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Russia? Latin American Banana Republic?

The following photos are re-presented with permission from Andrew Goff, who has posted them at the North Coast Journal blog.  The woman is named at the blog as Patricia Kanzler and, unfortunately, her sign was a threat to your health and safety.  The authorities have protected you from Patricia.

[3 PM update: The following is from email received from Patricia Kanzler in response to a query.]

 …it was not a showboat thing.  I felt we needed someone who was nonviolent (and did not address the cops as “fuckers”) who would not just talk about something but do something; I like to think I brought it out in the open.  And if they DO charge me, Humboldt County will be known as the county that revoked our civil rights. I am ready to go to court. What did Thoreau say?  Something about we are better off in jail than having our rights destroyed?



  1. March 29, 2012 at 10:39 am

    What does it say about all those people just standing around looking?

  2. Mitch
    March 29, 2012 at 10:45 am

    I hope people understand that the Sheriff’s deputies are doing their job. While I don’t find them particularly admirable, they are not the reason this is happening.

    The people responsible are Virginia Bass, Clif Clendenen, Jimmy Smith, and Ryan Sundberg.

  3. Carla Baku
    March 29, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Oh. Now that a small, elder-woman has hung a sign of protest on the slapdash fence, NOW the sherrif is spurred into action. Yes, I can see what an egregious threat those signs are. Thankfully, we have four county supervisors to protect our health and safety this way. I know I feel a LOT safer now.

  4. March 29, 2012 at 10:49 am

    What would you have them do Joe? Fight the cops? Throw stuff? Cry?

  5. March 29, 2012 at 10:50 am

    “The people responsible are Virginia Bass, Clif Clendenen, Jimmy Smith, and Ryan Sundberg.”

    Well guys time to vote out the vermin.

  6. Mitch
    March 29, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Oh, Mark… Don’t you understand?

    The ordinance will get them more votes.

    Liberty has nothing to do with majority rule, or it wouldn’t exist. Liberty is inherent in the individual, and the American Constitution exists to control the government and protect our liberty.

    The right wingers who think they are patriots are wrong, but I doubt common sense will have any impact on them.

  7. March 29, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Thank god they’ve saved that precious lawn.

  8. March 29, 2012 at 11:11 am

    What “I want” people to do, assuming that “I want” anyone to do something, is irrelevant. The fact is the general citizenry (public) ARE crying just like a bunch of poor-me babies. This is exactly what everyone wanted – Humboldt County’s finest “tough cops” with nothing better to do. At least they didn’t punch her in the face and body-slam her into the cement and then charge her with resisting.

  9. Mitch
    March 29, 2012 at 11:15 am


    They can’t do that when Andrew Goff is there with a camera. The T-S might cover it if they seized Andrew’s camera, though they probably wouldn’t have mentioned why Andrew was conducting photography. Maybe they’d speculate it was to show how well the fence was protecting the courthouse lawn.

  10. worm farm
    March 29, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Ya know the action was at least three blocks from the Times-Standard building and the clouds did look a little threatening. Journalists don’t get no respect no more.

    Was the NCJ the only media there?

  11. Pedestrian
    March 29, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Wonderful news. One problem solved, one more to go. Now we need an ordinance that stops people from blocking the sidewalk and creating a traffic/public safety hazard.

  12. Mitch
    March 29, 2012 at 11:28 am


    You’re absolutely right. If anyone had wanted to get into the Courthouse by scaling the chain link fence around the lawn, walking across the lawn, and scaling the fence on the other side, Patricia would have been blocking them.

    As I said, the authorities have protected us from her. She was also carrying a truly dangerous message. I think it had an American flag and “Freedom of Speech?” written underneath. That question mark is awfully challenging to the authorities.

    The only good news I can see from this is that the poor female deputy who had to make the arrest looked absolutely miserable to be doing it. The deputies have to enforce the laws that the Board of Supervisors passes, at least until the courts have an opportunity to intervene. We should be grateful that they do.

  13. March 29, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Thank you, Mitch. You nailed that one.

    Another thought: You said: “I hope people understand that the Sheriff’s deputies are doing their job.” I hope you understand to, Mitch, that “just doing their job” or “dutifully following orders” was the defense used in the Nuremberg Trials. They hung just the same.

    Harpham and Downey already demonstrated that they enforce or not, “law” as they selectively interpret it to promote and justify “their” agendas or “jobs.” In this case, going after the Occupy Movement people, they got the cover they needed. What’s next?

