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Jumping To Conclusions: Alaska State Fair Video Controversy Ignores Important Details

On August 26, the following video was posted on YouTube:

Entitled “LaRouche Supporter Assaulted by Alaska State Fair Security,” the video  and subsequent analysis ignore several key facts. On Breitbart.TV, the video carried this description:

As odious as some political messages are, one doubts the founding fathers’ vision of free speech and assembly is exemplified by the actions of the private security guards in this video. The first three minutes show the attempts that were made to peacefully expel the man with the sign showing President Obama with a Hitler mustache.

Comments generally decried the Security Officers’ actions:

The cop should be fired and the security and state police should be sued. The people should have intervened. Notice the trooper got the hell out of there after he thought about his actions.

Yea, and whats with that stupid cop? He does need to be fired. What a mess.

Phk these security guards! This is unacceptable! I cannot believe this happened to a U.S. citizen! I hope he sues the HELL out of the security company! Everyone’s a Monday morning quarterback. But, if I were there, I would have taken his sign and found 40 other men to hold it with me just to defy those bastards. You don’t do this to Americans.

I seem to recall many signs depicting Bush as Hiltler; why were none of those protesters arrested? The reason is that the first amendmendment is only a right for the left wing.

With regards to the last comment, the author is clearly not up to speed on political organizations. LarouchePAC is a far-left outlet that falls into the camp of “Obama isn’t going far enough.”  Case in point, their stance on health care:

Where does the standard for Universal American Healthcare come from? Franklin Roosevelt’s Hill-Burton standard. The current “health reform” proposal of President Barack Obama comes no where close to the breakthrough healthcare policy that Roosevelt established in the 1940’s, ….

If this were public property with “public access,” as the man in the video repeatedly shouts, then perhaps he would have a case.  It’s not, so he doesn’t. The Alaska State Fair, despite having a public-sounding name, is managed by Alaska State Fair, Inc., a private, non-profit corporation.  A significant part of its funding comes from private sponsors, who are given advertising space and booths.  That’s why the “advertising clause” in the video is so important.  As LarouchePAC is not a sponsor of this private, admission-controlled event, they do not have the right to advertise on the premises.  Intentionally or not, the man in the video is in violation of the Fair’s conduct policy.  Instead of listening to the security officers, he becomes belligerent and shouts at them.

Not only is the event organized by a private company, it takes place on private property.  As stated by Alaska State Fair, Inc.:

Because the fairgrounds is on private property, we reserve the right to remove someone from the premises who is creating a disruption or may pose a threat to the safety of others.

Our Constitution does afford citizens the right to free speech.  But freedom of speech is not freedom to violate the property rights of others as this man was doing.  By his logic, I should be able to put campaign signs on anyone’s lawn without obtaining the property owner’s consent.  In the real world, I could be arrested for doing so.

Finally, requiring tickets for entry is the antithesis of “public access.”  At this point, the Larouche supporters last chance hope for a legal argument crumbles.  By purchasing a ticket, and entering the fairgrounds, he has consented to the policies of the property owner.  Those policies include a ban on unpaid advertising.  If LarouchePAC wants a presence at the Alaska State Fair, then they need to purchase a booth like all the other sponsors.

It’s easy to jump to conclusions and bash the security officers and state trooper.  In reality, they asked nicely first; they checked with their superiors; and ultimately, they did their job by enforcing the Fair’s policy.  When the Larouche supporter became violent instead of leaving peacefully, he became guilty of trespassing.  As such, the security officers were within their legal authority to restrain him as they waited for police to arrive and complete his arrest.

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  • That’s all bullshit… they had no right to treat him like that. Hes an elderly man who could barley walk on his own and they had 2 3oo pound men pinnig him to the ground. It doesnt matter if it was private property or not. They assulted him. They could have easly put him in cuffs. I bet you if i were to go to the state fair and hold a huge sign saying i love obama they wouldnt do anythig. It was wrong!

  • That’s all bullshit… they had no right to treat him like that. Hes an elderly man who could barley walk on his own and they had 2 3oo pound men pinnig him to the ground. It doesnt matter if it was private property or not. They assulted him. They could have easly put him in cuffs. I bet you if i were to go to the state fair and hold a huge sign saying i love obama they wouldnt do anythig. It was wrong!

  • quote: We reserve the right to remove somone from the premises who is creating a disruption or may pose a threat to the safty of others. Well you know what i saw him all the time on the corner of parks and palmer/wasilla highway all the time. He was trying to get his message acrossed. There was no problems untill the securi ty came and made it a problem.

  • quote: We reserve the right to remove somone from the premises who is creating a disruption or may pose a threat to the safty of others. Well you know what i saw him all the time on the corner of parks and palmer/wasilla highway all the time. He was trying to get his message acrossed. There was no problems untill the securi ty came and made it a problem.

    • “…. As LarouchePAC is not a sponsor of this private, admission-controlled event, they do not have the right to advertise on the premises. Intentionally or not, the man in the video is in violation of the Fair’s conduct policy. ….”

      Further, as the man refused to leave when asked—repeatedly—he was committing the crime of trespassing. At any point leading up to his detainment, the man could have peacefully left the fairgrounds. He chose not to.

