12 Hours of Activism – 12 Arrests

GamblingWow! What an amazing day. First, the most successful Free Keene Fest yet! Hundreds of Keeniacs of all ages came out to Railroad Sq. for the over five-hour event! It was a whole lot of fun with lots of booths, great bands, and it was a civil disobedience extravaganza! There was drinking in public, open cannabis smoking, gambling, unlicensed food sales and vendors, and best of all, no police and arrests! Of course there was the event itself for which no one pulled a permit. People were acting like free people, and all was well! Following that was the daily 420 in Central Square and then activists headed out to he brand-new Cheshire Jail to demonstrate for our friend and publisher of the NH Free Press, Russell Kanning. Not only did we circle the outside of the jail building twice (the first time with about five activists, the second time with about fifteen), but we also found Russell!

Upon completion of our second walk around the building (which the prisoners nearly universally loved, except one anonymous guy in the basketball court who told us to fuck off), the entire on-duty contingent of Keene police as well as Swanzey and Marlborough police were on-scene. They approached and we stood our ground, resulting in a dozen arrests. Twelve is the largest number of simultaneous arrests in the history of the NH liberty movement (during Pumpkin Fest, we had three arrests followed by three more a half hour later), and some were wondering in the history of New Hampshire when the last time mass arrests of this amount or larger were made. If anyone knows if this is an all-time record, please post a comment with details.

All were charged with “criminal trespass”, though Rich Paul also received marijuana and paraphernalia charges. There are signs up everywhere about it and they say that it’s only a misdemeanor if you have been ordered to leave. Most of us were never ordered to leave – just arrested. Everyone was given June 1st as an arraignment date at 8am. The only one of us who was not released was the heroic Lauren Canario who was wanted on a “disorderly conduct” warrant out of Nashua. More detail to come on her as we learn it. I’ll post below all the videos I qikked today – sorry I didn’t do one during the arrests – was too distracted to start one up, but Dale did manage to call Porc411 twice from inside the jail (Call #1, Call #2).

When are you going to move to NH, and specifically Keene? Don’t let us have all the fun without you! Today they managed to outnumber us during the arrests, but what if 30 or 50 people had circled the jail?

UPDATE 4/26: Here are some pics of the event from NH Freedom Activism Image Repository.

Here are the Qik videos, which were streamed live at the time, starting with the Free Keene Fest:

  • Seth

    I can't wait to get there and join the fun, seeing as how I'm broke, won't have a job or housing, I might as well just look to get arrested the first day I get there and keep getting arrested. Three hots and a cot for civil dis, anyone?

  • Jay

    Seth, you are the last person the fsp is trying to attract.

    Become a productive, responsible, and property-respecting member of society before you move please.

  • http://www.dooms-day-device.com Puke

    Guess we have to go back for Lauren. :P

  • Police State Keene

    Go ahead and keep getting arrested. That will wipe out the FSP pretty quick when all of you are "having fun" getting busted and convicted. What does the average citizen of Keene think about your juvenile antics? They're not going to "wake up", they're going to demand that all of you be "taken care of" because hardly anyone likes protesters. Stop acting like a bunch of petulant children and grow up. You're doing more harm to the liberty movement than helping it.

  • http://www.keenesentinel.com/classifieds/ Keith

    Why are you guys talking about the FSP? Sure, it is wrong for the cops to go up to people and arrest them for no reason. But, I don't see what that has to do with the FSP. These weren't FSP events or anything.

  • http://freetalklive.com/ Ian

    Yeah, what was I thinking? We should stop reaching out to unjustly imprisoned people and brightening their day by walking around the jail and waving and instead just quietly beg politicians for mercy.

  • bil

    It is confusing-is this actually a part of the Free State project/ Or is it another group,with some common members? If it is Free State,say so.If not,stop refering to it as if it was.This seems to be a marijuana legalisation group.If it is a part of the Free State Project,please state so. —bil

  • Paul

    Free state project just gets people to move, and organizes a couple events each year (porcfest, freedom festival). They don't organize or endorse any activism. What people do after they move is up to them. I'm sure this group includes some who moved as part of the FSP, and some who didn't.

  • http://www.atonalmuse.com Lou

    Any official FSP'ers can correct me if I'm wrong…

    The "official" purpose of the FSP is to get people to move. It does nothing else except outreach in the form of two annual events (Porcupine Freedom Festival and NH Liberty Forum) and tables at other events.

    Not even the Adopt-A-Highway sign in Peterborough that sports the FSP name is official. It was an individual that moved here and adopted the highway span on their own and put the FSP name on it. It has since been passed on to someone else to be responsible for it (i.e. me). Yes, there is irony in having the FSP name on a publicly funded project, but the time individuals put into cleaning the highways is funded solely by the individuals who show up to pick up trash…plus it's not "official" ;)

    There are Free Staters involved in many projects. None of those projects are official FSP organizations or officially sanctioned or approved by the FSP. Any organizing beyond moving here has been purely organic and free of outside (FSP) influence other than cheerleading. Any claim to the contrary is false.

    No persons, individuals, groups, or entities are funded by the FSP. Anything you see being done in NH that the media brands as "Free Staters" is completely voluntary and organic.

