Friday, 22 September 2017
A 75-year-old woman said she would prefer to find herself behind bars than take down her signs supporting President Donald Trump.
After authorities demanded that Rockland, Maine, resident Susan Reitman take down the signs in front of her property, she refused and said she’d rather go to jail than get rid of them, according to New England Cable News. Reitman refused to compromise her pride in the nation’s president, made evident by signs that read, “I love Trump” and “He Won, Get over it.”
“I was shocked,” she told the local television news outlet on Tuesday, expressing confusion over why authorities were allowed to ask her to remove the signs decorating her house. “This is my freedom of speech. People have a right to voice their opinion,” she said.
“If I have to sit in jail for the rest of eternity, that’s my choice,” Reitman added. “I guess I’m being stubborn … but I’m not going to back down from what I believe.”
The order to remove the signs came after a Rockland resident complained that Reitman’s signs were too large, according to Rockland Assistant Code Officer Bill Butler. The city ordinance says signs can’t be bigger than 2 square feet: Reitman’s signs are allegedly 3 feet by 2 feet.
“I admire your passion for our president. Truly, I do,” Butler wrote Monday in an email to Reitman, according to the Portland Press Herald. “However, we have received a complaint and I have to do my due diligence and I have determined your signs are not in compliance with the Rockland Code.”
Residents must apply for a permit if they wish to have a sign that exceeds the size restrictions. Residents then have the option to appeal if their request is denied. Reitman, however, insists that she did not know about the size limit and the city should allow her to keep the signs. Reitman wants the ordinance changed to allow for unrestricted free speech.
Authorities will fine her up to $1,000 a day after Friday if she does not remove the Trump signs. The city could file a land-use complaint in court.