Will You or I be arrested if We visit Fort Lauderdale?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Venture Realty International
Will You or I be Arrested if We Visit Fort Lauderdale?

Clipart - woman behind barsWill you or I be arrested if we visit Fort Lauderdale? This is no joke, I am very serious. 

The city of Fort Lauderdale has a policy banning all photography within hundreds of yards of a Hollywood movie set.

It doesn't matter if you are paparazzi, a professional photographer or just an amateur  -- you are not allowed to take any photos even with your cell phone.

I am disgusted to think that the city of Fort Lauderdale is taking away our constitutional rights.  If I was in Fort Lauderdale, I would be taking photos of the downtown area and restaurants to post on ActiveRain. Downtown Fort Lauderdale is a public area and I feel my constitutional rights are as important as those of a movie studio.

clipart - flag & ConstitutionNorm Kent, a Florida attorney, commented “Freedom of expression, which includes photography, cannot be controlled by movie studios from Hollywood, even if Tom Cruise is in the film.”

Kent along with the South Florida chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has filed a lawsuit against Fort Lauderdale. 

SPJ South Florida president Michael Koretzky is also inviting everyone to a “lunch-in” (this is not a formal event).  “We’re simply going downtown to have lunch with 100 of our closest friends and First Amendment allies,” says Koretzky, a freelance journalist. “We’re going to buy lots of food and take lots of pictures – of each other, of police, of buildings, of everything. We plan to be well-fed criminals.”

I wish I could be in Fort Lauderdale for the lunch, but I can't. If you live anywhere close to Fort Lauderdale and can attend, I hope you will go and support your Constitutional rights.



UPDATE: 6/16/2011 from SPJ South Florida Pro President Michael Koretzky:

We’ll meet FRIDAY AT 1 PM outside Tarpon Bend, the largest dining establishment on SW 2nd St. Here’s a map.

This is a casual affair. We don’t have to sit together if you’re feeling antisocial. As long as we eat and/or drink outside and take pictures – with an SLR, point-and-shoot, or smartphone – we’re sticking up for the First Amendment.

Take pictures of each other taking pictures. If the police tell you to stop taking pictures, you have two choices…

1. You can indeed stop. Others will document it. Mission accomplished.

2. You can keep going until you’re arrested. If that happens, I will personally bail you out of the Broward County jail.

Most likely, nothing will happen. This will probably be low-key and anticlimactic. Please bring your friends. Best bet for parking is down the side streets or in the parking garage catty-corner to Tarpon Bend


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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Suzanne McLaughlin 06/17/2011 01:35 AM
  2. Steve Hoffacker 06/17/2011 06:09 AM
ActiveRain Community
The Lounge at Active Rain
Silent Majority
fort lauderdale
constitutional rights
bill of rights
gary t coles

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Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Wow!  I've had some photos that weren't that good, but they weren't worthy of incarceration.  Well, maybe.  Interesting post, Gary.

Jun 17, 2011 07:06 AM #61
Vince McEveety
Gilleran Griffin Realty - Sherman Oaks, CA

welcome to the new thought about our rights in america... they're going bye bye and it's good to hear that people are making a stink about this

if we don't it will be too late...

Jun 17, 2011 07:12 AM #62
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

Pretty amazing but there are a lot of crazy things going on right now in this state, starting with the new governor!

Jun 17, 2011 07:14 AM #63
Mike Saunders
Lanier Partners - Athens, GA

Gary- hope that you keep us up to date on this. While I agree with the sentiment, and, if I lived closer I would be there, I am not sure that this is a first ammendment issue. Yes, we have the right to publish a picture as our statement, but, I am not sure that taking that picture is part of that right. However, it is another attack on our individual freedoms, interestingly, by a primarily left wing establisment (Hollywood) that would make an exagerative film of this if were something done by a conservative, republican or libertarian group.

Jun 17, 2011 07:50 AM #64
John Elwell
CENTURY 21 Bill Nye Realty, Inc. - Zephyrhills, FL

I have no doubt that some news organization will challenge this, and it will likely be tossed out. Just like the ban on those protests at military funerals. But it does worry me the amount of uproar that these little picky things cause. I am much more worried about having people jailed without charges for years, warrantless wiretaps, etc. Where is the uproar over those? But try to ban taking pictures (which in some cases could destroy the studios ability to make their film with probably pumps millions in the local economy directly and indirectly. Not to mention the free publicity) and we are ready to march on Washington. In the who scheme of things with millions starving, being imprisioned, being shot on streets, fearing terrorism, dying from disease, this is a blip. One that must be challenged, sure I agree with that. But I am not wringing my hands over it. What puzzles me is why no one has found a way to blame Obama for it???

