As featured this afternoon on MassLive:
Palmer, MA: As town officials held an auction of town-owned properties on Thursday, one of the former property owners staged a protest, saying that his duplex was “stolen.”
“I’m making people aware this is stolen property,” Joseph “Jay” Noone said.
Noone, a Bondsville firefighter, stood outside his former house at 3157-3129 Main St. in the Bondsville section with approximately a half dozen others in support of him. The property was seized for non-payment of taxes, but Noone contends that he should not have to pay taxes on the property. He said he plans to file a federal lawsuit against the town.
“The lawsuit is going to say the town has violated my right to own private property,” Noone said.
Noone and his group made their way to the Town Building, where the auction was held, and were greeted with signs saying “No video recording at Town Hall.” Only registered bidders were allowed in the auction room. The public and media were kept out. The protesters were told they had to stay outside the building, in a designated area, or remain quiet in the hallway.
“This is a closed auction for special elite people. It doesn’t surprise me,” Noone said.
One of the protesters, Ian H. Bernard, 32, of Keene, N.H., was arrested for disorderly conduct after he argued with police about videotaping inside the building. Bernard also is known as Ian Freeman.
Noone was evicted from his property last year.
Related background information from Ian prior to his arrest:
Last time we went to Palmer, MA to help Jay Noone defend his house from being seized. It worked, for a little while, but they ended up taking it. Now, over a year later, the town is finally putting the property up for tax sale. Here’s a recap of what we did while there [from July 2011]:
Ian has been released from jail and will cover this issue on tonight’s episode of Free Talk Live.