  14. Bolithio
    March 29, 2012 at 11:31 am

    What does it say about all those people just standing around looking?

    What ever it does say; you need to accept their right to existence before you can understand.

  15. Harold Knight
    March 29, 2012 at 11:33 am

    There is no honor in representatives and police ignoring their oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution.

    When the other half of America decides to vote, maybe this long, sad legacy will begin to change.

  16. Mitch
    March 29, 2012 at 11:35 am

    You’re welcome, Joe. The thing about the officers is difficult, and I’m not sure that the Nuremberg trials are the most appropriate thing to bring up.

    Of course, if the deputies had been leading Patricia off to her death, or to a secret prison camp, the deputies would be as responsible for her death or detention as the authorities.

    But, as far as I know, they were not doing that. And, since I complain bitterly when the police refuse to enforce the law, I can’t very well complain when I see them enforcing the law that the Board of Supervisors, our governing body, just passed. The law will be examined in the courts, I hope, and I hope that if a court calls for the arrest of the BoS on charges of contempt, the officers would enforce that call as well, as that is their job.

  17. Mitch
    March 29, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Of course, although the arrest fell to the Sheriff’s deputies, it would show some responsibility if the Board members who passed this ordinance would assist the deputies in the arrest, or perhaps make the arrest on their own, as a citizens’ arrest.

    THEY are the ones who have said Patricia had no right to attach the sign to the fence, because she is an urgent health and safety hazard. They should help clean her out.

  18. March 29, 2012 at 11:58 am

    “What ever it does say; you need to accept their right to existence before you can understand.” That is exactly what the Board of Supervisors just codified into law regarding the legal rights of American citizens to freely SPEAK to their so-called representatives.

    That’s the whole problem, isn’t it? I GOT TO RECOGNIZE YOU FIRST BEFORE YOU UNDERSTAND. The perfect definition of an elitist attitude. Nice to see that the real issue being aired out for everyone to see. Mitch has it 100% right.

  19. High Finance
    March 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Should people be allowed to post any protest signs on any publicly owned property anytime ?

    Does this protestor think she is changing anybody’s mind to her way of thinking ?

    Whatever the message was by the original confused OWS protestors, the rabble of mentally ill and addicts left are costing you guys support.

  20. Mitch
    March 29, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Comrade HiFi,

    That’s not the question here.

    The question is “does a citizen have a right to hang a banner on the fencing outside the courthouse, and stand next to it?” At 10 AM. Not blocking anyone. Presumably not while defecating.

    The answer is yes.

    There’s the related question, “has the Board of Supervisors voted to make that illegal?” The answer to that is yes, as well.

    That is why I hope the courts become involved, and soon.

  21. What Now
    March 29, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Mitch ABSOLUTELY nailed the issue on
    March 29, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Great post, Mitch!

  22. Anonymous
    March 29, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    She insisted on being arrested and was arrested. Was that not the whole point? She got her way and got her picture in the paper. The 15 minutes of fame. She wins.

    [See 3PM update at the top. –Mitch]

  23. Mitch
    March 29, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Anonymous 12:27,

    Patricia acted on behalf of all of us, including me, who’s too chickenshit to get arrested, and you, who doesn’t appear to have any appreciation for the fragility and importance of what Patricia is protecting.

    We all owe her a debt of thanks. According to the Sheriff’s press release, she has been released on her own recognizance. (It’s a bit confusing, as the release also mentions $5,000 of bail.)

  24. March 29, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    “does a citizen have a right to hang a banner on the fencing outside the courthouse, and stand next to it?”.

    No a citizen doesn’t, assuming the owners of the property have said NO. That’s no different than me going to your house and sticking some sort of sign on your fence or in your front yard. I don’t have that right without permission.

    Of course, I could walk up and down the sidewalk in front of your house holding my sign, just as she can legally do in front of the courthouse. That’s legal to do now just as it always has been.

    The courthouse, and any other property related to it, is county property and not meant to be a public bulletin board.

  25. Mitch
    March 29, 2012 at 12:37 pm


    Since we disagree about this, I guess we’ll both have to wait to see what the court system has to say.

    To be precise, I am in no doubt that a citizen does have the right described. But I do wonder whether that right continues to be recognized by the controlling courts. Who knows, if it were up to people like Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, the courts might not come to her (our) defense. I hope we’ve all begun at least thinking about what that might mean.

  26. March 29, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    That’s county property and there are limits to the use of county property, as set forth by the citizen’s representatives: The Board of Supervisors and those under their employ.

