A controversial Mountain View man has broken his long silence and is once again speaking out against the city and the county for what he claims is a violation of his First Amendment rights.
Wo'O Ideafarm, the legal name of the man many may remember for his provocative one-liner signs, which have taken on everything from the Mountain View Police Department to gay marriage, had kept mostly silent since his January 2011 arrest. Ideafarm says he made a lawful citizens arrest, but the police viewed as an assault and arrested him.
After that arrest, he told the Voice he would not be holding up signs on the street anymore, because he had been forbidden to do so by a judge.
On Jan. 21, he decided that it was time to resume his unique brand of free speech, and stood near the corner of El Camino Real and Castro Street holding a sign reading: "One for all and all for one."
It took three days for him to get arrested again.
It didn't take long for police to approach Ideafarm. He said he was told he could not stand where he was and hold the sign -- an assertion he challenged.
On Jan. 22, he stood on the other end of Castro Street, near Central Expressway, and held a new sign that said "Mtn. View vs. free speech." Police were again quick to respond, he said.
After arguing with the officers, explaining that he believed it was his civil right to stand where he was and hold his sign, he was cited for standing in the street. Ideafarm admits he was not on the sidewalk.
On Wednesday, Jan. 23, Ideafarm was arrested and told he was being cuffed for being a nuisance.
Since then, Ideafarm said he has bailed out of jail, been arrested and bailed out again -- each time with the help of a bail bonds company. For him, the arrests have only served to solidify the notion that the city of Mountain View, its police department and Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen are dedicated to silencing him.
Ideafarm said he is confident he will have the last laugh, however. For the past two years, he said, he has been compiling a matrix of every encounter he has had with a police officer. Many of these encounters are documented with audio recordings, Ideafarm said. And when he finally goes to trial -- no matter which count he is facing -- he said he will be able to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt not only that he is innocent, but that he has been repeatedly and illegally silenced in his quest to affect change through his quirky brand of "spontaneous direct civic speech."