Last night a small but determined group of musicians and their supporters hit the street in front of the Blue Note to hand out informational literature on J4JA! to audience members and passersby.
Central to their message were their four demands:
1.) fair PAY,
2.) a decent PENSION,
3.) PROTECTIONS for the recording or reuse of the music, and a
4.) PROCESS for settling disputes
At about 7:15PM, one J4JA! musician found himself standing face to face with Blue Note co-owner, Daniel Bensusan.
Bensusan was not happy.
According to one source, Bensusan demanded that the leafleters clear the sidewalk in front of the club, and threatened to call NYPD, which he eventually did.
Local 802 Organizing Director Leon Bell was there to attempt to enage Mr. Bensusan in rational discussion–and when police appeared, Bell was also there to consult with the officers on duty.
Police listend to Bensusan’s complaint, but then agreed to allow leafleters their consitutional free speech rights as long as they agreed not to block access to the club.
Leafleters were respectful and did not block access or attempt to convince any patrons not to enter the Blue Note.
Later, a reporter form the NY Times interviewed J4JA! musicians for a story planned for next week.
All in all, a very successful first night.