Wednesday, July 15, 2020

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    Tyranny and fascism are alive and well in Moab

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    Submitted
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    Public submissions to The Times-Independent can range from press releases to obituaries to feature stories and news. All submissions are subject to editorial review and approval.

    Editor,

    On Thursday afternoon of last week I was approached while leaving my driveway by a detective from the Grand County Sheriff’s Department. Immediately following him were two more officers, and two more on what appeared to be on standby right across the street. I later learned from an onlooker that there were two city officers across the street in the opposite direction.

    The detective began to question me about an alleged threat report that had been received and continued to inform me that there are multiple people “in fear of bodily harm” and “afraid for their personal safety.” This apparently was due to the fact that I have been “very vocal” about the recent behavior of our county and city councils. He proceeded to “interview” me in regards to a complaint that was filed.

    I realized in the first few sentences that, coincidentally, my ad in the Ad-vertiser had been out for about a day. The ad was placed to make citizens aware that I am circulating a petition and another ad was to update the early success of that petition, and the fact that I had collected enough signatures in the first ten days to have it legally recognized as VALID. I then said to the detective, I can tell you what this is about. It’s about my legal petition for return of all of our property rights by the city and county councils, and the demand for resignations of five council members. He responded, “Yeah they don’t like their names on that petition and would like to see it stopped.” So there was little question left at this point where the complaint came from.

    He continued to try and determine if I had “threatened” anyone. The answer to that is absolutely no. Yet they were sent to my door. As this continued, all three officers did their jobs and asked more questions, up to and including “do you own any firearms?” to which I declined to answer as it is completely irrelevant. There were never any threats made! Don’t get me wrong here, I actually quite enjoyed making them aware of the transgressions of our public officials; it was like playful banter to me. I happily provided them with a blank copy of my petition for their records, no doubt in my mind if not for their employers it would come back with several signatures on it. I also provided them with my ads as they appeared in the Ad-vertiser, and a picture of the public notice that was on the county courthouse wall the day of the tyrannical re-vote, proving it had only been there for three hours and 13 minutes before the “special meeting.”

    Council members, you need to be more careful when you try to screw the public; everyone has a camera in their pocket now days. The interview/impromptu interrogation ended pleasantly and without me being arrested, and we chatted about who went to school with who and where is this or that person now days. I would like to commend the officers on the professional way they handled this situation.

    This pathetic, fascist, slanderous and defaming attempt at intimidation did not and will not work! It is my civil right to circulate a petition and hold you accountable for your actions. So far around 250 people have agreed with their signature and there will be more. I have also filed a GRAMA request with the city and county clerks’ offices for the petition they claim started this whole thing, if it even exists, that is. So stay tuned for updates.

    Thanks.

    – Robert Hines
    Moab

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