Defending Free Speech in Fresno

This is the Community Alliance newsstand in front of the Fresno County Jail.

The Community Alliance had 4 newsstands stolen from in front of the Fresno County Jail over the last year.  You can read more about that story here:

Sheriff Margaret Mims confirmed it was her staff that took and attempted to destroy the one taken on December 31, 2021.  Her staff even showed me video, from their video surveillance camera, of the theft.  

This is the Community Alliance newsstand in front of the Fresno County Jail.

Our solution to this shameless attempt to silence this newspaper is to bolt our newsstands to the sidewalk in front of the jail.  We will not tolerate this  affront to free speech and the communities right to have access to an independent press.

The Community Alliance newspaper had to bolt the newsstand in front of the Fresno County Jail to the sidewalk to prevent law enforcement personnel from stealing it again.

We are also sending a complaint to the California Attorney of California that raises the concern that law enforcement personnel are taking Community Alliance newsstands and not holding the thief accountable for their actions.  The Sheriff claims this crime was committed on the City of Fresno’s sidewalk and therefore is not in her jurisdiction.  The FPD, who we filed a complaint with, has not contacted us about the incident.  We have seen no evidence that an investigation is taking place.

The state can’t give you free speech, and the state can’t take it away. You’re born with it, like your eyes, like your ears. Freedom is something you assume, then you wait for someone to try to take it away. The degree to which you resist is the degree to which you are free…
                       —Utah Phillips

We will also contact the Fresno County Grand Jury, in hopes that they care about the First Amendment and equal justice under the law.

If you want to support the Free Press you can do so here:


  • Mike Rhodes

    Mike Rhodes is the executive director of the Community Alliance, was the editor of this newspaper from 1998 to 2014 and the author of several books. Contact him at

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