      • Yes they had the right to remove him from the premises they did not have the right to treat him like that. Hes an older man who could barley walk on his own and they threw him to the gound like it was a 19 year old boy trying to get away.

  • “…. As LarouchePAC is not a sponsor of this private, admission-controlled event, they do not have the right to advertise on the premises. Intentionally or not, the man in the video is in violation of the Fair’s conduct policy. ….”

    Further, as the man refused to leave when asked—repeatedly—he was committing the crime of trespassing. At any point leading up to his detainment, the man could have peacefully left the fairgrounds. He chose not to.

  • Yes they had the right to remove him from the premises they did not have the right to treat him like that. Hes an older man who could barley walk on his own and they threw him to the gound like it was a 19 year old boy trying to get away.

  • AND YOU WERE THERE? OBVIOUSLY NOT! THE FAIR WATCHED HIM CARRYING HIS BANNER OUT IN THEIR PARKING LOT FOR NEAR AN HOUR! THEY THEN SOLD HIM A TICKET WITH THE SIGN IN HIS HANDS THAT THEY CLEARLY OBSERVED AND LET HIM WALK IN WITH IT.THEY KNEW WHAT THE SIGN SAID ALL ALONG AND DID NOT ATTEMPT TO STOP HIM BUT GAVE HIM CONSENT AND AFTER BEING INSIDE THE FAIRGROUNDS FOR ANOTHER 1 1/2 HOURS,THE MAN WHO STEPPED INTO THE VIDEO TO “DEFEND” HIS RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF SPEECH WAS THE ONE WHO FALSELY AGGITATED SECURITY AGAINST THIS PEACEFUL MAN WITH FALSE ACCUSATIONS.THE FAIR IS IN DEEP TROUBLE AS THEY ACTUALLY SET UP THE ENTIRE SITUATION.MR. HILL WAS ONLY LOUD ONCE THE SECURITY GUARDS BEGAN BULLYING HIM.IT WAS THEIR JOB TO CALL THE POLICE,NOT BEHAVE AS POLICE! YOU HAVE QUITE AN IMAGINATION AND YOUR OPINION WOULD BE LAUGHED OUT OF COURT! WE WITNESSED THESE EVENTS FROM BEGINNING TO END AND YOU NEED TO DO YOUR HOMEWORK! BETTER YET,TRY READING THE US CONSTITUTION!

  • AND YOU WERE THERE? OBVIOUSLY NOT! THE FAIR WATCHED HIM CARRYING HIS BANNER OUT IN THEIR PARKING LOT FOR NEAR AN HOUR! THEY THEN SOLD HIM A TICKET WITH THE SIGN IN HIS HANDS THAT THEY CLEARLY OBSERVED AND LET HIM WALK IN WITH IT.THEY KNEW WHAT THE SIGN SAID ALL ALONG AND DID NOT ATTEMPT TO STOP HIM BUT GAVE HIM CONSENT AND AFTER BEING INSIDE THE FAIRGROUNDS FOR ANOTHER 1 1/2 HOURS,THE MAN WHO STEPPED INTO THE VIDEO TO “DEFEND” HIS RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF SPEECH WAS THE ONE WHO FALSELY AGGITATED SECURITY AGAINST THIS PEACEFUL MAN WITH FALSE ACCUSATIONS.THE FAIR IS IN DEEP TROUBLE AS THEY ACTUALLY SET UP THE ENTIRE SITUATION.MR. HILL WAS ONLY LOUD ONCE THE SECURITY GUARDS BEGAN BULLYING HIM.IT WAS THEIR JOB TO CALL THE POLICE,NOT BEHAVE AS POLICE! YOU HAVE QUITE AN IMAGINATION AND YOUR OPINION WOULD BE LAUGHED OUT OF COURT! WE WITNESSED THESE EVENTS FROM BEGINNING TO END AND YOU NEED TO DO YOUR HOMEWORK! BETTER YET,TRY READING THE US CONSTITUTION!

    • also,no one has said he is a member of their group. There are people wearing all kinds of advertisements every day,doesn’t mean they are members or own some stake in what they have printed on their shirts.

      • Thank you for pointing that out. You are right!

  • also,no one has said he is a member of their group. There are people wearing all kinds of advertisements every day,doesn’t mean they are members or own some stake in what they have printed on their shirts.

  • Thank you for pointing that out. You are right!

  • Policies are policies. If this security company is so efficient, why were these policies not enforced at the entrance of the park? The banner is huge. This fails the smell test! It’s obvious that this security company needs to spend money & time in training their staff. Including frequent eye exams. If anyone has the right to protest, it would have to be the veterans that keep fighting and sacrifing their lives to preserve our freedoms. Start treating our American Vetrans with the respect and dignity that they all deserve.

  • Policies are policies. If this security company is so efficient, why were these policies not enforced at the entrance of the park? The banner is huge. This fails the smell test! It’s obvious that this security company needs to spend money & time in training their staff. Including frequent eye exams. If anyone has the right to protest, it would have to be the veterans that keep fighting and sacrifing their lives to preserve our freedoms. Start treating our American Vetrans with the respect and dignity that they all deserve.