FACT CHECK: He was raided because he refused to follow the bullshit Covid mask mandates and the state suspended his licenses. Tell the whole story 🤡
— Hodgetwins (@hodgetwins) December 5, 2022
The ugly backstory:
A Fredericksburg restaurant that has repeatedly made headlines for defying Virginia’s COVID mandates during the height of the pandemic and battling to maintain its licenses was subject to a search and seizure by the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) Friday morning.
A search warrant was issued for Gourmeltz’s sales records and any information related to “possession of alcoholic beverages without a license, maintaining a common nuisance and the illegal sale of alcoholic beverages.”
Gourmeltz owner Matt Strickland had his license to sell wine/beer/mixed beverages on and off-premises suspended in September 2021, but ABC put a stay on enforcing the order to give Strickland time to appeal. In November 2022, a final ruling was issued and ABC ordered Gourmeltz to halt selling alcohol for 90 days. The agency said it would reduce the suspension to 15 days if Strickland paid a $4,000 penalty and more than $6,400 in investigation costs.
But Gourmeltz did not comply.
The details matter here.
Strickland lost his liquor license for refusing to shut down, mask up, and destroy his livelihood at the behest of a government making illegal orders that did absolutely nothing to stop a respiratory virus that was largely only lethal to the elderly.
The state then tried to strong-arm Strickland into admitting his guilt and assuming financial responsibility for the fiasco by telling him it would only slap him on the wrist if he paid the government $10,000.
When the media tells you he “did not comply,” understand the framework of abject tyranny that surrounds the situation.
Back to the Hodge Twins for their perfect followup:
“We have a court order”
To our brothers in blue, it’s time to start speaking up when you know something ain’t right. This man put his biz and family on the line when the tyrants shut him down and tried extorting money from him.
“I’m just doing my job” won’t work anymore.
Well, it damned sure shouldn’t, at any rate. Let the last word be Strickland’s.
More context on Strickland from a 2021 article written by my coworker Daniel Payne when he was writing for Just The News:
Like many restaurateurs, the Stricklands shut down in the early months of 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic spread. Strickland said he attempted to do carryout-only but the restaurant was unable to generate enough income to maintain operations. In June, he said, he opened up his storefront again under Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s reopening guidelines, among which were numerous dining regulations and capacity limits.
“We followed all the governor’s mandates when the COVID stuff first happened,” Strickland said, “because I didn’t know what COVID was about just like anybody else.” After reopening several months into the pandemic, however, he said the new spate of restaurant regulations “were about something else other than our health and safety” because “they just made no sense.”
“Nobody could sit at a bar, but you could put a table up next to the bar and sit,” he said. “You had to wear a mask just to walk in but when you sit down, you can take it off. [The] regulations made no common sense.”
The state was “starting to strip away the constitutional rights and freedoms of myself and my customers,” he said. “And I wasn’t going to be part of that.”
Fuck the Virginia Waffen SS officers in the liver with a rusty railroad spike for their disgusting role as tyranny-pimps, attempting to ruin an honorable and entirely blameless small-business owner struggling to provide for his family under their godawful yoke. One must hope that there’s an especially warm corner of Hell waiting to welcome their sorry asses for all eternity when their time at long last arrives.
Update! I consider the above story more than adequate confirmation of the truth of Divemedic’s contention:
People need to have a belief that the police are not just another criminal street gang. The more I interact with and see how police work, the more I come to believe that we would be better without them. I have only called them a few times, and each time they did nothing more than write a report. It was a waste of time.
I have said before: the police need to clean up their ranks. I don’t think you can, because I believe that the bad cops far outnumber the good ones. The police have become just another group of criminals who prey on the people in this nation who actually produce wealth. They are a street gang with badges and qualified immunity.
He was writing in regards to another matter altogether, yes, but the core principle holds across contexts.
Updated update! More Matt Strickland, who knows all too well what the fuck time it is.
The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) on Friday raided a popular bar and grill that violated the state’s COVID-19 guidelines early in the pandemic. Matt Strickland, the owner of Gourmeltz in Fredericksburg, is an Army veteran who says it’s important to stand up to tyrannical government edicts, so the next generation doesn’t have to.
“You’re part of the problem, I want you to know that,” Strickland told an ABC officer during the raid. “Every one of you is part of the problem.” The Army vet argued that “just doing my job” is not an excuse for “shutting down a man’s livelihood” over mandates “that didn’t do anything to prevent COVID” and were “detrimental to the community.”
Strickland told the ABC officers that the mandates were also detrimental to the nation’s children. “It set our kids back so many years, it set small businesses back so many years,” he lamented. “It destroyed small businesses, it destroyed families, it destroyed our community,” he added, as the officers stood around, stone-faced and silent.
“What the state of Virginia just did is they took my livelihood away from me right before Christmas,” Strickland later told Fox 5 DC.
In a video posted on YouTube at the time, he told customers that he would not close down his place of business.
“Bottom line is the governor said so – so you have to comply with these mandates,” Strickland said in the video. “I told him politely – I said I’m not in the military anymore, I’m not gonna do something just because you tell me to do it. I’m a civilian now and if you want me to do something it needs to make sense and it needs to not infringe on my constitutional rights and it needs to be lawful.”
“I’m not paying any fine. I’m not serving any suspension, and the reason for that is because I did nothing wrong,” said Strickland, who is planning to run for State Senate in 2023.
“I’m not concerned whatsoever,” Strickland replied when asked if he was worried the state could take further action against his business. “I’ve been ready to die for my country since I was 17 years old, and I’m willing to fight as long and as hard as it takes to make sure that this fight that I’m in right now, this fight that we’re all in right now, doesn’t get passed down to the next generation.”
Good on ya, Matt. Nothing but best wishes and good thoughts to you from here.