The Orwellian nightmare is unfolding all throughout the United States, but the state of Michigan just might be leading the pack. After a former Christian pastor was sentenced to prison time for distributing jury nullification pamphlets in June, a patriotic military veteran now faces a day in court for merely having the gall to criticize his local paper.
Jim Chiodo of the West Michigan Republicans has been a long-time tea party leader in the state of Michigan. He is especially concerned with media bias, and has been working diligently to expose his local newspaper. For doing so, a reporter levied a restraining order against him which included a gag order and the revocation of his concealed carry permit. The proud military veteran can no longer even hold guns in his own home.
Allies of Chiodo, who organized a GoFundMe page on his behalf, are calling the measure a strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) designed to intimidate a pesky activist out of holding public figures accountable. This happened after Chiodo organized a group of peaceful demonstrators outside of the newspaper in Holland, MI.
Because of this protest along with his social media postings and other correspondences to the newspaper, Chiodo was deemed a threat in the court of law and hit with a personal protection order (PPO) denying him his basic rights. Chiodo also believes that his role in organizing Trump rallies throughout Michigan caused certain “Never Trump” Republicans to aid in his effort to restrict his rights.
“If an editor may successfully use the court to SLAPP a local conservative grassroots activist in Ottawa County, you may be the next target. Any local editor, confronted with failing circulation, could turn on conservative grassroots activists to justify their failed business model,” the author wrote on the GoFundMe page for Chiodo.
His court case to challenge the PPO is scheduled to take place on Thurs, Aug. 17. The Facebook page for the event can be found here.