Home Opinion OPINION: People’s Justice League unfairly doxxes Athens residents

OPINION: People’s Justice League unfairly doxxes Athens residents

10 min read

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?

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  1. Erin Nash

    October 5, 2017 at 1:15 PM

    It’s ironic that you are claiming the residents were unfairly doxxed, and in the same article wrongly publicly accusing Sarah Fick of stealing the flag. Hypocritical much?

    On the topic, I’m sorry if the residents are being harassed, but if you hang a symbol that has been appropriated by white supremacists, even if you didn’t mean it that way, it’s a choice to CONTINUE TO HANG IT once you find out it’s associated with white supremacists. A reasonable person who was not a white supremacist would be appalled at inadvertently hanging such a symbol, and immediately remove it. The fact that these kids chose to continued to fly it, in conjunction with the tiki torches AND Trump flag, calls their protestations of innocence into question.


  2. Cade Plotts

    October 5, 2017 at 2:17 PM

    Let it be known that I fully support free speech, and that is why I let your comment that is completely false to be posted.

    First of all, you say my article is hypocritical for accusing Sarah Fick of stealing the flag. Where in the article does it say that? It says the residents SUSPECT it was the Misinformed Injustice League, which is reasonable considering the harassment they had been subjected to at their hands. The only time Sarah Frick is mentioned is to say she denies it being her organization. Not an accusation, just the facts.

    On to the flag, it hasn’t been appropriated by white supremacists, that’s the whole point of the article. The day we allow our freedom of speech to be stifled by anyone because they disagree with it is the day freedom of speech breathes it’s last breath. You call into question their use of the trump flag and natural outdoor lighting, which is blatant discrimination. Tiki torches aren’t some hard to come by, people used them before Charlottesville without being racists, it hasn’t changed after. I ask you to read the article again and rethink your points.


  3. J Fox

    October 5, 2017 at 4:01 PM

    The flags are radically different. Literally the only similarity is the use of the eagle. It looks to me like the People’s Justice League was bored and decided to make something out of nothing because these kids are Trump supporters.


  4. Erin Nash

    October 5, 2017 at 10:10 PM

    You included a slanderous statement in your piece, thus making you culpable, and indicating to any discerning person that you are not legitimate journalists.

    It’s ok guys, when you grow up you’ll learn that people aren’t always going to buy your bullshit. You kids have fun with your playtime “journalism” and we’ll check back in on you when you’re adults.

    p.s. it’s Sarah Fick


    • Cade Plotts

      October 5, 2017 at 10:51 PM

      I apologize for the misspelling, thank you for bringing it to my attention.

      I have explained why it isn’t slanderous or false in any way, simply reporting it as it happened. I did not accuse anyone, but gave the tenants’ thoughts and Sarah Fick’s response.

      If you wish to simply insult my work because you disagree with it I wont allow you to comment anymore. I am prepared to have a civil discussion.


  5. Concerned Citizen

    October 5, 2017 at 10:29 PM

    And the new flag added to this house? Would the tenants please explain its significance?


    • Cade Plotts

      October 5, 2017 at 10:54 PM

      The flags currently up?


      • Concernedcitizen

        October 6, 2017 at 11:39 AM

        Yes. They have the original flag and now a new addition: the Prussian Order flag which also has ties to the Nazi movement. It seems the poor misunderstood neighbors of mine are courting controversy. Free speech has consequences and runs both ways. I know this is an opinion piece but It is hardly fair, balanced or responsible.


        • Cade Plotts

          October 6, 2017 at 12:43 PM

          I’ve contacted the tenants and they have no idea about a Prussian Order flag. They put up an Israeli flag to show their solidarity withe Jewish people. The flag I assume you’re referring to is the Byzantine Flag, which they put up after their previous flag was stolen. One tenant is a History Major and another is a History Minor, so they have great interest and passion for history and various countries that have existed. You would think it would be safe for them to assume people wouldn’t see something they are uncertain of and immediately cry “Nazi”, but unfortunately this is the world we’ve come to. Free Speech does have consequences, being other people’s speech and thoughts about you. Consequences does not extend to harassment, libel, theft, and trespassing, and insinuating it does is indicative you support the barring of speech you disagree with, a trait inherent of authoritarian and dictatorial regimes. Thankfully the greatest nation on the planet doesn’t stand for that sort of thing, and we can dissent in peace.


  6. Traci Becker

    October 7, 2017 at 11:50 AM

    If you could let these kids know that on behalf of the Jewish people we don’t want their solidarity. For real. At this point this is not only patronizing but it’s also pretty lame. And yes, I have appointed myself the lead Jew on this post. I doubt any other Jews will mind. So thanks but no thanks.


    • Cade Plotts

      October 7, 2017 at 4:42 PM

      Discrimination according to Google is “the unjust or prejudiced treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex”.

      Assuming that all other Jewish people will think exactly as you do fits prejudiced treatment of a category of people.

      And before you say that isn’t prejudice, Google defines it as “a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience”.

      If you can’t refrain from such speech please take it elsewhere, the comments section is here for civil discussion.


  7. […] was written in response to an opinion piece published by opinion writer Cade Plotts titled “OPINION: People’s Justice League unfairly doxxes Athens residents.” This letter was written by Kelly Huq, a self-described homeowner on Athens’ east […]


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