    The courthouse and any related attachments are not meant to be a public bulletin board. Local authorities indulged the OWS folks and other riff- raff for at least a month, if not longer, before they decided enough was enough.

    Again: It’s a shame for some that they can’t use the courthouse for their street theater. I don’t know that anybody would argue they shouldn’t be able to picket on the sidewalks, write a letter to the editor, go on a radio show to voice unpopular opinion, or whatever.

    Nobody is going to be arrested for voicing or otherwise demonstrating their opinion so long as they do it in a manner consistent with the decorum most people expect applies to the courthouse and other county property.

  27. Mitch
    March 29, 2012 at 12:57 pm


    The fence is there to keep people off the lawn, the traditional site of public protest in the county. The lawn is the lawn of the building that houses the County government. Courts have held that the place where protest can least be questioned is in front of government buildings.

    Hanging a sign on that fence is a completely appropriate example of freedom of speech, doubly so because the fence is there to illegally prevent protesters from accessing the lawn. The fence is, indeed, owned by the County. That does not give government the right to prevent people from using it for free expression, as long as they do not damage it or prevent it from serving its purported public purpose. Patricia and her sign did not interfere with anyone or anything. The County authorities have no business even addressing her, let alone arresting her.

    I won’t be replying to you any longer, but thank you for your comments.

  28. next on the agenda
    March 29, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Humboldt County needs a Stand Your Ground ordinance like the one in Florida and 20 other states. Feeling threatened by a person holding a sign and chanting slogans? Get out your gun and shoot him/her dead.

    March on, Supes. Get it done. Finish the job.

  29. High Finance
    March 29, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    This same issue has been bantered back & forth in various forms.

    You are simply wrong. If there are no rules to govern the hanging of signs on public property chaos will be the result. There would be posters & banners and all of our public buildings would end up trashy eyesores. No rules could mean one person could hang 100 trashy signs. No rules mean profanity, racist slogans and dirty pictures.

    The owner of the building is not that self centered Patricia nor you Mitch, it is ALL of us. The elected representatives of ALL of us, the Board of Supervisors, have made rules that Patricia deliberatly violated.

  30. Mitch
    March 29, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    I won’t be replying to you anymore, either, HiFi, but thanks for your comments.

  31. March 29, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    If there are no rules to govern the hanging of signs on public property chaos will be the result.

    I don’t know anybody that wants the courthouse looking like a telephone pole with all the old signs and staples stuck to it.

    And, in case anyone wasn’t aware, you’re not supposed to tack signs on telephone poles, either.

  32. Brad
    March 29, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Well just remember this event when the Supes decide to cut the police/sheriff budget and the police union cries “UNFAIR!”

  33. faux news
    March 29, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Geez Fred,

    When they drag your mangy ass off to a FEMA camp and you know they will, they will probably take you before they take me, anyway don’t despair they will need some Kapos and you are wonderfully suited for the job.

  34. Matt
    March 29, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    That sheriff lady is pretty cute.

  35. March 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    By the way, Mitch, I deliberately used the Nuremberg Trials to demonstrate the gravity or seriousness because the principle is the same. We all know what kind of policing comes with a banana republic. Apparently, that’s what everyone wants because that’s exactly what they demonstrate across this country, not just here in Humboldt County. But then, what does the 99% have to say about anything?

  36. Mitch
    March 29, 2012 at 2:08 pm


    I think I at least have some idea of where you are coming from and you are right, the principle is the same.

    But people will not be able to hear you under some circumstances, they will just skip to the difference in magnitudes (or their perception of the difference in magnitudes) between what happened here and what led up to the Nuremberg trials, whether that difference is relevant or not.

  37. Somewhat friendly
    March 29, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Children – play nice.

  38. March 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Benjamin Franklin saidThey that can give up essential liberty to
    obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety”
    At the declaration of Independence signing he said ” we must all hang together or.assuredly,we shall all hang separately'”

  39. Harold Knight
    March 29, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    “There would be posters & banners and all of our public buildings would end up trashy eyesores.” (Highly Stupid, 1:03).

    Chicken, Little, Sky…

  40. High Finance
    March 29, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Benjamin Franklin never thought of the nonsense going on today.

    You & Mitch would allow “protestors” to hang signs from the Liberty Bell.

  41. ladder, rung, slip
    March 29, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Yeah you and Mitch would allow “protestors” to throw tea into the harbor!

  42. March 29, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    This is Fascism, plain and simple.

    Imposing the will of the majority on a minority is called “tyranny of the majority” and it was one of the greatest fears of the founding fathers.

