MN Heroes Arrest Libertarian Gubernatorial Candidate… for Speaking Without Permission

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(Source: Chris Holbrook for Governor | Facebook)

MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Gubernatorial candidate Chris Holbrook was arrested for exercising his 1st Amendment rights while in a public park.  He and some supporters were peacefully gathering signatures  to achieve ballot access — a fundamental political freedom — but police insisted that he needed a permit and placed him in shackles.

Chris Holbrook, who is running for governor of Minnesota on the Libertarian Party ticket, has 2 weeks to gather 2,000 signatures in order to appear on the ballot.  This is a requirement of all minor parties in state-wide races in Minnesota.  Holbrook’s deadline is June 3rd.

“This is exactly why I’m running for Governor as a Libertarian. Police shouldn’t be harassing citizens while they’re engaged in protected political activity,” said Chris Holbrook.

One May 29th, with less than 5 days to go, Mr. Holbrook and some of his supporters gathered at Lake Calhoun to enjoy the scenery and to peacefully ask for people to sign their petitions.  Lake Calhoun is a public park, and talking to fellow citizens is a matter of freedom of speech and assembly.

Holbrook and three volunteers were approached by a group of police officers.  One Minneapolis Police Officer immediately took exception to the fact that the Libertarians were recording him as he tried to chase them away.

“You guys need to contact the park board and get a permit,” said the hot-headed officer on video.  “You can’t promote, you can’t do any of that stuff without a permit.”

“We can’t stand in the park, wearing a yellow shirt, talking to people about liberty?” asked Holbrook.

“Why don’t you put your phone away,” the cop impatiently sneered. “You’re recording me, I don’t want you to do that… Either you give me your ID or you put your phone away.”

Chris Holbrook is arrested for exercising the 1st Amendment.  (Source: Libertarian Party of Minnesota)

The enforcers did not back down.  As Holbrook explains in the caption of his video:  “At the end of this video he tells me he does not want to be videotaped so I simultaneously stop as he lurches towards me, grabs me, wrenches my wrist and the phone out of it, he takes my phone, and cuffs me without any physical resistance.”

Mr. Holbrook was painfully cuffed and placed in the back of a police car.  He is seeking medical attention for injuries sustained during the arrest. Video is available here.

“There’s no free speech in public spaces?” asked one of Holbrook’s friends.  “Is this a no-free-speech zone?”

Mr. Holbrook was taken away by police and charged with advertising without a license, a misdemeanor offense.  Petitioning is not considered advertising and is a protected activity under Minnesota and Minneapolis ordinances, the Libertarian Party contends on its website.

“Minor parties already have such a disadvantage in Minnesota just getting on the ballot. When you have the police arresting you while you are legally gathering signatures for ballot access, that makes it almost impossible,” says Cara Schulz, LPMN Executive Board member.


  1. “…Police shouldn’t be harassing citizens while they’re engaged in protected political activity,”

    I’m wondering if it is ONLY “protected political activity” he’s concerned with. It’s just like the idea that nobody should be forced to do something “against strongly held religious beliefs”… leaving the impression that there’s room for the use of force absent the religion.

    Of course, the whole idea of “state” authority of any kind is the real problem

  2. Well, the status quo got what it wanted that day. He probably got far fewer signatures then he was probably hoping………………..

    One of the now book sized reforms that I think we need is ballot access for non Democrats and Republicans. Both the Democrat and Republican parties deserve to be broken. And they have put the costs of primary voting on the taxpayers too, all third parties do it on their own dime. Just putting the cost of primaries back on the big parties would be a huge reform. The DNC and RNC should be billed if the government runs their primary votes for them.

  3. Yesterday I visited the Colorado National Monument. At the entrance there’s a “checkpoint” where you either pay or present your season pass (because the National Parks aren’t covered by my 40% income tax rate). The “ranger” at the gate looked at my card, immediately barked “I need to see your photo ID!” Then he carefully scrutinized both documents, held out my season pass and shouted “Is this your signature?” Since I had done a fairly poor job of signing the back of the season pass I joked “Pretty much, yes.” “Well is it or not?” Geez, I just want to go on a hike, buddy…

    It wasn’t that long ago when the Forest rangers (at least the ones who interacted with the public) were little old ladies who smiled and would suggest a place where you might view some wildlife. Now we get PTSD’d jarheads just back from Fallujah looking for IEDs. You have to think this is by design, get a bunch of front line people afraid of the public, but for what purpose? Do the masses want to be treated like dirt? No one ever has anything good to say about the TSA, yet it just lumbers along, no accountability, no one with any power actually calling for reform (or elimination), just an ever growing leviathan infecting other departments with its paranoia and fear.

    • Yeah.

      That’s why I stopped going to those places. I know myself well enough to know I might blow my stack – or just say something that would invite a wood shampooing.

      Park Pork is particularly rancid.

    • That is a pretty good description. I got pulled over by a Yosemite National Park ranger in his fully IED proof Ford Explorer for no front license plate. I couldn’t help it (being over 60) and blurted out “that is pretty serious, you better hurry up and write that ticket”. He stammered a bit about “it is the law” and let me go with a warning.

      • I am glad I toured the great parks (Grand Canyon, etc.) before this country turned into a a polizei state. Even out here in The Woods, I have to evade the federal costumed thugs on the Blue Ridge Parkway. On of the things they love to do is close down the Parkway at the drop of the proverbial hat – for “safety” – but in truth because they get off on the power trip.

        • Unfortunately there’s the myth that the west is wide, open and free. The reality is that the west is owned by the government, and there are NO plans for selling any of it to anyone. Oh, they’ll lease it all out to polluters, who get a pass when the put benzine in our drinking water (Oops!), but no way will the Federal government ever sell any of it. Remember a few years ago Ted Turner was all over the news for buying up ranch land in Montana? A quick Google image search will show that he’s a piker when it comes to ranch land when compared to Uncle.

          So if you live out here and want to enjoy the land, you have to play by their rules. I’m sure it’s still better than being in someplace like Washington or New York (Hey, 9/11 and stuff!), but it’s starting to smell the same.

          • Yup.

            Living in rural America (West or otherwise) is at best a temporary reprieve; or rather – it is like being able to travel back in time a few years to a somewhat less militant/jacked-up police state environment than one finds in, say, DC or NYC.

  4. This is yet another example (unfortunately there are too many) of the police state we live in.

    But a “libertarian gubernatorial candidate”? An oxymoron if there ever was one.

  5. The PTB can’t tolerate any threat to their control of Amerika. There’s a book written by a German coming of age in the 1930’s with the title “We Thought We Were Free”, most sheeple here think that too despite the evidence in front of their noses.


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