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This is a brief history of Almost Banned:
By June of 2006, I had concluded that I needed to get my small family off the streets. After most of 35 years spent hitch-hiking, riding freight trains, and otherwise being homeless around the country, I came home to Cambridge. There was no way that I could see, to take my wife, dog, cat and myself, out of homelessness with a regular job. I had learned from the past, that giving or selling, the printed word was one of the laws that this country was set up with !!!
I put together about 650 paperback books, 2 folding tables, and a friend, who wanted to subsidize a fixed income. Set up my book table and went off to do some errands. When I got back a Cambridge Police Officer was telling my friend "that if he wasn't willing to move this mess to Central Square. he would be arrested." That was the first time my books ended up at the Police Department!
The Judge in that case ruled that a Peddler's Permit at a cost of 50 cents per year would apply. Problem was nobody at DPW knew anything about one. So I set up my book table again and was arrested. This case was also dismissed. Tried DPW again with the same result. Was arrested the next day and went in front of the same Judge that dismissed me the day before. this time he gave me a lawyer.
So 85 days after the first arrest it was ruled that I was conducting a Constitutionally protected activity and that the police had no probable cause for arrest. During this case I had gone to the Police Civilian Review Board to complain about some of what happened while I was being arrested. I told them I was afraid of police investigating themselves. Anyway from court I went to the Watch Commander at the Police Department and asked if it was OK to sell books now. I was told to clear it with City Hall.
For the first time after many a try I got to meet the city's lawyer and he even brought his own lawyer. We all drafted the first Peddler's Permit in Cambridge for many a year. He told me that the