    I repeat, completely voluntary and organic. I know this is a foreign concept to some of you out there. It's ok. Just breathe and try to relax. ;)

  • bigScrotum

    My understanding is that the food in the new jail is much better than the cooking provide by the tradition Free State women. This should provide additional motivation to get away from the nags in civil disobedience, aka Gandhi, John Brown, Wally and the Beaver.

  • Mackler

    I never can help but notice that all the most obnoxious comments are left by people posting under fake names.

  • michael Garcia

    Aha Mackler. Very astute. From time to time someone comes on and leaves a nasty message. But do they leave their names so that we know who they are? No. Do they come to the biggest gathering of the year to tell all these pests to leave. No. They're cowards pure and simple. Our message of liberty is powerful, just, logical, and ethical. They're afraid that the public will latch on to our ideas and reject the coercive state. These random individuals try and discourage us by telling us that no one wants us here.

  • theKINGofKEENE

    Comment by Seth

    April 26, 2010 @ 2:30 am

    I can’t wait to get there and join the fun, seeing as how I’m broke, won’t have a job or housing, I might as well just look to get arrested the first day I get there and keep getting arrested. Three hots and a cot for civil dis, anyone?"…

    Dude, that's just you being facetious, correct??? *I* think Jay mis-understood you. Correct?…Comment by Mackler

    Also, we have this, from "MACKLER":

    April 26, 2010 @ 5:49 pm

    I never can help but notice that all the most obnoxious comments are left by people posting under fake names.

    MACKLER, you are so, so, so correct on that one. Let's prove it, shall we? *OK, BIGSCROTUM*, what's your real name???…HAH! He'll never come on and post his real name. Bet me. I need the$$$… As for all this other crap, I'm just so sad. A beautiful FREEDOM/FREEKEENE FEST, and then, *AND THEN*, you *ALL* – cops & activists alike, just have to go screw it all up, just for your little fun and games. I got tired of the bureaucrp bullshit, & crooked cop tricks years, *YEARS* ago…I'm quickly getting sick of all you punk-ass, immature, brain-washed ideologue idiots. *COPS & ACTIVISTS* alike! (I still love you guys, I'm just sick & tired of all your bullshit. *COPS & ACTIVISTS* ***BOTH***….!.tKoK.

  • KDus

    12 of 812 confirmed movers(plus locals) = about %1.4 of the FSP. That's hardly gonna wipe em out.

    Both numbers will continue to grow.

    The numbers of FSP votes will grow, too. How are they gonna get wiped out?

  • Bangor

    Give credit where credit is due! It was a proud and strong accomplishment! I applaud these heroic supporters for liberty; they took a freedom position and stood solid – as many others have done before such as Ian and Sam. A memorable day in freedom history.

  • bigScrotum

    I gave up my state registered name long ago. What is a real name?

    I find it amusing that such details are of interest or relevance. My name is my property, not yours. You two are as bad as the state busybodies you abhor.

    The solution is simple. If I'm not welcome, then banish me. And if you do, affirm your cowardice and retreat into the intolerant totalitarian dystopia, you seem to promote.

    You are embarrassing yourselves.

  • bil

    Thank you for clarifying the two 'movements',there is a lot of confusion in places like Westmoreland,where being a Free Stater is some sort of bad thing.Like a Democrat,only more so!It is too bad the discussion here sometimes turns into name-calling,so be it.As for me,this is my name as I use it. —bil

  • http://mike.barskey.net Mike Barskey

    <blockquote cite="Mackler">I never can help but notice that all the most obnoxious comments are left by people posting under fake names.

    @Mackler: I've also noticed that the vast majority of aggressive, angry, or threatening posts are from people supporting the State (or opposing liberty activists).

  • Sam A. Robrin

    It's pretty much a chicken-and-the-egg situation: People get aggressive, angry, and threatening in support of the State because the State supports their aggressive, angry, and threatening natures.

  • Highline

    Seth,

    Doing so would put you in the position where you would be putting a huge burden on the system for something it really shouldn't be handling in the first place.

    It would be heroic…… and I wish I was in a position where I could contribute in that way.

    Don't listen to what the naysayers have to say about civil disobedience. I used to be one of them.

  • bil

    Isn't this a forum for various ideas? If it were just a cheerleading,back-patting site,where would it get anyone?So someone posts something you don't agree with.Get over it and reply sensibly.I don't agree with all of you,and you don't agree with me.Seeing the pictures and guessing the age of most,I think I am safe to say I have been fighting the system longer than some of you have been alive.I just have been using a lower profile,you can do more if they aren't aware who is doing it.

    Be aware of the other sides view also.I listen to rightwind AM radio all the time.I don't care what the people that agree with me think,I want to know what the opposition is up to.Knowledge is power.And I try not to convince the powers or police to change-they like things the way they are.Instead I try to educate the group of people that are unaware,they are the ones you want to get to,not to piss them off.When you can show a working man how his money is spent in ways that are against his interest,that is progress.When you go out of the way to be outrageous and get arrested,that doesn't change many minds,at least not in your favor.However,to each his own,at least you have your eyes open to the real game. —bil