The Tulsa State Fair is in town. The midway is bustling with the sights and sounds of rides and games….and the Tulsa County Sheriff Department, in place to protect and serve. One undercover deputy saved many fair goers from a menace to society, from a dangerous threat for all those attracted to the balloon/dart game…..he saved them from the Hello Kitty carney.
The deputy negotiated a price for the Hello Kitty doll rather than play the game. The Hello Kitty was soon in his possession as was Frank, the carney. He was thrown in a cage and charged with violating the Carnival Fraud Act and slapped with a $500 bond. Frank is apparently an indigent worker from Texas.
As the story hit the media, more and more people expressed negative comments against law enforcement. One group of individuals found this injustice outrageous and worked together to raise money to post Frank’s bond. Within a few hours, the money was raised and a plan made.
What inspired people to spontaneously work together for a total stranger? Perhaps they tire of arbitrary, revenue generating laws. Perhaps some saw the exchange as voluntary between two consenting adults where the only deceit and fraud committed was by law enforcement. The injustice committed was to Frank and the taxpayers who are forced to involuntarily pay for such service. Had the deputy been employed by a private organization, funded voluntarily by the community, he would likely have been reprimanded or terminated for squandering resources on such a ridiculous rule. And the organization would be held accountable as well.
What this group demonstrated was cooperation based on a shared principle. It was not carried out under any banner, or for special recognition. These individuals have differing views on many issues, but those were set aside to focus on this one incident that they all saw as unjustified.
At least three attorneys have offered to represent Frank, pro bono. What a beautiful example of voluntaryism and the power of the people. Making a mockery of unjust, arbitrary laws could be an effective tool of awareness. It certainly engages meaningful conversation.
Liberty on Tap’s October meeting discussed Grassroots Activism. Frank’s case was a great example of community activism. It demonstrates what a group of individuals could accomplish when collaborating while focusing on specific issues. Consider what could be accomplished by concentrating efforts on issues like cannabis laws, property rights, or more community centered issues like Frank’s case.
Labels or clubs are un-necessary. Often, the labels are misused, co-opted, and divisive. We need more “groups of individuals” concentrating efforts to create a free society, based on voluntary action, where Hello Kitty dolls are available to all who desire it, from whomever they wish to purchase, and the freedom to live with their decisions.