Perhaps this is the way many American Colonials felt upon hearing of the Boston Tea Party, or, to give it a musical spin, perhaps this is what Detroit area fans felt when they heard protopunks the MC5 shake the landscape with “Kick Out the Jams” in 1969. Regardless of comparisons, there comes an epic, supportive, righteous sense of power from seeing the audacious and courageous owners of Atilis Gym, in Bellmawr, New Jersey, defy Democrat Governor Phil Murphy’s authoritarian shutdown, resist the anti-constitutional courts, and, literally, KICK DOWN THE BOARDS the government mob erected in the gym entrance.
As Sam Dorman reports for FoxNews, this is precisely what owners Ian Smith and Frank Trumbetti did Saturday, August 1, exactly as they had promised their employees, clientele, the political class, and the world.
Following the state’s first authoritarian shutdown of them and many other businesses in May, Smith and Trumbetti have been part of a blossoming American movement, fighting for their rights against toweringly unconstitutional and immoral threats, reopening their businesses, and engaging in free, consenting association. And the state has not liked that one bit.
Saturday, Smith told FoxNews’ Fox and Friends Weekend:
We were charged last Friday (July 24) with contempt of court, and Murphy immediately got a hearing on Monday. Monday we actually were found not be in contempt of court, and then Wednesday, or, excuse me, Thursday, we were served with brand new charges, and we had contempt of court Friday. We were found to be guilty in contempt of court, so the judge awarded the state the ability to come and padlock our doors, so Frank and I have been here now for over 48 hours, running the gym 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with the help of some volunteers, and we took the doors off the hinges.
That prevented the government from padlocking the doors or changing the locks.
If this sounds familiar, that’s because this conjurer’s trick of changing the locks is precisely what the government of Oxford, Massachusetts, did in June, on the impetus of its RINO Governor, Charlie Baker, who’s shut down businesses in the state since March. After turning off electricity and water, they literally changed the locks on the doors of David Blondin’s Prime Fitness.
And, like Blondin, Smith and Trumbetti will not be deterred by immoral, mafia-like threats. Mere minutes after leaving court Friday, July 31, Smith stood on the tax-laid courthouse steps and said, in part:
So now, we’re locked out. But I’m gonna tell you guys. On Saturday? We’re kickin’ it in, and we’re opening up, again. And Governor Murphy can come again, and he can arrest me AGAIN. When he arrests me, guess what I’m gonna do, again? I’m gonna open my f-in’ gym!
And, in writing, he said:
We didn’t pick this fight. This fight came to us. Frank and I made a promise to each other that we would see this thing all the way through - no matter what. We have not broken any laws, yet we are being treated like criminals. Tyrants use force to exercise their will - threat of imprisonment, financial ruin, and more. And a tyrant is what we have in office. No science, no data, only conclusive statements with no proof. We presented a plan, a sensible one and opened responsibly - and you decided to make it personal, so now here we are. You will not tread on my rights, you will not ruin everything we’ve worked our whole lives for, and you will be held responsible for your trespasses. #lionsnotsheep
Damn right. Kick out the jams.
Notes FoxNews’ Dorman:
Part of their resistance included switching from an LLC to a Private Membership Association (PMA), which they say allows them to sidestep regulations related to the pandemic. They've also nicknamed their gym the ‘Anti-Murphy Autonomous Zone’ (A.M.A.Z), playing off the protest zone opened in Seattle this summer. An Instagram post shows people using gym equipment outdoors with a sign that reads: ‘This is A.M.A.Z. Anti-Murphy Autonomous Zone.’
Said Trumbetti of Murphy’s unilateral edict:
He used the verbiage, ‘as long as you are not licensed as a gym or health club’. Mr. Murphy likes to use specific wording and we like to use it against him. He actually took it a step further on Monday, and he actually opened up all high-risk sports, or full-contact, as long as it’s outside. So, I can do full-contact martial arts. I can box somebody as long as it’s outside. I can tackle ‘em in football. I can do a rugby, you know, scrum, and I can’t get COVID, but, somehow, if I walk into my gym and decide I want to lift weights, or even if I go inside a martial arts studio, I’ll get COVID if I do the same exact thing. It’s actual insanity.
No wonder these local business owners have created the Anti-Murphy Autonomous Zone.
This is the governor who March 21 issued an Executive Order to close gun stores. This is the governor who, shortly after Independence Day, appeared on the oh-so-friendly “Meet the Press” to call for a “nation-wide” mask mandate. This is the governor who, in 2018, sided with the leftist state legislature to literally create a state propaganda conduit, showering $5 million in taxpayer cash on “local news” sources the politicians really, really like.
Nothing like the free market and freedom of speech, eh?
And this is the governor who, when FoxNews’ Tucker Carlson asked him in April how he could square shutting down a synagogue with the readily readable Bill of Rights, replied that he “wasn’t thinking of the Bill of Rights” when he acted.
Indeed, Murphy had the gall to claim that consideration of the Bill of Rights was “above my pay grade.”
Well, Mr. Murphy, you swore an oath to the contrary, and you know what? Even if you lied when you swore your oath, or you were ignorant of the New Jersey and US constitutions, all you need to do is think morally and ask:
Is it right, is it moral, to threaten peaceful property owners and voluntary participants in peaceful activities? Who’s not the peaceful figure in that equation, Mr. Murphy? Who are the figures who can threaten people with fines and force and handcuffs and guns and possibly infect them against their will, even as they suck up the productive earnings of those very victims through the legal theft of taxation?
That would be you.
You are the tyrant, governor, no different than a royal governor of old. You are the impediment. You are the problem.
And we can take note. We can note the stunning contrast between rioters breaking into other people’s businesses to loot and burn, and the peaceful Atilis gym owners having to kick in the barriers your government ordered on their own doors. We can note that Atilis’ owners have a GoFundMe page, where people can voluntarily donate to the cause of freedom to fight your tax-fed extortion-like machine. We can note the phone number of your Attorney General’s office, and we can note your office number at the bottom of your official website – an office where, no doubt, you didn’t have to kick down anything to enter, and you don’t have to please any customer to keep sucking up tax cash.
And like the Atilis Gym owners, we can kick out the jams and get to work.