Well folks, the Oneida County Zoning Committee just doubled down again like hard-headed angry men are prone to do when their power is threatened.
Please read our annotated screen shots of the re-scheduled meeting to shut us down, and an email to our lawyer that laid out a three-step process to forcefully remove Kirk from the meeting if they don't like what he has to say.
First, they are no longer allowing Zoom participation.
Why? Because our supporters overwhelmed their zoom capacity of 100 participants at the last meeting and you all saw firsthand how they cut Kirk off within minutes of him reading his prepared speech. That was a bad look for them, so they probably don't want that to happen again. They also probably hated that one of you posted it on youtube and that link has been viewed thousands of times.
You sent over 8,000 emails, over 5,000 of you signed a petition to support us, and you overwhelmed their zoom functionality. So their response?
They shut you down as well.
They refuse to hear a peep from the tourists who make up 100% of Minocqua's economy, and who overwhelmingly think that what is being done to us is wrong.
Second, they changed the format of the meeting so that Kirk or his lawyer can only answer questions from the committee if asked. This means that Kirk will most-assuredly not be allowed to read his prepared speech on the context of how his permit to do business was created in a complete breakdown of due process, and why he believes this "created-to-shut-him-down" permit means all the violations against him aren't valid.
This means that they can vote to shut down our business after a public hearing where the owner of the business isn't even allowed to speak.
Let that sink in.
And finally, we received an email from Oneida County Attorney Mike Fugle laying out a 3-step process whereby if the committee deems that what Kirk is saying to be "off-topic," it can shut him down, and the third step of shutting him down is to forcefully remove him from the room.
Think about that.
The committee can decide what they think is "on or off topic," and they can unilaterally decide that Kirk's defense of being shut down requires him to be physically removed from the meeting.
What in the damn hell are they thinking?
This is not a proper hearing, this is a way to publicly flog Bangstad and then shut his business down without due process.
Where is our State's Department of Justice? Isn't it time they stepped in?
Are the cities north of Madison and Milwaukee not populated enough, or too RED, to deserve the attention of our state's top law enforcement agency?
We're going to put this in another post as well to make it easier to digest, but this is our plan to protest this hearing.
Schedule for Protest on Wednesday, August 2
11 am--Please come to the Minocqua Brewing Company at 11 am to draw protest signs and organize for the protest.
11:45--Drive 5 minutes to Woodruff Town Hall, 1418 1st Avenue.
12:00 Please join Kirk an hour before the hearing to protest this sham meeting, recite all the reasons this meeting shows all the signs of creeping authoritarian rule, and read his prepared statement that he won't be allowed to read at the meeting when they muzzle him.
1 pm--Go to meeting and sign up to to give your statement, up to 3 minutes. We may try to assign you all different points of view to say so you all don't say the same thing. Also, please use your phones to take video of this meeting, so that even without a zoom recording, we can broadcast what they try to do to Kirk if he attempts to legally defend his business from being shut down.
Folks, this is simply an un-needed escalation of ridiculousness and it will end badly if cooler heads don't prevail.
At the end of the day, the Minocqua Brewing Company is simply fighting for its right to have an outdoor space to serve its customers, like almost every other bar, restaurant, and taproom in Wisconsin is allowed to have.
The arguments against us having this simple thing are the flimsiest we've ever heard, but that won't stop this freight train of authoritarianism from rolling over us.
Why? Because hard-headed men don't want to seem weak.
That's the ONLY thing that keeps this freight train going.