They Are Going to Drop My Charges?

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Mike Mulligan

Brattleboro, VT

#1 Dec 6, 2013
Sentinel Editorial

Sometimes, you need to allow a little repugnant behavior

Posted: Friday, December 6, 2013 12:00 pm

So, as it turns out, some degree of public bullying is allowable under the U.S. Constitution.

That’s what many may take away from this week’s dismissal of a case against the self-anointed “Robin Hooders” who stood accused of harassing workers in the city of Keene’s Bureau of Parking Enforcement.

The group, associated with the Free Keene movement, had been, over the course of several months, stalking the city’s three parking enforcement officers as they tried to do their jobs. Following the civil servants throughout the downtown streets and parking lots, they crowded, distracted and insulted them. They videotaped their confrontations to be posted online, and tried to convince the employees to quit. Eventually, one did, while the other two required counseling.

In this instance, they took general boorishness to new heights, systematically badgering and harassing three individuals in order to temporarily inconvenience the city government.

Incidentally, the Free Keeners also fed expired parking meters, in an effort to deprive the city of revenue from parking tickets. That’s been the most-publicized aspect of their behavior outside of the Monadnock Region, as the city has been outmaneuvered, portrayed as the institutional bad guy while the Free Keeners hail themselves as heroes of the regular Joe.

But the city has never publicly opposed the plugging of meters, and the self-proclaimed heroes spent months harassing three “regular Joes” whose job happens to be writing tickets.

The city responded to protect its workers by going to court, seeking a 30-foot buffer zone around the officers. Essentially, it tried to argue that the city’s streets are a workplace and its workers were being kept from performing their tasks.

Cheshire Superior Court Judge John C. Kissinger Jr. disagreed, noting the group’s First Amendment right to comment on how the city does its business outweighs the city’s contractual interest in its workers’ performance.

His reasoning was sound. It would be far more dangerous to allow the government to squelch dissent on public property than to allow repugnant — though political — behavior by a handful of malcontents.

First Amendment protections are not absolute, but they absolutely do cover political speech, even when — no, especially when — it’s unpopular. And there’s no mistaking the Free Keeners’ philosophy and actions have been that.

In that way they’re similar to Rev. Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church, the Kansas ministry that likes to pop up at the funerals of celebrities, soldiers and disaster victims, hoping to convince us all that “God hates fags.” The courts have held that regardless of how abhorrent and narcissistic their actions are, the ministry’s members have a First Amendment right to speak their mind.

Still unknown is whether the city will appeal the ruling and, if so, whether it will be upheld. Even if it stands, Judge Kissinger did note at the end of his ruling that the three parking officers may well have other remedies if the harassment continues, though they would likely be pursued through a civil lawsuit at their own expense, unless it doesn’t rise to the level of a criminal offense. Or, he said, the city might find a way to enact an ordinance that would give the officers some protection, providing it also didn’t run afoul of constitutional rights. Good luck figuring that out.

In the big picture, the court got it right. For the greater good of society, it was a win.

But for those of us pulling for basic human decency, some aspects of it sure feel like a loss.
Mike Mulligan

Brattleboro, VT

#2 Dec 6, 2013
I think the Free Keene Movement philosophe is basically domestic terrorist organization and government haters group.

But astonishing their protest was extraordinarily honorable. They really handled themselves in a honorable way. They were a pain in the ass...but they did it the right way.

I admire the way they ran the protest....

For the Keen Sentinel to equate these guys with Rev. Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church...just goes to prove how pathetic our local newspapers are.
Mike Mulligan

Brattleboro, VT

#4 Dec 6, 2013
I never chipped it off the bridge..there was piles of huge rust chips all over the place on the ground and the spalling concete.
Mike Mulligan

Brattleboro, VT

#5 Dec 6, 2013
I guess the message is, the innocent most bigger than unproductively retaliating against repugnant and hurtful signs and names calling.

You got to engage and confront them in an intelligent way, or maybe just ignore them till they get bored.

It is the attention that is their energy?
Mike Mulligan

Brattleboro, VT

#6 Dec 6, 2013
I guess the take-away is, the innocent must be bigger than unproductively retaliating against repugnant and hurtful signs and names calling.

