To the Bastille! National Homeless Independence Day will be celebrated in Cleveland next Tuesday with a march on The Plain Dealer, wherein arch right-wing columnist Beth Barber recently whined about homeless people ³violating the community&supl;s right to minimally hygienic sidewalks.² Unlike Marie Antoinette, the distraught daily will be ready. Brian Davis, executive director of the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, recently got a call from a nervous PD security honcho. ³He wanted to know what our purpose was, if we planned to storm the building like Native American supporters did during an earlier protest,² relates Davis. ³I told him, ¨You have the most secure building in the city. It would take the National Guard to get in.&supl;²
It&supl;s a gang tackle, now that the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in Washington, D.C., is supporting Hicham El-Mashtoub, the offensive lineman suing the Browns. El-Mashtoub filed a discrimination suit after he was cut, alleging his dismissal was due to ethnic prejudice, evident in fellow players and other Browns employees calling him ³Sheik,² ³Bin-Laden,² ³Camel Jockey,² and worse. ³He had very well-documented high evaluations from his coach. Then all of a sudden, amid this barrage of ethnic harassment, he&supl;s suddenly singled out and dismissed without explanation,² charges Committee Communications Director Hussein Ibish. ³We wouldn&supl;t have expressed this level of interest if we didn&supl;t feel he had a very strong case.² If the case is that strong, maybe El-Mashtoub should get a new lawyer. He&supl;s suing for a grand total of $25,000.
School&supl;s in at Second City, which opens two sessions of acting classes in Cleveland next weekboth already sold out. The Chicago-based comedy troupe won&supl;t debut here until next spring, in a space at 811 Prospect, originally designed to house a Hilarities comedy club. But we&supl;re already laughing, according to Second City Executive Producer Kelly Leonard. ³Cleveland&supl;s a great market for us,² he says. ³Our web site&supl;s Cleveland link receives more hits than any other city.² Comedic wannabes will have a chance this fall to try out for the resident company, slated to include six actors and a music and stage director. As for material, Leonard says Cleveland sports and politics are ³fertile ground² for satiric sketches and improv routines. Tell us about it.
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