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2/17/2010 6:00:00 AM
1 arrested in protest of county's 'policy'
JC AMBERLYN/Miner
Mervin Fried speaks to a crowd Tuesday as Luca Zanna records the protest against recent county actions. Fried was later arrested for misdemeanor trespassing when he attempted to enter the County Administration Building with the pitchfork slung over his shoulder. He was later released on bond.
JC AMBERLYN/Miner Mervin Fried speaks to a crowd Tuesday as Luca Zanna records the protest against recent county actions. Fried was later arrested for misdemeanor trespassing when he attempted to enter the County Administration Building with the pitchfork slung over his shoulder. He was later released on bond.

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter


KINGMAN - With signs, flags and flyers in hand, a group of 50 Mohave County residents Tuesday expressed their disapproval of a county policy that prevents politicking at the County Administration Building.

The group gathered around noon in front of the County Administration Building, about an hour before the Board of Supervisors met, in support of Golden Valley resident Luca Zanna.

During a November town hall meeting held by Sen. John McCain, Zanna was asked by Supervisor Buster Johnson to stop passing out flyers containing information about McCain's voting record.

Zanna, a member of the Mohave County Minutemen, has asked the county to apologize for infringing on his First Amendment rights and admit that there is no law that prevents the public from passing out political information on public property.

"I'm part of the Tea Party movement," said resident Randy Cone when asked why he attended the rally. "We can't take the country back from the corrupt politicians if we don't take the county back first."

"This is an insult to us," Zanna said at the rally, referring to the county's policy and statements made by Board Chairman Tom Sockwell and County Manager Ron Walker. "They work for us."

Sockwell and Walker have both written letters to the editor to explain the county's policy. Zanna feels that both letters were insulting, discriminated against him and his wife and put his family in danger by insinuating that he might be a terrorist.

Later, Zanna reminded the crowd that he would soon start collecting signatures for his effort to recall Sockwell. He needs to collect more than 3,700 signatures in order to place the recall on the ballot. Zanna said he was willing to pay $1 for every valid signature. Only signatures from registered voters in Sockwell's district would be considered valid for the recall petition.

"We have the option to come together and do something about this. We have to do this," said Bridget Langston, Zanna's wife. "They can't call us 'fringe lunatics' and get away with it."

"Walker is the biggest problem," Zanna said. How could a county official, someone hired to serve the public, attack and try to intimidate a law-abiding taxpayer? he asked. "We're not afraid!" Zanna shouted at the building.

"The founding fathers would have been proud of you people coming out in support of our founding documents," resident Mervin Fried told the crowd.

Fried, who was carrying a pitchfork slung over his shoulder, was later arrested for misdemeanor trespassing when he attempted to enter the Administration Building with the farming implement.

According to the Mohave County Sheriff's Office, Fried was allegedly told twice, at least once by Walker, that he could attend the Board meeting but would have to leave the pitchfork outside. Fried allegedly walked into the building anyway and a deputy arrested him. Fried was later released on bond.

According to MCSO and county officials, residents are allowed to carry guns into the County Administration Building as long as they are holstered.

Several other people spoke out in favor of Zanna's push against the county at the rally.

"The policy still needs to be enforced. There are plenty of other places for people to carry on demonstrations, pass out flyers and speak their opinions," said Walker after the rally.

ICT - Dr. Mohtaseb
Related Stories:
• Mervin Fried, of Kingman, acquitted in pitchfork trespass case


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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Article comment by: ibn

stupid ?not really I go to the county building all the time, an carry a weapon, concealed (i am lic.) but a pitch fork, ? whats that all about ?? give me a break.

Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Article comment by: The Watcher

Hey Worker, why do you ask if any of the people who showed up in support of Luca Zanna is receiving government checks? Are you attempting to say that because people stand up for their rights and protest must be on welfare? What a childish comment.

Maybe many of the people you refer to as on some form of assistance actually have better paying jobs than you, unless you are actually Ron Walker or Tom Sockwell. If you are one of these two people, afraid to mention who you actually are, maybe you won’t have a job too much longer.

Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Article comment by: Frank

I suspect it boils down to Board Chairman Tom Sockwell being embarrassed in front of his fellow Republican Senator. He would have none of that. Where is the good Senator in all this? Why no letter from him apologizing for starting the whole thing by holding a political rally instead of what was suppose to be a townhall where citizens were informed of the actions of congress.

Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Article comment by: The Other George

well said, DVS. I had thought of going down to protest the poor way the county handled the situation - they should have allowed the distribution of McCain's voting record since McCain turned it into a campaign stop and as long as no one was threatened. I decided against joining the group because I figured there would be a small number of extremist nuts that might cause problems. I was right.

Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Article comment by: Firewalker

Walker is not an American. He is an obstruction to free speech.

Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Article comment by: Don Docker

They would not allow a Title 4 American flag of peace in the county building because they hide behind the Gold-Fringe flag of fraud. Look into what the true American flag should be in every government building.

Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Article comment by: Guess Who?

There is a recent 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals (our circuit) case that supports the county's policy and practice. In Norse v. City of Santa Cruz, 856 F.3d 697 (9th Cir. 2009), the court ruled that 1st Amendment free speech rights are more limited during a meeting in city council chambers, or in this case a board of supervisors auditorium, than in a public forum. A person violating the rules of the meeting can be subjected to ejection and arrest. And the government official eforcing the rules would be entitled to qualified immunity from liability.

Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Article comment by: Who's the Owner

13-1502. Criminal trespass in the third degree; classification

A. A person commits criminal trespass in the third degree by:

1. Knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully on any real property after a reasonable request to leave by the owner or any other person having lawful control over such property, or reasonable notice prohibiting entry.

Mr. Fried entered a publicly owned build paid by every citizen of Mohave County through your taxes and fees. What is a reasonable request to leave? Now Mr. Walker made the call that a pitchfork was inappropriate for his meeting. So is Mr. Walker the owner of the building? Is Mr. Walker the person having lawful control over the property? If I choose to walk into the building wearing a chicken suite would that be inappropriate? Mr. Fried pitchfork was symbolic symbol of past American history when we opposed the process; my question is WHO decides what is appropriate? I’ll bet one thing maybe there’s a POLICY for that.

Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Article comment by: Bluestreak Patriot

Suzanne Adams forgot to mention the fact that Mr. Walker refused entry to people carrying the American flag which is what may have prompted Mr. Fried to make his point in the manner he decided to. Who in their right mind, especially a county official, would deny access to a citizen carrying the American flag? This IS America, right?

Watch the video of this encounter at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6M63k9GEBis

You will hear Mr. Walker trying to validate his position against flags, banners etc. Near the and of the conversation Mr. Walker, referring to the American flag denial, states "well.. maybe a little ones would be OK". Oh really, Mr. Walker. Now we have a size requirement? What's next? No long hair, no brown shoes, nobody that opposes your view, no fat people? I just don't understand how an apparently civilized and educated man, such as yourself, could turn into what appears to be very much like a Gestapo agent for the BOS. Have you read the requirements for your job lately?

Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Article comment by: Mohave County Needs 3rd Party

Can't take this country back until we take this county back first. We can start that process by forming a 3rd party and running our own candidates.

Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Article comment by: what next?

Im amazed...Nobody has Blamed Obama yet?.

Your slipping guys..if your gonna protect McCains reputation you just HAVE to blame Obama...that is how it works here isnt it?

Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Article comment by: HE BROKE THE LAW

GUN - PITCHFORK - KNIFE - Whatever. THE LAW STATES that if you are ASKED TO LEAVE THE PREMISES or STOW THE WEAPON you MUST do so.

ARS 13-3102

10. Unless specifically authorized by law, entering any public establishment or attending any public event and carrying a deadly weapon on his person after a reasonable request by the operator of the establishment or the sponsor of the event or the sponsor's agent to remove his weapon and place it in the custody of the operator of the establishment or the sponsor of the event for temporary and secure storage of the weapon pursuant to section 13-3102.01;

he was asked to stow the weapon and REFUSED HE BROKE THE LAW

Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Article comment by: No name provided

No, it wasn't Zanna who carried the pitchfork, but he certainly did approve it since his music is on the video that was made of the arrest. Let's get real. Don't try to distance the Minutemen from the "pitchfork" guy.

Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Article comment by: No name provided

I seem to have angered the McVeigh/Forde/Bush fan club buddy system here in mohave county! Ask me if I care? It matters not who was carrying the pitch fork, who got arrested, there is a old southern saying if you lay down with dogs, you will get fleas! And possibly some of these folks had good intentions, but unfortunate for them some of their party did not, and embarrassed the whole lot, and I will not appologize for finding the whole party a looney tune bunch! My guess is out of a county with tens of thousands of folks, 50 will not dictate to us all! The problem with Zanna and his looney tunes and their pitch forks, and anger is they think they are larger than they are!

Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Article comment by: Sean F

I could make you a pretty sweet holster rig for that pitchfork. Just send me $250 in advance and I will get right on it. Will also trade holster work for scooter battery.

Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Article comment by: Negativity is as bad as No Action

I have seen all of these complaints and such on the boards about the corruptness and ineptness of these elected officials. My question is...Why don't we ever see any complainers names on the ballot? They not bright enough to run for office?

Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Article comment by: No name provided

Pitchfork? Stupid. Officials like the Obama gang? Stupid.

Obviously, county officials found this armed protest frightening since they headed for the back doors. What did this accomplish? It might just cause the county to enact laws to protect county officials and their employees.

Mr. Zanna should sue the county if he feels wronged. I agree with his case, but not with his methods. I'm afraid this will certainly backfire.

On that note, however, the county certainly does owe - not Zanna in particular - but all its citizens an apology.

Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Article comment by: DVS

It really is to bad this bad part of a good peaceful demonstration got the front page...49 of us were very peaceful and the other 3 involved in the pitchfork and shoving were only involved after the demonstration. Mr. Fried owes the group an apology. And as far as the 2 shoving and kicking were probably plants, they did not have a direct connection to the main group...only after the meeting. They should apoligize too...Thanks to these idiots we are now being branded as dumb lunatics, instead of law abiding citizens with a GREAT CAUSE...

Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Article comment by: Wabofiur

There is a guy down in PHX who could make a KILLER pitchfork holster. Sean Fransisco. Goes by Sean_F on the boards.

Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Article comment by: No name provided

RE: John Gault

I applaude your sense of reason. You have said what I think the vast majority of citizens are feeling.

The longer they wait to "Man Up" as you subscribe, the worse this gets, and so does any slim chance of them retaining their positions.

Maybe they aren't planning on running for office again, so they don't really care who they offend?

Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Article comment by: maggie passaro

It was a very informative event. I am now sure that many of the county officials should be up for an in depth review of their job performance and knowledge of their duties by "We the people, and start to petition for redress for every infraction we find.

This is the most obvious,blatant show of "thug" style power rule by public officials i have ever seen on a local level. I suggest that Mr. Walker is inept, and lacks the basic intelligence to carry out his duties of his office.Even after the discription and definition of the statute has been explained by State Senator Ron Gould, Mr walker is still choosing to try and enforce a "law" which in essence does not exist.The ultimate ignorance is rejecting something you know nothing about and refuse to investigate....but Mr. Walker is being plain and simple "stupid" , as the facts have been brought to his attention and knowledge.

On the issue of the unusual bearing of 'arms" in Mervin Freids case, I asked one of the deputys if he could properly define what "arms" would cover...his reply " well, even a ballpoint pen could be used as a weapon"...so in essence you can defend yourself with just about anything. Does this mean that we shall carry all pens on a sling or risk arrest. My point is that article 2 of the Constitution clearly states that right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed....so whats the big deal with Mr. Frieds choice of "Arms" , it could be all he could afford in this lousy economic times.

the lesson to be learned from all of this is that all levels of public officials are getting to big for their britches and corruption is quickly festering into a cancer that is choking off the freedoms of all Americans. We have no other option than to put a stop to it, and do it today...although yesterday would have been better.

Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Article comment by: No name provided

@ No name provided --

"Interesting article on minute men and their connections..."

Using that article to attack Zanna and his work with the minutemen is like reading the idiotic remarks of one 'No name provided' and thinking all 'Non name provideds' are idiots.

Simcox has been, and always will be, on the outskirts of legitimate border protection. He is clearly a racist. Zanna is not.

Please learn to differentiate before you clog up these boards with nonsense.

Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Article comment by: Dave

to George:....hey, no comprehension skills? "The Tea Party movement"???? that was one man Vern!! ONE MAN, how do you get a "movement" out of that? geez liberals, give it a rest!!!

Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Article comment by: No name provided

This is just another example of the corrupt politicians in this town. The good old boys do what they want, have the sheriff in their pocket and make up their own rules as they go along.Vote them all out and get people in that beleive in the rights of the people and work for the people they are supposed to represent.

Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Article comment by: No name provided

My guess is tax protesting, is ok, lawful, addressing your political leaders for redress is constitutional and legal, but my problem with some of the looney tunes on the far right wing is if they cannot win at the ballot box, they want to enforce their will by force, by gun, by pitchfork (a bit of humor), or secede from the USA and form their own little peyton place where they can live with like minded folks and exclude everyone they dislike, to me that battle was fought during 1860-1865....only mistake made then Lincoln forgave the rebels instead of hanging a few as examples to the majority treason, sedition is not patriotism! One can protest, complain, speak out as long as one does not "actively attempt to over throw ones elected government by the majority" fine, but step over this line and my feelings is go to jail, no $200, no free get out of jail card either!


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