated and stuffed intornblack plastic garbage bags by the police isrnnever seen again. While the total numberrnof artist arrests eitvwide is unknown,rnthere have been at least 100 arrests in Sohornalone. In response to questions fromrna group of German art students, I ,edermanrnexplains whv he and his fellowrnartists are being arrested. “It’s because ofrnpolitical pressure from community andrnreal estate groups. In this specific arearnit’s the Soho Alliance that forces the policernto make the arrests. They’re landlordsrnand loft owners, manv of whom arernthemselves artists, and thcv don’t wantrnartists or anvone else using what thev seernas ‘their’ sidewalks.”rnAs president of A.R.T.I.S.T. (Artists’rnResponse To Illegal State lactics), Ledermanrnis a familiar figure to the SohornAlliance. Besides insisting on displaingrnhis art on the streets of Soho, he has organizedrnloud demonstrations on thernspots where artists are arrested, and continuallyrnurges the artists to fight for theirrnrights. His jail cell, protest signs, andrnhandbills parodying their demands thatrnartists be arrested ha’e put the alliancernon the defensive.rnKathryn Freed, the city councilwomanrnwhose district includes Soho and whornis herself a longtinre resident of the area,rnis closcK’ aligned with the alliance and itsrngoals. In an interview published in thernChristian Science Monitor, she called thernartists “parasites” and said, “they don’trnpay rent, thev don’t pay taxes. .. I’m fedrnup with these guys . . . Soho has hundredsrnof thousands of tourists.. . it’s gotrntoo many people taking up too muchrnspace.” Freed has been actix’cly workingrnto rid the area of street artists, vendors,rnand sidewalk cafes, the cr things thatrnvisitors to Soho find most attractive.rnMembers of the Soho Alliance claimrnthat artist displas make their sidewalksrnimpassable and that artists should showrntheir work in galleries, not on the street.rnSome go so far as to say that what isrnshown on the street is not even art.rn”Their complaints are highly exaggerated,”rnsays Lederman. “The streets thatrnhave no artists are as crowded as the onesrnthat do. If someone wants to live in thernworld’s most famous city, he should expectrnan active, well-populated environment.rnNew York has always been likernthis.”rnInitially, the city’s plan for Soho wasrnaimed at helping struggling artists. Theyrnwere allowed to move into abandonedrnonetime manufacturing lofts which,rnwhen transformed into airv, well-lit artrnstudios, became valuable real estaternproperties. The city council then formalizedrnthe arrangement by passing arnlaw that only professional, working artistsrncould occupy the lofts. Ledcrman’s attorne’,rnonetime prosecutor Marc Agnifilo,rnwhose law office/art gallery is locatedrnin Soho, finds the situation ironic.rn”These successful artists,” he comments,rn”are offended that other less fortunaternartists want to dis|:)lav their work on thernstreets. Thev deliberately ignore the factrnthat the artists have a First Amendmentrnright to freedom of speech and expressionrnand that the public sidewalk is thernexact place where that freedom is mostrnprotected.”rnI’he artists have gone to court to backrnup their claim to constitutional protection.rnDewey Ballantine, a major lawrnfirm, in cooperation with VolunteerrnLawvers for the Arts has filed a suit inrnfederal court charging the city with violatingrnthe artists’ First and 14tli Amendmentrnrights. They want the New YorkrnCity vending ordinance changed to permitrnartists to displav and sell their ownrnoriginal paintings, sculptures, limitededitionrnprints, and photographs. At thernpresent time, onlv books, newspapers,rnbaseball cards, and religious materials arernallowed to be sold without a license,rnbased on previous First Amendmentrnchallenges to the ordinance. Vending licensesrnare almost impossible to obtain.rnThe city council voted in 1979 tornfreeze the number of vending licenses atrnthe 853 then in circulation. Other thanrnveterans, who can get one on demand,rnanone desiring a license must be on thernwaiting list, a wait which can take as longrnas five years. Richard Schrader, ex-commissionerrnof the Department of GonsunierrnAffairs, the agency which issues allrnvending licenses, stated in an affidavitrnnow included in the federal lawsuit thatrnhe “knew of no artist who had managedrnto obtain a vending license”; “that inrn38/CHRONICLESrnrnrn