You got to engage and confront them in an intelligent way, or maybe just ignore them till they get bored.

It is the attention that is their energy?
NERD BUSTER

Westport, CT

#7 Dec 6, 2013
YOU HAVE THE ROBIN HOODERS WHO ARE ACTING ACCORDING TO THEIR CONSCIENCE AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAW FOR THE MOST PART; GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES ARE NOT SACROSANCT OR PROTECTED BY OTHER STATE OR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES UNLESS OTHER PEOPLE ARE VIOLATING THE LAW. TOO BAD THERE AREN'T GUTSY PEOPLE WILLING TO DO THE SAME THING IN GOD-FORSAKEN BRATTLEBORO WHICH HAS THE MOST AGGRESSIVE METER WORKERS THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN, THEY DON'T MISS A TRICK!!!
Mike Mulligan

Brattleboro, VT

#8 Dec 6, 2013
The Germans and Japanese were acting on their conscious in the lead up to WW II.

I just wish they would say swing this around to we are trying to make our government better by our actions...not we hate everything government.
Mile Mulligan

Brattleboro, VT

#9 Dec 7, 2013
Mike Mulligan wrote:
I think the world knows I'm basically a domestic terrorist organization and government hater
and I deserve to have a drone attack my home in Hinsdale
God Dislikes ParkingNazis

Hudson, MA

#10 Dec 9, 2013
there's a reason they're called Parking Nazis
it's because THEY ARE
THEY are the ones committing the 'boorish' and 'repugnant behavior'
Good on these citizen activists for holding up a mirror to show these bureaucratic turds up for what they are
And shame on that mediaslime reporter for conflating the Westboro church crazies with these good activists!
poster # 7 is spot on right about Bratt's PNs
Mike Mulligan

Brattleboro, VT

#11 Dec 9, 2013
Mile Mulligan wrote:
<quoted text>
and I deserve to have a drone attack my home in Hinsdale
I didn't say that.
Mulligan The Govt Hater

Hudson, MA

#12 Dec 9, 2013
Our glorious President uses drones on innocent women and children daily*
anyone against that is obviously an anti-government terrorist, and racist to boot!

http://rt.com/op-edge/us-drone-attacks-killin...

*besides, Mike Mulligan of Hinsdale is far from innocent, as he has pending charges against him for domestic terrorism actions that nearly caused the deaths of innocent pedestrians!

While we're waiting for our loving government to do the right thing and obliterate the Mulligan home with a drone attack, we can each now buy a small drone ourselves and use it to at least keep an eye on Mulligan and the shenanigans he's up to -
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2013/12/08/Pee...
Mike Mulligan

Brattleboro, VT

#13 Dec 9, 2013
The FBI's JTTF has been watching me for years...I am FBI approved and certified as being a great American patriot
Mike Mulligan

Brattleboro, VT

#14 Dec 10, 2013
Now they tell me not to talk about my case?
Mike Mulligan

Brattleboro, VT

#15 Dec 10, 2013
OK I'm CERTIFIED for sure, but definitely not as a patriot
NHborn

Brattleboro, VT

#16 Dec 14, 2013
I hope they don't drop the charges you A-hole, if we could get enough community members to speak up about their experiences with you, I think the judge would haul your butt away!
Mike Mulligan

Brattleboro, VT

#17 Dec 14, 2013
Yea, I got so many car drivers laughing at me on the road...there was countless near crashes.
NHborn

Brattleboro, VT

#18 Jan 8, 2014
Gosh, I hope nobody ever looses control and squashes your idiotic, self-righteous and narcissistic butt someday.
Mike Mulligan

Brattleboro, VT

#19 Jan 8, 2014
Get somebody else to do your dirty work...a piss ant like you would never ever take a chance in the sneaky secret lives.
Mike Mulligan

Brattleboro, VT

#20 Jan 8, 2014
chance in their sneaky secret lives
NHborn

Brattleboro, VT

#21 Jan 8, 2014
This "pissant" has a tough time reading sometimes, perhaps you could explain the meaning of the word to me in person. Very much glad to come chat with you down at the bridge or someplace.

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