Did one know that if they do not follow the police state regulations for having a birthday party in their own backyard, then they will be fined thousands of dollars? That is the case for Virginian woman, Martha Boneta. She had been throwing a birthday party for a few young girls in her own backyard, and had pumpkin carving advertisements displayed. Boneta had sold her farms produce directly to her consumers without a permit for any of those things. That had led her to receive threats of $5,000 per day fines from the county for carrying out “menacing activities” of these sorts.
Virginians are opposing these threats and have organized a protest in front of the courthouse. Many people were seen carrying signs of liberty with constitutional statements, some had been carrying the “don’t tread on me” flag, and some had expressed their thoughts about the case through a bull horn. There at the protest, farmers and educators Glenn and Pam Holloway explained that Martha Boneta had applied and received a license for selling her produce prior to the new regulation. Once they had put new regulations in place, they had cited her for not being in compliance for that new regulation. Glenn went on to say that many farmers have been doing just what Martha had been doing, but she was the only one cited for her actions. Friends of Martha had explained how shocked they were when they had realized she had lost the appeal against her “menacing” backyard birthday party, and will keep fighting against these police state actions.
Delegate Bob Marshal had seen this case and knew it had gone too far. He then introduced the HB 1219 Bill that requires local officials to pay the fines imposed on the victims, as well as pay for any damages and attorney fees. He discussed how the local officials abuse their powers of zoning authority and it is unconstitutional to interrogate land owners who are simply trying to enjoy themselves on their own property. If this bill becomes effective, maybe officials with a police state mentality will think twice about going after people who are not doing anything wrong because they will not want to be fined.
Martha had stated that she believes that this would never have happened in Marsha’ls bill had been in effect prior to all of this, but does the state really need to be this strict, forcing the people to retaliate and create laws just to do certain activities on their own property? Even though the people should not have to deal with this abuse, it is wise for the people to fight back and show state officials that they will not stand for these situations. If the people can show them that they can stand together for just one woman, then the state may rethink the regulations they set in place in the future. The last thing the state wants is the masses to be against them. The protesters in front of the court-house may have demonstrated that they will not stand for this type of police state, especially when it comes to the case of Martha Boneta who had only had a birthday party in her own back yard.
By Brittany Varner-Miller