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Busker who refused to move becomes internet sensation
6:21pm Wednesday 30th May 2012 in Community
By Ben Leo
A busker who was told to stop busking by Brighton Lanes security has become an internet hit after uploading a video of the altercation.
Elliott Locke, known as Elijah MC, was busking in The Lanes yesterday when two private security officers told him to leave the area as he had no busking licence.
In the four minute YouTube video, which has had over 300 hits in 24 hours, the dreadlocked musician asks what law the officers are enforcing.
He said: “I asked them if they were ordering me or if it was a request. Next I made it clear that the nature of a request means I have the option to decline. I was shocked when the lady officer told me that I couldn't.”
The officers then consulted their supervisor over radio, where they returned again to ask Elliott to leave.
“As I had done nothing wrong I went through the process to establish and exercise my rights as a human being. I then reminded them that I’d broken no law and was doing nothing wrong,” he said.
The situation escalated as the security officers threatened to call the police, telling Elliott that he would have his guitar confiscated. Elliot told the officers that calling the police was unnecessary, as he had broken no laws.
He said: “I was a little nervous about the police officer arriving as you never know what you’re going to get.”
Once a police officer arrived, Elliott was told that he was free to busk and wouldn’t have to move on. However, he was asked to keep the volume at a respectable level.
“I've never had any dealings with the Brighton police but this experience made me feel very good about their service,” said Elliott.
The Brighton and Hove City Council website says the Council is "happy to have buskers because they liven up the streets". However, local bylaws mean buskers can be asked to stop on request if the council or police receive a complaint.
Elliott believes his interest in law helped him understand his rights when busking in Brighton.
He said: “I've been studying law for a while now and thought it high time someone stood up to these bullies.”
The security company were unavailable for comment.