    Being offended by someones free speech does not give ANYONE the right to silence it.

  43. March 29, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    “Should people be allowed to post any protest signs on any publicly owned property anytime?”

    HiFi asks a fair question, but as long as that goddamned butt-ugly chain-link fence is up (to protect the lawn!), I don’t see why people shouldn’t decorate it with political messages.

  44. Dwayne
    March 29, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Let’s see if i can piss off Mitch and Hi Fri. While i agree with much of the OWS message, i’ve been discourages by our local “activists”. The occupy our local government buildings have done more harm than good. I would prefer to see them occupying the real tools of Wall Street, which is the corporate banks and not our local government. Of course that does not excuse what the BOS ruled. Please vacate the court house and occupy the real power structure, the corporate banks!

  45. HUUFC
    March 29, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Good one Fred.

  46. RefFan
    March 29, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Thanks for saying that Dwayne! That was being said when PALCO was under the gun for clear cutting while Maxam was in control. Going to the source is the best way to right the wrongs.

    Holding a sign and protesting is not disruptive enuf for the libs so littering public bldgs, surrounding areas and trashing the city is the only way their thought process allows them to react.

  47. Mitch
    March 29, 2012 at 6:34 pm


    You think criticism of Occupy Eureka will “piss me off?” You’ve got to be kidding, right?

  48. March 29, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    As to illegal signs, our fabulous Humboldt Bay is besmirched by very large, ugly and intrusive signs. Many are squatting on public land and not paying a cent for this ‘privilege’. I see them every day coming and going along the stretch from Arcata to Eureka, as do many tourists and visitors. And? They remain! Where is the law enforcement folks doing their job? At the pubic court house fussing with a bunch of citizens exercising their rights under the Constitution.
    Are priorities are way out of whack. Humboldt has become a quasi mess of inconsistent policies and practices. Very sad and unnecessary situation.

  49. Harold Knight
    March 29, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    “Humbilly” points out another excellent example of selective enforcement….the advertizing along our scenic highway, the outrageous blight allowed to persist behind the Eureka Inn for 14 years, telephone poles stapled with trash, city allies and bay-side trails used as public toilets, occupied by growing numbers of PTSD homeless in a town with no shame.

    It’s been perfectly legal for a generation to fill our cities with poverty-wage jobs, the remote subdivisions these workers will never afford, beyond infrastructure and social service capacity to the point of record road fatalities, record poverty, record crime, millions of gallons of raw sewage discharged into neighborhood wetlands and Humboldt Bay, and near-bankrupt municipal budgets.

    If the perpetrators of Humboldt County’s REAL emergencies were not the largest contributors to our elected representatives, the lap-dogs downtown might get their priorities straight.

    They’ve subverting the constitutional rights of the discarded folks in our to compel them back into the bushes.

    Now it’s back to business as usual….or is it?

  50. 69er
    March 29, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Harold Knight says:

    March 29, 2012 at 4:48 pm Highly stupid 4:48

  51. RefFan
    March 29, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Harold, thats called advertising and theyve been there since I was born. Go on to another complaint. This ones not workin for ya!

  52. 69er
    March 29, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    I applaud the Board of Supervisors for taking this action after putting up with it as long as they did. I further applaud the SO for enforcing the law as they did. And I will also applaud the EPD if and when they are forced to take action due to the disruption continuing in front of our court house.

  53. Anonymous
    March 29, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    We have been a nation of laws since 1776, we have lived under the Constitution of the United States, and we have had a very important Bill of Rights, that almost all American citizens agree with… What makes my pucker strings tighten is that we would now all of a sudden need an “Urgency Ordinance”. There is a law that covers ANY situation. If there isn’t already a law that applys, there is probably a reason.

    I personally feel that the freedom of speech and assembly has been violated by the “Urgencey Ordinace”.

    I don’t blame the law officers that were charged with enforcing this foolish ordinance. I don’t know how they feel about it and I’m not sure that I want to know. The law officers have always done their job for me and have come to my assistance when needed many times. I fault the Supervisors for getting talked into violating peoples right to assembly and free speach. I don’t always agree with Mark Lovelace, but he has displayed some great wisdom lately. (He voted against the Ordinance)

    I would be the first to agree that not all the protesters are as nifty as I would like to see. I would hope that they would all dress up in suits and ties, but I will concede that maybe they can’t aford them. Some probably don’t have jobs.

