Moscow Psalm Sing Arrests: One Year Later

Moscow, Idaho. September 23rd, 2021.

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the unconstitutional arrests of Sean and Rachel Bohnet, and Gabriel Rench at a Psalm Sing held in the parking lot of the Moscow City Hall. Psalm Sings are a regular event for the organizing church (Christ Church, pastored by Douglas Wilson), but this particular Psalm Sing was at City Hall in protest of the mask mandate imposed by the City Council.

Here is a brief timeline with videos and links.

Sean and Rachel Bohnet, local music teachers, are arrested at random from the crowd:

Gabriel Rench, who was running for County Commissioner at the time, arrested:

Full Video of entire event:

Two Days Later, on Friday Sept 25th, Christ Church holds a second Psalm Sing in the same location. Daniel Foucachon, member at Christ Church (and founder of Moscow Report) explains the rational of the second Psalm Sing a few hours ahead of the event. This time, a few counter-protestors brought drums in an attempt to drown out the singing of Moscow Christians, as congregants from multiple local churches joined for this second Psalm Sing. No police were in sight, except in the window of City Hall, taking photos.

On Saturday Sept 26th, south-eastern Idaho representative comes to Moscow to protest mask mandate. Sarah Brady also spoke.

On October 3rd, Sean and Rachel Bohnet pleaded not guilty to resisting or obstructing officers and violating the Moscow face mask order.

On October 7th, Christ Church once again has a Psalm Sing, this time in Friendship Square. No police intervened, though they were seen on the roof of a nearby building, filming the entire event.

Nearby apartments blasted obscene music in an attempt to drawn out the Christians singing Psalms.

President Donald Trump re-tweets the video of the arrest of Gabriel Rench on October 7th:

On November 22, Lieutenant Governor Speaks at Statewide Press Conference.

On December 8th, Christ Church and other churches sing Christmas Carols in front of City Hall (link includes videos further explaining this event).

January 8th, the City of Moscow Admits Mistakes in Arrests. “In a press release on Friday, the City of Moscow stated that the Legal Department has asked the Court to drop misdemeanor charges issued on September 23, 2020, to five individuals for violations of the city’s emergency mask order, Emergency Order 20-03.”

January 11th, Moscow Administrative Committee Moves to Close ‘Loopholes’ in Mask Mandate. The goal was to remove religious (and other) exceptions from the mandate.

January 18th City Council: ‘There is No Constitutional Right to be Free from Face Coverings’ City Council says.

March 24th, Three Residents File Lawsuit against Moscow City Officials for Unlawful Arrests.

Those lawsuits are still pending.

Gabriel Rench reflects on the arrests one year later in this livestream.

This has been a very brief summary of events along with videos. All the above links go into further detail.


StickerGate incident:
Three Charged with 13 Misdemeanors for Posting Stickers on City Poles
Four ‘Soviet Moscow’ Chalk Demonstrations Drawn on Sidewalks in Moscow Idaho
Idaho Author Faces Jail Time on Farcical Charge
Nate Wilson “Stickergate” Update
City Fumbles Prosecution of Teenagers over ‘Soviet Moscow’ Stickers

The following short videos (curtesy of Enforced Because We Care website – one embedded below) were created by a young observer of local politics in Moscow wanting to express their opinion using a creative medium to draw attention to the issue surrounding the sticker misdemeanor charges, free speech, and the sudden removal of stickers by the city.

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