Amanda Palmer Arrested in Amsterdam

Singer/songwriter/performance artist Amanda Palmer has, in the past few years, made a habit of performing what she calls “ninja gigs,” basically, free shows at a public location announced on Twitter the day of the performance. One of Amanda’s previous jobs was busking as a living statue in Boston, so public performance of this sort is very near and dear to her. The ninja gigs are a great way for her to get to interact with her fans.

Well, generally.

Palmer was performing a ninja gig in Dam Square, Amsterdam. Apparently, at the same time, some sort of function was going on nearby…involving the Dutch Royal Family. Figuring that the square was large enough for everyone, Palmer went on with the gig, tweeting out: “on my way. everybody avoid the cops and the royal families and head towards the monument.”

Which worled…until the police showed up and warned her that she couldn’t perform there. Then, apparently, before she could clear out and move the show, several more officers showed up and she was arrested.

Her husband, author Neil Gaiman, shared the following footage taken by a fan in the crowd during the arrest.

Amanda was released and fined, but was forced to cancel her Amsterdam gig. Her fans, however, would not be discouraged. Amanda said “a bunch of fans held vigil outside the station and we all came to a salsa night to celebrate my freedom. my life is weird.”

What do you guys think of this? Should the police have arrested her? Should Amanda have moved the performance when she found out about the function, or was she right in thinking that public space is PUBLIC space? Does stuff like this discourage public art?