Opinion Social Justice OPINION: People’s Justice League unfairly doxxes Athens residents By Cade Plotts Posted on October 2, 2017 10 min read 12 13 2,350 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr The flag as it was positioned on the apartment railing, and as it is pictured on the People's Justice League website. Photo courtesy of the residents. The so-called People’s Justice League should be renamed to Misinformed Injustice League, opinion writer Cade Plotts asserts in his takedown of the social justice website‘s recent Athens doxxing. Wednesday, Sept. 27 was an unseasonably hot day for fall. For some, the heat was turned up even more. A group of juniors and seniors who hosted a toga party the night before on East State Street found themselves in hot water. In keeping with the toga theme, and the history majors of a few of these men, they displayed the classic Roman SPQR flag on their porch. The very next day, they were contacted by their landlord about an absurd amount of calls that had been coming in, all because people saw this flag hanging up and thought it was the Mussolini-era fascist flag. The Roman SPQR flag displayed by the students. Source: Wikimedia Commons The Italian fascist flag associated with white supremacy. Source: Wikimedia Commons There are certain similarities between the two flags. The eagle was a direct inspiration from the Roman standard, with the fasces. Luckily, their landlord understood the situation and took no action against them, realizing both the flag they hung up represented no reprehensible ideologies, and that freedom of speech extends even to those abhorrent ideologies. It spread so quickly because the People’s Justice League posted about it both on their website and Facebook, calling the tenants “Nazis” without ever having spoken to them. ACTION NEEDED, PLEASE SHARE: We were informed that someone living at 149 E. State Street in Athens, OH may be a Nazi. … Posted by People's Justice League on Tuesday, 26 September 2017 This group seems to have gotten the name People’s Justice League in the same way the Holy Roman Empire got its own (Hint: it was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire). Even online, from their own following, some commentators opposed these posts that are trying to stifle freedom of speech. But the People’s Justice League wouldn’t be satisfied until it tasted the blood of supposed fascists. Check out the tenants’ response here. All four tenants agree that this ridiculous situation may have been blown out of proportion due to their outspoken support of President Donald Trump. A Trump flag normally flies where the Roman standard does in the picture. The residents wish to stay anonymous, due to fear of further harassment. As of publication, they have been repeatedly harassed, and any attempts to explain their flag resulted in the boy who cried Nazi. According to the tenants, people have yelled at them from their cars, come onto their property to yell at them and left various debris on their front porch. The cops were even called on them, with callers citing that the flag perpetrated hate speech. The Athens Police Department is required to respond to calls, but the officers dispatched immediately dismissed the call for obvious reasons. And as bad as it is, hate speech is still protected under free speech. As if all of this wasn’t enough to deal with, Code Enforcement came to their door, demanding the flag be taken down. According to the tenants, they refused to cite any specific codes when questioned, their only argument being that the flag advertised an organization, violating section A, article 4 of the Athens Sign Regulations 23.03.13. It states that “Advertising sign of all types (those used to promote a business, profession, trade, industry, activity, service, or product) are business uses and, except where specifically authorized by the terms of this section, shall not be permitted in any zone other than B or M Zones.” Zones B and M are business and manufacturing, respectively. The tenants reluctantly took down their flag, even though their advertising was for an empire/republic that hasn’t existed for over 1,500 years and was, in fact, an advertisement for a college house party. The residents went into the Code Enforcement office later and were told they had to apply for a permit to hang up a flag. They got said permit approved the next day. The fun doesn’t end here. On Sept. 30, at 2:25 a.m., after hanging their flag back up in triumph, it was grappled and taken down by who the tenants suspect were representatives of the People’s Justice League. Sarah Fick, the director of the People’s Justice League, denies these claims. Note that the flag hung up on the second floor balcony. It must have taken some planning to take it down. This is the flagrant spreading of misinformation, commonly known as libel. Labeling people fascists and Nazis due to something completely unrelated to both groups is no longer simply a matter of freedom of speech. It is a crime, from trespassing, to destruction of property, to libelous doxxing. This is an especially relevant topic now with the almost universal disapproval of the new Freedom of Expression interim policy. It demonstrates that if any speech is considered off limits, including hate speech, then people will make unfounded accusations at the slightest provocation from those they disagree with. What speech will be hateful next? Liking peanut M&Ms over normal ones?