Earlier this month, a vote during Middleboro town meeting altered the original 1968 bylaw against public cursing from a criminal to a non-criminal offense, but with a $20 fine attached.
Standing on the steps of Middleboro Town Hall Monday afternoon, 30-year old Adam Kokesh tempted Middleboro Police, as much as he could with his potty mouth, but the Iraq veteran’s “swear-in” protest went untouched by police.
However, the Virginia resident repeatedly called the by-law change an act of bullying, “Now this has only been enforced, at least according to the officer I just spoke to a few minutes ago, only once in the history of Middleboro. It’s clearly a law that is not uniformly enforced and gives the department here one more place of discretion.”
But not the entire crowd of 50 people supported Kokesh’s stance against the by-law change or the multiple signs covered in cusswords, including Kathy from Middleboro, “We know they use the words; but I mean to see it like that is total disrespect.”
Kokesh was not the only out of state resident at today’s rally. He was also joined by libertarians from New Hampshire, like Derrick J. Freeman, who said he’s an opponent of the profanity ban, though he rarely swears himself.
“I think it’s important to use the full extent of my vocabulary to communicate a message. I’m concerned that if those who don’t have as big of a vocabulary are infringed upon than I might also be,” said Freeman.
During the June 11th town meeting, the by-law was accepted in a vote of 183-50.