    If I didn’t live so for away, and if it wasn’t raining so darn hard, I would be willing to do a candlelight vigil around the courthouse from 9:30 PM until daylight for the first amendment. I don’t know Patricia Kanzler, but I thank and admire her for her willingness to do the right thing.

  54. Anonymous
    March 29, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    This stuff makes me chuckle. We really struck a blow for freedom today with this contrived arrest. I think the people of Syria have risked a bit more. They just want to live without fear of death and we fight to trash our common areas.

  55. Harold Knight
    March 29, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    No other legal activity at the courthouse has been “disrupted”!

    This is a fundamental prerequisite required by Supreme Court rulings to necessitate abridging ANYONE’S Constitutional right to protest.

    I wonder how long you would be “applauding” if your house was being robbed and your family assaulted while 35 law enforcement officers were at the courthouse making sure signs aren’t being hung on their pretty fence, or while the homeless are being systematically rustled from their tents at night?

    Apparently, It is a price that fools gladly pay to subvert the Constitution for the expediency of esthetics.

  56. What Now
    March 29, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    High Finance says:
    March 29, 2012 at 5:03 pm
    “Benjamin Franklin never thought of the nonsense going on today.

    “You & Mitch would allow “protestors” to hang signs from the Liberty Bell.”

    Clairvoyany and time traveller, Highly Fried bloviates more bullshit.

    Fried and his fellow inebriates would be happy to lease space on the Liberty Bell for subsidized corporate advertising.

  57. 713
    March 30, 2012 at 6:44 am

    I am glad they are going to clean it up. Free speech is not absolute, they shouldn’t be hanging any political or religious items on public property. What a waste of time and energy. What has the occupy accomplished? A big, intimidating mess in front of the courthouse. Good riddance.

  58. Mitch
    March 30, 2012 at 7:10 am


    I’m sad that you, too, have swallowed the big lie. Law enforcement has always had every necessary tool to deal with the legitimate nuisance at the courthouse.

    Thanks to the short-sightedness of the Board of Supervisors, a 59 year old woman can now be arrested for standing in front of the courthouse, bothering or blocking no one, and hanging a protest sign on the fence behind her, not interfering with the fence or any message already on it. A fence, to be clear, that exists only to prevent her from standing with her sign on the lawn.

    When that sort of thing happens, it’s bad news in any number of ways. And not just bad news for the current crop of protesters — bad news for you, too.

    I’d had the impression you weren’t just another RefFan or HiFi, but you just have a better command of language.

  59. Mitch
    March 30, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Here is a small excerpt from the supreme court case Ward v Rock against Racism. This 1989 six to three decision recognizes and insists upon time place and manner restrictions, and yet it clearly does not support the Board’s ordinance. Read the bolded material.

    The requirement of narrow tailoring is satisfied so long as the regulation promotes a substantial governmental interest that would be achieved less effectively absent the regulation, and the means chosen are not substantially broader than necessary to achieve that interest.

    …To be sure, this standard does not mean that a time, place, or manner regulation may burden substantially more speech than is necessary to further the government’s legitimate interests. Government may not regulate expression in such a manner that a substantial portion of the burden on speech does not serve to advance its goals.

    The Board of Supervisors is now going to get to explain to a judge why their ordinance is not “substantially broader than necessary,” when it’s clear that it has already prevented a single peaceful woman with a single sign, blocking no path and creating no nuisance, from expressing her opinions with the aid of a banner doing no harm, in front of the main government building in the main city of the County.

    Once they’ve explained that, they can explain why they snuck this past as an urgency ordinance, bypassing the normal review period.


  60. High Finance
    March 30, 2012 at 7:55 am

    Keep your day job Mitch, you’re no attorney.

  61. just middle class
    March 30, 2012 at 7:56 am

    The way to answer your question is not to try it here on the HH, but to sue the County yourself. You will have all of your questions answered then.

  62. Mitch
    March 30, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Usually, people respond to arguments by presenting the flaws in the argument, or by offering alternative interpretations of any facts in the argument that they don’t challenge.

    On blogs, here and elsewhere, the more typical approach is to offer masked insults — “you’re no attorney” — or challenges — “sue the County yourself”. OK, if I have to.

    I don’t need to sue the County. I’m sure others are working on the lawsuit even as you type.

  63. 713
    March 30, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Rules are made all the time to deal with problems. Sometimes there are redundancies. Are you in favor of the laws regarding hate crimes?

