Police Shut Down Cub Scouts’ Cotton Candy Booth and Homeless Shelter’s Bake Sale

What would we do without the heroes in the Keene Police Department? Thank goodness they are here to keep us safe from the criminal Cub Scouts selling us cotton candy and the volunteers at the Hundred Nights shelter selling us baked goods! Here’s the news story from the Sentinel. I heard there was video taken, but I haven’t seen it pop up yet.

Many businesses and nonprofit organizations name Pumpkin Festival as their most profitable selling day or fundraiser.

But a few fundraisers were cut short by police and festival organizers.

Police shut down three vendors for operating without permits this year.

One of them was the Cub Scout Pack 297 cotton candy booth. Den leader Roberta Mastrogiovanni said being shut down was unfair.

“It was very rude to my scouts and people from out of town were witnessing what was going on,” Mastrogiovanni said.

According to Mastrogiovanni, who owns the Corner News, the scouts were selling on her private property next to her store. Permits are required only on city-owned land.

Suzanne L. Woodward, executive director of festival organization Center Stage, said the selling was happening on city-owned property, and that is why it was shut down.

Mastrogiovanni said the scouts had run their booth for the past four years in the same location, and there had never been a problem before.

The scouts moved their operation inside Mastrogiovanni’s store, and continued to sell cotton candy there. They were back outside later in the night.

Another vendor that was shut down was selling on behalf of the Hundred Nights Shelter. The booth was selling baked goods and drinks, according to Donald R. Primrose, who started the shelter last winter.

Members of Free Keene, a local activist group, were staffing the booth, Primrose said.

Primrose was angry at being shut down, and moved the booth from in front of the Apothecary to next to the Hundred Nights facility on Lamson Street, giving away the remaining items for free.

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84 Comments

  1. I spoke with the with Corner News owners this morning. Apparently one of the cops lost his cool, was throwing things around on the table and at one point pushed Roberta in front of the kids.

    I discussed various aspects of property rights, "the brotherhood", and how tyranny grows if left unchecked. I found complete agreement on all of these issues, and most of the time I was listening to them make the points.

    Unfortunately they were too afraid of retaliation to speak on camera. Hopefully they will change their mind at some point.

    People need to see what the police are doing. This was a private corporation controlling police to violate the law in order to gain benefit, and the idiots in KPD are too indoctrinated to realize what they are even doing.

    If nobody speaks out, how will this ever change?

    Reply
  2. The brotherhood?

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  3. I was a Cub Scout right here in Keene. Spent a year in Boy Scout Troop 302 before my family moved away…Baptized in that big white church at the head of the Square, too, for what that's worth…I understand that it was KPD officer McLaughlin, *IN UNIFORM* who shut down the Cub Scouts…Can that fact be confirmed???…At the 2009 Pumpkin Fest, I watched while McLaughlin & a couple other KPD's literally stood in the shadows of Main St. for an hour, while the cops just watched drunken college kids smash pumpkins…So, KPD, I see you ignore drunk college kids smashing pumpkins on Main St., but you shut down the Cub Scouts bake sale???…WTF???…And Eli "E-lies" Rivera has the gall to actually run as the Democratic candidate for Cheshire County Sheriff???…all the more reason to here re-affirm my Withdrawal of Consent to be Governed by NH, as Authorized under Article X, NH Constitution, "Right of Revolution"…Fuck-you, KPD, fuck-you, Cheshire County, fuck-you, NH, *AND* MAY GOD BLESS AMERICA, and god-damn the *REST* of *YOU LOT*…LIVE FREE & DIE, motherfucker…>""Turcotte me, English!, Turcotte me!""<…tKoK.

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  4. Gee, i sure hope my Dad's not serious…I'd miss my Dad, if he died too soon…~tKoK, jr.

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  5. Maybe THAT'S how it will change, Sam…One dead, cop-killed citizen at a time…No, I'm not laughing. Or smiling. This shit is as real as it gets. Whether the Sentinel gets the story straight, or not…Well, at least a cop-killed citizen is better than a citizen-killed cop, right???…

    Reply
  6. "The brotherhood" is the internal name for the blue light gang aka the "thin blue line"

    It's gang terminology to go with their gang signs. .

    Reply
  7. …see the Errol Morris documentary, "The Thin Blue Line", for a great take on "the brotherhood" in mid-20th Century Texas, USA…./…."we has met the enemy, & they is us"…

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  8. I have to agree, these arrests are bullshit. But something people should know is, every time Free Keeniacs go to jail they cost the taxpayers money. So whenever people do something really unproductive and really stupid (like running down the street naked or bringing beer into the courtroom) the results of their actions will do the exact opposite of what they were intended to achieve. Just pointing this out.

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  9. Wow, what brave heroes, shutting down a cub scout bake sale and a charity fundraiser, both of which were harming nobody and benefiting good causes.

    But, I guess they didn't pay the mob protection racket they call "permits" so the mob's thug enforcers threatened violence in order to shut them down.

    If anyone reading this is a cop who believes themselves to still have a modicum of basic decency, stand up and speak out against this abuse.

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  10. every time Free Keeniacs go to jail they cost the taxpayers money

    No, the police who choose to arrest people for B.S. reasons cost the taxpayers money. Stop blaming the victims.

    I certainly don't agree with every instance "activism" that's occurred, by any means, but the responsibility for choosing to enforce B.S. laws and wasting taxpayer money is on the police, not those against whom they perpetrate their abuse.

