Saturday, February 25, 2017

Police chief boycotts business for hosting band with disputed name; Humboldt’s last week of news

A band played a sold out show at the Siren’s Song Tavern in Eureka and because of their disputed name Eureka Police Chief Andy Mills called for a boycott of the venue.
In 1982 the punk band was mostly known as Millions of Dead Cops. They came up with the moniker in opposition to police brutality and their album from that year would go on to be noted by Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain as one of his favorites ever. However the next year in 1983 they said the name was misunderstood and decided to change it with every tour keeping the acronym MDC. For their current tour they’re calling themselves Millions of Deceived Citizens.
In response, MDC told the Times Standard Chief Mills overreacted by calling for a boycott of venue, their old name is not a call for cop killing, and all they do is use words to express political ideas
Mills addressed those asking if the call for a boycott was an overreaction. “They have the right to say whatever they want,” he wrote. “I'll fight for that right. There are consequences for their speech. I won't patronize anyone who speaks like that. That too is my right. It's why I love this country.”
“If you were just some angry citizen, I would hold nothing against you for your statements,” wrote a self-described hate-crime victim in an anonymous open letter to Mills released by the group Humboldt Grassroots. “But since you are the police chief, your word is law as far as many people are concerned. Should local business owners be worried you’ll call for a boycott against them for exercising their First Amendment rights as well?”
Local news blogger John Chiv has been very publicly in favor of Mills calling for a boycott of the local venue. “Siren’s Song showed disrespect for (the Eureka Police Department) and the public as well as insensitivity to the fact that recently we read daily headlines about some cop being killed in the line of duty,” he said. “(The venue), in my opinion, by action said ‘fuck you’ to cops. (They) chose to make money off a sensational name and band without considering who it may impact. It is my right as well as anyone else's to boycott them.”
Local citizen Cody Dillon was also very vocal in direct response to Mills' post. “While meth and heroin dealers, car thieves, rapists and murderers run rampant, our police are launching a boycott of a small business that is merely providing a venue space for performance art,” we wrote. “Free speech is more protected than the opinions of a cop, there is no crime here other than infringing on a person's right to have business. Shame on you Andy, why don't you investigate corruption, racial violence in your own department…”
So far the Siren’s Song Tavern says the call for a boycott has not had an impact on business, but people that support them have been even more supportive lately.
What do you think? Do you agree with the Eureka Police Chief’s decision to call for a boycott of the ‘Tavern? Weigh in by voting below.
The story begins at 7:31.
Also covered: A potential new program in Eureka to keep rentals maintained, a contested fart joke in an election booklet, a tree-mendous quake, the closing of a seminal Eureka restaurant, recreational weed permit analysis, the sentencing of an HSU student for vehicular manslaughter, places to ditch unwanted medications, Mills responds to calls to not work with federal immigration agents, and much more.

After the Siren’s Song Tavern allowed the booking of a show featuring a band called Millions of Dead Cops, do you agree with the Eureka Police Chief’s decision to call for a boycott of the venue?