    There was a problem at the courthouse with the mess they were making in the grass, therefore they put the fence up. Signs were placed all over the fence, this is totally inappropriate for public property. It is equally offensive to me to see a “jesus saves” sign and “occupy wall st” if it is on public property. Stand there all you want and hold a sign, but don’t stay there all night. I think you guys are making a bigger deal of this than it really is. In a time when we have “Holiday Pageants” rather than “Christmas Pageants” in our public schools so we do not offend certain religions, it is interesting to me that you choose the fight for rights of people shitting in the public’s yard and writing “fuck the sheriff”.

  64. Mitch
    March 30, 2012 at 8:32 am

    “it is interesting to me that you choose the fight for rights of people shitting in the public’s yard and writing ‘fuck the sheriff’.”

    As you probably know, 713, civil rights generally need to be defended for the most unpalatable in order that the rights of all are not carved away by taking advantage of the public’s disgust with the people in question.

    Yes, I think it’s CRITICAL to fight for the rights of people to protest.

    Those rights do not include the right to shit in the public’s yard — anyone who does so should be arrested. As for writing “fuck the sheriff,” I’m honestly not sure whether that is sufficient for a legal arrest in America — I don’t think it is, and I don’t think it should be.

    The Sheriff gets paid to take that verbal abuse. If people think they’re helping their cause by being abusive, they’re wrong, but being wrong is not the same thing as breaking the law.

  65. ladder, rung, slip
    March 30, 2012 at 8:39 am

    The majority of people passing by the Occupy who react to it are positive. They honk their horns and wave in support. There are a few who are opposed. They flip the finger and yell out “fuck you get a job.”

    If saying “fuck the sheriff” is worthy of arrest then “fuck you get a job” should be worthy of arrest also.

    But these are incivilities. Peace officers with real training are trained to simply ignore these kinds of taunts. They are professionals and it is part of the job.

  66. 713
    March 30, 2012 at 8:40 am

    So it’s cool if I post 10′ “Jesus is our savior” and “abortion kills” banners on the fences at all the local public schools?

  67. Mitch
    March 30, 2012 at 8:42 am


    I grew up in a neighborhood that probably had nearly equal numbers of Jews and Christians. Now, I suspect that neighborhood probably has more Muslims and Hindus than Jews or Christians.

    Would you be happy to have your tax dollars used for a “Shiva’s Birthday Pageant?” How’s about a “Mohammed the Prophet of Allah Day” Pageant? Should the schools be closed on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year?

    Or is it OK for the schools to honor Christmas but not Yom Kippur because it’s a Christian nation? If Christmas is secular, why are you concerned that the pageant is named “Holiday Pageant.” Incidentally, it still means holy day — that’s why schools will call them “Winter Pageants”.

  68. Mitch
    March 30, 2012 at 8:42 am


    No, not at the public schools. Yes, fine at the Courthouse. I’m sure you can see the difference.

  69. Mitch
    March 30, 2012 at 8:43 am

    (Actually, I’m not sure about the public schools. You might still be within your rights as long as you remain present by the banners.)

  70. Anonymous
    March 30, 2012 at 8:45 am

    If she were to put flowers in the fence would she be arrested? When someone puts a cross on a telephone pole where a loved one has a car accident should that person be arrested? If you are going to choose which laws to enforce (some of the time) and when to enforce them (some of the time) this becomes about power and control, incrementally take more power and control away from the people. This has happened before can you say Germany 1930’s.
    Where are my jackboots when I need them.
    Remove all incumbents, our forefathers expected people to serve not to make a career and retirement off of the service.

  71. So Tomayor
    March 30, 2012 at 9:02 am

    A picture of Pat Kanzler being arrested for flying Old Glory……free

    A picture of Merle Harpham tearing down a Baby Jesus poster……priceless

  72. 713
    March 30, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Well mitch,
    I don’t think it’s appropriate to put any political or religious message on any government facility. I don’t see any difference if the building is owned by the public. I don’t really care about the school issue, I am agnostic, I was just pointing out that people are restricted in their activities and beliefs every day and nobody says anything. If you have a class of 100% Christians, they still can’t have a Christmas party at a public school.

    but we’re going to argue that “fuck the sheriff” is protected at a public facility. I hope nothing like that was on the steps when the class went through there to watch the meeting.

    Comparing this to Nazi Germany is totally ridiculous.

  73. Strom
    March 30, 2012 at 9:18 am

    The occupiers should keep a little stack of Baby Jesus posters on hand just for when the popo shows up.

