EDITORIAL: Liberty to speak against government should not be suppressed in Malheur County

The image of a police chief escorting a citizen out of a government meeting to silence their views ought to chill every citizen of Malheur County. And then it ought to provoke resistance. There is no more basic right in this country than for citizens to shake their fingers, raise their voices and even, yes, hold up signs to speak their minds to those who govern.

Taking away the people’s right to address and even attack their government is more often the tool of despots and dictators. Yet in Malheur County, we’ve twice experienced instances recently of government suppression – the silencing of voices critical of government.

Let’s start with the Ontario City Council. Marty Justus, who can be effective as anyone at needling people, has been showing up for council sessions with a series of signs. He sits in the . . .