the only way to get rid of a cock-a-roach is to shine light upon it..
I would have stood up on a table in the tent, and in a loud voice said, “Attention, these fine people from the city health department want to shut us down. They say we do not have a permit. You all can either throw away the food you have and go home hungry, or you can turn your backs while I physically throw these bastards out, so that there will be no witnesses, or you all can deal with them yourselves....
I do believe the message would be received..
You are exactly correct. Did that exact thing just yesterday. A government agency screwed me over and while I was there, watched them screw over a few other citizens with impossible to meet demands. The government official actually flatly stated a lie right to my face. Made sure everyone in the office knew we the people will not take lies from our government standing down. And if you do it correctly and respectively, they will not arrest you.