Jun 17, 2011 07:50 AM #65
Gregory Bain
Mezzina Real Estate & Insurance - Little Egg Harbor, NJ
For Homes on the Jersey Shore

lol at: " What puzzles me is why no one has found a way to blame Obama for it???"


so true - Bush, who?

Jun 17, 2011 08:17 AM #67
Mike Yeo
3:16 team REALTY - Frisco, TX

Wow that is a crazy rule. Will they be posting no camera signs all over the place?

Jun 17, 2011 08:34 AM #68
Glenn Freezman
Nucazza LLP & Home Buying Evolution, & Family Abstract, Inc - Fort Washington, PA

all it takes is money, I think the Broadway Show Cabaret sang something like,

Greenbacks make the world go round

the world go round

the world go round

Greenbacks make the world go round.


Just unconscionable!


Jun 17, 2011 08:41 AM #69
Teaching Amanda Fische
Teaching Amanda Fische - Denver, CO
Offering 30 plus years of sales insights

Crazy country we live in and nothing surprises me any more

Jun 17, 2011 08:44 AM #70
Steve Sparacino
Tapout Bail Bonds - San Jose, CA

I'm left speechless...oh that's because the bureaucrats are taking that freedom away from us too.

Jun 17, 2011 09:01 AM #71
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Your kindness is noted....

Jun 17, 2011 10:05 AM #72
Barb Van Stensel
Chicago, IL

Chicago has movies filmed all the time but I don't think we are allowed to shoot when they are rolling the camera as it can cause an accident, etc. 

Jun 17, 2011 01:06 PM #73
Mike Mayer
Mike Mayer, Broker/Owner - i List For Less Realty, LLC - Lafayette, LA

Wow, that is truly bizarre! Please keep us posted on any developments challenging the law.

Jun 17, 2011 04:14 PM #74
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Gary - This goes way past ridiculous in my book.  Has the entire Bill of Rights simply been tossed or merely forgotten as a lost footnote of history? 

Jun 17, 2011 04:31 PM #75
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional

This is near and dear to my heart, and I say "sue, sue, sue." Until we make our goverments understand that they can't sell out our rights to special interest groups, they won't stop.

Jun 18, 2011 12:05 AM #77
Gregory Bain
Mezzina Real Estate & Insurance - Little Egg Harbor, NJ
For Homes on the Jersey Shore

Public streets are just that - paid for by the general public. That's why we have the mall now a day. A mall is private property and the owners can tell the general public that government protests, no loitering, no distributing or soliciting, and no picture taking.

That's also why America is no longer America but Consumerville (IMHO).

Jun 18, 2011 01:56 AM #78
Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D.
Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795 - Santa Maria, CA
Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879

Wow I can't think of a worse move.  I guess those Hollywood bucks started adding up.  

What kind of movie is this that they think is so precious anyway, I would like to know so I never go to see it.

Jun 18, 2011 04:42 AM #79
Mitchell J Hall
The Corcoran Group - Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn

In Hollywod it's called run away production. Lost revenue to the state of California and the City of Los Angeles. In Florida and every other state it's economic development. The state of Florida has a film commissioner appointed by the Governor paid by the taxpayers to pitch Florida as a location to movie studios. The city of Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and most municipalities also have a film commissioner paid by the taxpayers to pitch location filming. It's big business and one of the few things we still make in America.

The "right to work"  states such as Florida will do anything to bring in a business. They will close highways, give tax breaks, offer cheap labor. Ft. Lauderdale made a new law.

Films are made in NYC all the time, we don't need to give away the city they want to film here. It is often an inconvenience to locals but they pay handsomely and it's great for our economy. Every season Law and Order films in front of my home and in my building. There is no parking, the studio got a permit to close the street for parking. We will have costly building renovations paid for without a maintenance increase from a couple of days of inconvenience.

People go about their business in NY and could care less. It must be the biggest thing to hit Fort Lauderdale since the condominium.

Jun 18, 2011 01:40 PM #80
Rob Kittle
Kittle Real Estate - Fort Collins, CO
"We Specialize, You Benefit!" -Kittle Real Estate

Fort Lauderdale Police and City Government should think about this ordinance again, they are suppressing the right of the people, just because Hollywood stars are filming there? Is that place built for them? or built for the people? They should take a look and if they want a harrasment free area for their Hollywood Celebrities they should indicate what is prohibited and not taking pictures as general..

Jul 15, 2011 05:48 AM #81
Debbie Walsh
Shahar Management - Middletown, NY
Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036

Gary!  Congrats on the feature!  This is THE most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.  Sigh...

Jul 22, 2011 07:18 AM #82
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