    Pictures of cops tearing down Baby Jesus posters will make the religious folks in Mississippi and Alabama nuts. Well even more nuts than they are already.

  74. Anonymous
    March 30, 2012 at 9:49 am

    So we won’t be seeing any more of those “thermometers” on the Courthouse lawn demonstrating how much money was raised for charity?

  75. Mitch
    March 30, 2012 at 9:52 am


    You are correct — the government should not put any political or religious message on government property.

    The citizens, acting in their role as citizens, have every right to do so, as long as it does not interfere with others. The government must not endorse or censor any such views.

  76. Strom
    March 30, 2012 at 10:03 am

    The Occupiers should get a few of those creepy crappy “Breitbart is here” posters too.

    Get some pix of the popo tearing down Brietbart posters in Eureka and the paranoid right will double their steroid intake.

    Yes they are coming for you.

  77. What Now
    March 30, 2012 at 10:42 am

    The idea of posting religious scripture in government buildings is not only absurdly offensive but worthy of a separate pathological classification under “cognitive dissonance”.
    I can well imagine having the 10 commandments enshrined in a courthouse full of judges, attorneys, and cops would almost certainly open up the place to lawsuits for creating a hostile work environment.

  78. March 30, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    The citizens, acting in their role as citizens, have every right to do so,….

    No, they don’t. No more than you have a right to put signs up in my front yard or on the side of my house without my permission.

    What’s allowed on government buildings is decided by the governing board in charge of those buildings. Signs on school property come under the purview of either the school superintendent or, more likely, that district’s school board.

  79. Public Service
    March 30, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Fred is from the fascist wing of the Libertarian Party, for all of you who are sensitive to political disorientation or corporatist vertigo.

  80. OUTLAW1
    March 30, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    im still trying to figure out what was so wrong with the sign that the cops had to arrest her. can somebody explain please. im confused to me it was wrong

  81. tra
    March 30, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    I do agree that just because something is a government building doesn’t mean anyone hang signs from it anytime they want. However, it’s also true that the county courthouse, as the seat of government in Humboldt County, is the type of location to which the courts assign the highest level of protection for political speech. Which is why hanging banners from the railing of the courthouse steps, leaning signs against things, having tables with literature and so on, all have been commonplace during plenty of past protests.

    The argument the protesters are making about the fence is an interesting one — that since they have been fenced out of a venue where protesters are usually able to gather and express their political speech, then until that barrier is removed, the fence itself should be considered an appropriate venue for free speech.

    Personally I think people holding signs make a much better impression than signs hung from or propped up on anything. Holding the signs shows greater commitment, and that there is a specific person taking responsibility for the message on that sign.

    But I understand why the fence has become symbolic, and why the protesters have chosen to assert a right to use to express their messages.

    Given that the grass on the courthous lawn has long since recovered, I’m not sure why the fence is still up anyway, other than maybe the “benefit” of crowding the protesters (and others gathered by the courthouse) over by the steps, where their proximity to the entrance of the courthouse could be used to create pressure for further restrictions on access to the courthouse grounds?

    They’ve got their shiny new emergency law, including a 9:30 curfew, a more clearly defined ban on camping, bans on tablng, any kind of shelters or canopies, food preparation, food sharing, storing personal property, and so on, so why wouldn’t they now remove the fence?

    If the idea is that the fence is going to be kept up until the “Occupy” protest is over (and only then will it be taken down and the right to access that area for protest be restored) that would very cleary violate the requirement that any restrictions on freedom of speech and freedom of assembly be strictly content-neutral.

  82. OUTLAW1
    March 30, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    sounds like strongarming by the law to me. they are forcing protesters to break the law by hearding them into restricted areas. this is intrapment

  83. 713
    March 30, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    We don’t have the right to put stuff on government property. Go put a sign in a caltrans right of way. Stick something on the sewer plant in Eureka. They will take it down, it is not protected. I agree the front of the courthouse is an area that should be open for assembly, but the occupiers completely fucked that place up. All the board did was clarify things and hopefully clean up that mess.

    If they want to do a big deal, then close the road and have a big-ass party or whatever. But get a permit and go through the planning and public works departments like the rest of us have to do when we plan events. That’s part of what those departments are for, to make sure “events” like the occupiers hanging out for months on end don’t create problems for the rest of us.

    What message are they being prevented from delivering if they only can do it during the day? Why do they want to protest at night when nobody is there in the first place? It appears to me they are only interested in doing this stuff because somebody told them they can’t. You guys are so caught up in the fight it looks like you forgot what you were fighting about. This was about wall street greed, wasn’t it? Last time I went by there somebody was trying to sell weed to people passing by. Good message.

