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Thread: ‘This Is a Shock. Honestly, I Feel Like This Is Russia’

  1. #1
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    ‘This Is a Shock. Honestly, I Feel Like This Is Russia’

    The ‘Shocking’ Action a Small Business Owner Said a Florida City Is Demanding He Take: ‘This Is a Shock. Honestly, I Feel Like This Is Russia’


    A small business owner said a Florida city has threatened him with fines if he does not remove a Gadsden flag displayed outside his store. (Image source: Screen grab via YouTube)

    A Florida small business owner said Monday the city of Ocala has threatened to fine him if he does not immediately take down a Gadsden flag currently displayed outside his store.

    Gear Barrel owner Keith Greenberg told TheBlaze that the city said he was permitted to fly the American flag outside his store, but prohibited from displaying anything else outside his business which specializes in selling knives.

    “This is a shock,” he said. “Honestly, I feel like this is Russia. I’ve been around the world … this is what you expect in really closed countries where there is no freedom of expression. Not here — so it’s shocking.”

    “This is a shock. Honestly, I feel like this is Russia.”
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    The flying of the flag appears to be prohibited under the city code of ordinance, section 110-131.

    Greenberg told TheBlaze he faces being fined up to $250-$500 per day if he does not comply. He said the potential fines would be devastating to his young small business, which he opened in May.

    “The city of Ocala is demanding I take this down,” he told TheBlaze.

    Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCbfOkQILk8

    Greenberg posted a video to YouTube earlier this month trying to raise awareness of the move being made by the city.

    “We find ourselves in a sad place where local municipalities are stepping all over people’s freedom with the signing of a pen,” he said.

    Greenberg told TheBlaze he was even more perplexed by the city’s demands because he has spotted other flags being flown at nearby establishments.

    Photographs forwarded to TheBlaze show an Ocala car dealership flying the Mexican flag and an Irish bar displaying the Irish flag. It was not clear whether or not the city had also issued similar notices to the other businesses.





    The city’s code enforcement office could not immediately be reached Monday night for comment by TheBlaze.

    The small business owner said his next move will be to address the city council at their next meeting.

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014...his-is-russia/

  2. #2

    Re: ‘This Is a Shock. Honestly, I Feel Like This Is Russia’

    If his landlord is okay with it, via their contract, I don't know how this is an infraction of any kind of law. Maybe our resident lawyer(read Brooklyn) could explain this to us?
    I am going to tear down your safe space
    Brick by brick I shall smash it with glee
    You cannot stop me from getting inside
    I am cold and I am hard and my name is 'Reality'

  3. #3

    Re: ‘This Is a Shock. Honestly, I Feel Like This Is Russia’

    Or, honestly I should ask for Michael, since I think I remember that he is a lawyer as well, and much more even keeled than Brooklyn. Either way, I would like to here an opinion from someone in the field of law.
    I am going to tear down your safe space
    Brick by brick I shall smash it with glee
    You cannot stop me from getting inside
    I am cold and I am hard and my name is 'Reality'

  4. #4

    Re: ‘This Is a Shock. Honestly, I Feel Like This Is Russia’

    I suspect, without doing more research, that the city of Ocala ordinance does not permit banners or flags that hang in the public walk way--obstruction to the walk way. If you notice, the other flags do not encroach on the sidewalk (the irish and american flag are high up where the sign boards are).

  5. #5

    Re: ‘This Is a Shock. Honestly, I Feel Like This Is Russia’

    Quote Originally Posted by Fijimn
    I suspect, without doing more research, that the city of Ocala ordinance does not permit banners or flags that hang in the public walk way--obstruction to the walk way. If you notice, the other flags do not encroach on the sidewalk (the irish and american flag are high up where the sign boards are).
    This could well be the case. The flag obviously looks to be in the way of pedestrians and possibly even getting in and out of the store itself. I'm sure this would fall under certain fire codes of not blocking exits, if nothing else.

  6. #6

    Re: ‘This Is a Shock. Honestly, I Feel Like This Is Russia’

    Looks to me like Ocala is not equally enforcing a local ordinance against flying flags at commercial establishments.

    The failure of Ocala to respond to inquiries regarding content based discrimination speaks volumes to me.

    I'm thinking the City will back off and let the guy fly his flag - or perhaps get serious about enforcement. Either way - the ball is in Ocala's court. They have to fix the problem they created.

  7. #7

    Re: ‘This Is a Shock. Honestly, I Feel Like This Is Russia’

    Quote Originally Posted by Huey Grey
    Quote Originally Posted by Fijimn
    I suspect, without doing more research, that the city of Ocala ordinance does not permit banners or flags that hang in the public walk way--obstruction to the walk way. If you notice, the other flags do not encroach on the sidewalk (the irish and american flag are high up where the sign boards are).
    This could well be the case. The flag obviously looks to be in the way of pedestrians and possibly even getting in and out of the store itself. I'm sure this would fall under certain fire codes of not blocking exits, if nothing else.
    He should just stick it to the wall, and see their response.

  8. #8

    Re: ‘This Is a Shock. Honestly, I Feel Like This Is Russia’

    True. The ordinance almost certainly is directed at the flying - not display of flags.

  9. #9

    Re: ‘This Is a Shock. Honestly, I Feel Like This Is Russia’

    He should just stick it to the wall, and see their response.[/quote]


    I'll bet a steak dinner that the shop owner is well aware of the basis for the citation (i.e., flags blocking the sidewalk), but getting free run on The Blaze website when you in the knife selling business is a pretty good marketing campaign -- considering the target audience...wouldn't you agree

  10. #10

    Re: ‘This Is a Shock. Honestly, I Feel Like This Is Russia’

    Quote Originally Posted by Fijimn
    He should just stick it to the wall, and see their response.

    I'll bet a steak dinner that the shop owner is well aware of the basis for the citation (i.e., flags blocking the sidewalk), but getting free run on The Blaze website when you in the knife selling business is a pretty good marketing campaign -- considering the target audience...wouldn't you agree[/quote]

    Well stated Fiji.

  11. #11
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    Re: ‘This Is a Shock. Honestly, I Feel Like This Is Russia’

    Quote Originally Posted by Fijimn
    He should just stick it to the wall, and see their response.

    I'll bet a steak dinner that the shop owner is well aware of the basis for the citation (i.e., flags blocking the sidewalk), but getting free run on The Blaze website when you in the knife selling business is a pretty good marketing campaign -- considering the target audience...wouldn't you agree[/quote]


    The Blaze saw his story on Youtube, and then sent a reporter out. I'm sure he had no clue he would have gotten that kind of response.

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