Free speech: ‘Sign man’ faces charges for obstruction

A Mountain View, California man known as ‘sign man’ claims that his right to free speech was violated when he was arrested for creating threats to public safety and obstructing traffic. -db

San Francisco Chronicle
November 7, 2010
By Kelsey Williams

On any given day in Mountain View, a man called Wo’O Ideafarm can be found standing by his roughly 5-by-4-by-8 foot box/home that he covers with large signs. Ranging in content from relatively mild and uplifting to outright offensive, Ideafarm’s goal is to incite conversation, that he says is meant to connect people.

Recently, Ideafarm has been arrested on multiple municipal code violations that could potentially lead to jail time. Officials in Mountain View claim that the problem with Ideafarm is mainly a safety concern, given his tendency to park the doghouse on street corners, in the median, and in the public right of way obstructing traffic and driver visibility. Ideafarm believes the charges are stifling his right to free speech.

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