  84. OUTLAW1
    March 30, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    went by there today seen protesters and a guy pissing by the fence. nice image for my kids to see.

  85. March 30, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    went by there today seen protesters and a guy pissing by the fence. nice image for my kids to see.

    That’s the sort of thing that caused the BOS to pass an ordinance to clear the courthouse property.

    If this protest had gone on for just the first month or two, I think the townspeople would have just shrugged it off in the spirit of “free speech”. But it didn’t, and got worse. That’s why we are where we are.

    You guys are so caught up in the fight it looks like you forgot what you were fighting about..

    Well put, and it certainly seems that way. This started out about one thing, then it devolved into a convoluted “free speech” issue, now it’s gotten to the point where protest defenders are fighting over a “right” to put signs on a county owned fence.

    What was this supposed to be all about? The original intent has long been forgotten.

  86. OUTLAW1
    March 30, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    i agree they need to stop. driving by and seeing a guy pissing right on the fence made my mind up.

  87. Mitch
    March 30, 2012 at 8:58 pm


    I guess I’m done arguing on the blog for a while.

    OE may be worthwhile or it may be a joke or perhaps it’s a bit of both. But the Board of Supervisors changed the issue when they non-responded to a public nuisance by restricting people’s traditional right to protest in front of the court house. In my opinion, they were exceeding their authority. In your opinion, they were not.

    We may need to find out what the courts have to say.

  88. OUTLAW1
    March 30, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    me to im done i believe that the city is wrong for restricting protesting to bankers hours but its also wrong to publicly uranate in front of children and others to. it might of been a good thing in the begining but is now a problem.

  89. tra
    March 30, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Public urination was already against the law, as were most of the other things that were actual problems. But they wanted to pass a new law, and so they did, and I guess now we’ll see what happens next.

  90. March 30, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Hi, my name is “moviedad” and I’m a recovering Sign-maker. It’s been two weeks since I’ve lettered a sign. But I know it’s just a matter of time before I letter again.
    I agree with the idea that Signs have become pollution. I blame the influence of Computer Graphics. Now everyone’s a sign-maker or a t-shirt shop. Used to be you had to know what you were doing. The end product was art. People are running around the country trying to buy that old art. But now, signs are filled with legal notice, paragraphs of information, meant to be read while driving 70mph. And the trucks! Don’t bet me started on the mobile billboards. Our society is polluted with signs that have no business being there.
    So sad that the only “Free-Speech” that is ever done on all those billboards, is “Buy This!”

  91. OUTLAW1
    March 30, 2012 at 10:54 pm


  92. March 30, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    You know, on the whole: “F*^% the Sheriff” thing… the real problem with profanity written is that it “profanes” the environment. And it’s hypocrisy of the highest order. If the guy who wrote the offending sign was suddenly accosted by some big drunken brute, he’d be screaming for the sheriffs to come out an help him.

  93. OUTLAW1
    March 30, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    lol thats the truth

  94. Harold Knight
    March 31, 2012 at 12:30 am

    Maybe we SHOULD be “occupying” our public schools.

    After 200+ years, most of the U.S. population can read and write, yet, with no clue that EVERY citizen has the right to protest without arbitrary restrictions, as long as they are not interfering with the legal activities of others.

  95. Mark Twain
    March 31, 2012 at 12:32 am

    God granted man with 3 unspeakably precious gifts, the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, and the prudence to use neither.

  96. Anonymous
    March 31, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Police are responding to what they are told to do . Sure, the poor elderly lady had a right to do what she did, in my opinion . ( the Police lady is kinda cute ) .On another issue when it comes to the Police or even Federal agents arresting cannabis users they should do what they did in, Libya and in, Syria……..join the opposition & fight against the prohibitionists who are destroying lives, killing our freedom and utimately stop those responsible for genocide throughout the World .

  97. Anonymous
    April 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    I won the California Lottery and I’m collecting 6.7 million next week in, Sacramento . The first 10 bloggers who post after mine providing they provide their contact information will get $150,000 each as my payback for all the good people have done for me in the last 4 years .
    Apil fools .

  98. Anonymous
    April 2, 2012 at 11:06 am

    After all the crackdowns on medical or otherwise marijuana and for fear of being jailed or killed by the government i changed my mind . Federal agents and the Police are doing a good job and must keep up the fight against this deadly drug known as cannabis .

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