Bull horns boomed as loud as the thunder today outside Middleboro Town Hall, where curious locals, outspoken activists and the media huddled in the rain to hear a loud message to local government.
That message, in short:"#$%@ censorship."
"We want to shine a national spotlight here because we think this says something about the nature of government," said Adam Kokesh, of Santa Fe, New Mexico, who organized the civil disobedience.
Host of the podcast "Adam vs The Man," Kokesh put out a public, and profane, call for action urging people to protest a small-town ordinance that lets cops crack down on public profanity.
On June 11, 183 Middleboro voters approved a change to a cussing bylaw that has been on the books since 1968. The new law would make cursing a non-criminal offense punishable with a $20 fine, rather than a criminal offense, as it is now.
Police have said the outdated law, is rarely, if ever, enforced.
The new bylaw must be approved by the state attorney general as constitutional before it can go in effect in Middleboro.
Kokesh called the ordinance an example of "pathological bullying behavior" by the government: "It doesn't matter if it's $20, or $1,000... it's an affront to your liberty. If you don't pay, what happens? They lock you in a cage."
In order to get the point across, Kokesh and his supporters let the F-bombs fly.
"The worst part about censorship... if you can't say (expletive), you can't say (expletive) the government," Kokesh said.
Public officials were not present at the hour-long rally, and according to Kokesh, no citations were issued during or after the event, despite the colorful language.
Middleboro resident Chris Wainwright stopped by the rally, not in support of swearing, but in support of people's right to do so.
"I don't indulge in cursing in public, but I believe in freedom of speech. I don't think you should be able to give people tickets just because you don't like what they have to say," Wainwright said.
Protester James Cleveland, a Georgia resident, called the ordinance "outrageous."
"Profanity is so subjective. If they ban one word they're likely to ban another word. Where does it end? To me it's a first amendment issue. You have a right to freedom of speech, I don't care what the local government says."
Below, video of protester Glen LeMar, of Attleboro, speaking his mind at the rally. (Warning: video contains profane language)