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  11. I was present when the bake sale volunteers for the homeless shelter were being harassed by the woman from Center Stage productions for selling on "her" street. She seemed oblivious to the fact that she and Center Stage productions, nor the town officials own anybody. She seemed intent on using force and followed through on her threat to call the cops to make them stop helping people.

    After awhile the cops arrived (they probably had just been shaking down some cub scouts for selling cotton candy without paying the extortion money) they at least showed signs of being embarrassed for hassling people trying to help a homeless shelter. Naturally they sheepishly offered their standard excuse for their presence…

    Just doing their job? Why is that an excuse of any kind, that's the one the Nazi used during the Nuremberg trials.

    I offered to mediate a solution and asked the 7 or 8 cops to join me in donating $5 apiece to buy the remaining bake sale goods so that the "illegal table" would then be empty of its wares, could close down and the situation could be diffused. After an obligatory joke at their expense about the donuts they got serious and threatened to arrest people for not having paid the extortion fee for vending.

    I guess after their threat of violence finally got them the desired result and the lady from Center Stage productions was "protected" they went back to more dangerous work like bothering disobedient Cub Scouts.

    Don't worry fellas, I didn't eat all the donuts, but not one of you anted up the $5 for the homeless either did you?

    Reply
  12. "No, the police who choose to arrest people for B.S. reasons cost the taxpayers money. Stop blaming the victims."

    My intent isn't to "blame the victims" but give the hard truth. These dumb stunts do absolutely nothing to make things better for the people of Keene. Regardless as to what stupid laws exist, people who engage in activism need to weigh what's going to be productive and what isn't. If you're just going to jail for the sake of "showing what a dumb law there is" it's not really going to do much except raise taxes in Keene to pay for your jail time. I can understand going to jail for protesting against truly oppressive laws, but things like setting up a bake sale without a permit is not worth it.

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  13. people who engage in activism need to weigh what’s going to be productive and what isn’t.

    I agree with that.

    I can understand going to jail for protesting against truly oppressive laws, but things like setting up a bake sale without a permit is not worth it.

    Are you kidding — that is absolutely an immoral and oppressive law. I disagree with the subject or method of some civil disobedience, but this is exactly the kind of protest that there needs to be more of. The government has no right to demand you pay them fees and jump through hoops to trade with your neighbors, and these kind of extortions and "regulations", both here and overseas, prevent many people of little means from starting businesses, who otherwise could.

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  14. well its about time the keene coppers did something

    now they just should go after the webelos and brownies.

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  15. Julia,

    Rosa Parks called, she wants to know if she should have patiently waited another 50 years to sit in the front of the bus, instead of causing the cops and the tax payers the expense of arresting her.

    Using your "logic" regarding civil disobedience being ineffective all those black people demonstrating for rights were just costing the public money because um those Police dogs eat more when they have to attack people standing up for justice.

    Blindly following bad laws until they are changed is a rationalization to continue evil.

    Answer this – How is the tax payer money acquired by the "officals" in the first place….under the threat of force or voluntarily?

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  16. > She seemed intent on using force and followed through on her threat to call the cops to make them stop helping people.

    Sounds like someone wants a candlelight vigil.

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  17. …It will be a great day, when the schools have all the money they need, and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber, except for when KPD shuts 'em down…

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  18. …&didn't Julia from lala land miss the fact that at least this time nobody got arrested???…

    Reply
  19. Paul's comment: "History shows that civil disobedience can be very effective, however, if it’s done right."

    The two obvious cases of effective civil disobedience (in recent memory) are Gandhi in India and Martin Luther King in the USA.

    Both situations revolved around a strong leader with clear goals. Supporters knew exactly the group intent, and as a result it was straightforward to donate time, money, and expertise.

    For contrast, demonstrations surrounding the Vietnam war and G8 summit (and other "G[n]" meetings) as a general rule did not have a purpose or a leader or a rallying concept. Activism in those cases achieved… nothing. "The Smothers Brothers" got canceled and some hippies were jailed on drug charges. That's about it.

    This group appears to be in the 2nd camp: activism for its own sake. Your actions appear similar to tactics which are historically ineffective.

    FreeKeene has been around for a couple of years, and had several incidents of unfair treatment. Does you have followup plans? Will you try to change something?

    What is the purpose of the group? The "About" link is a marvelous salad of words which say little or nothing. Phrases like "tap into the epicenter of the Peaceful Evolution" aren't exactly informative. Can a [website] visitor be expected to join or support your cause?

    It's hard to get behind you as a group without knowing what it is you're trying to accomplish. One can't even tell if you intend to accomplish anything.

    To an outside observer, this vacuum of intent makes your actions seem ridiculous, which is one reason you get ridicule from outsiders.

    To be specific, your actions seem irrational because there is no clear rationale for doing them. It's easy to make fun of irrational people.

    Reply
  20. …irrationality can only be understood irrationally, Jeff…and it's just as easy to make fun of *RATIONAL* people, too, you know,…if you keep poking this lot long enough, even then, you prolly still won't get a coherent group out of them…stop trying to instigate cohesion and clear-wrought group dynamics, you chaotic asshole…

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  21. …when *I* tapped into the Epicenter of the Peaceful Evolution, my karma ran over my dogma, all my chakras aligned spontaneously, and put flowers for Algernon, OK???…thnx…~tKoK.

    Reply
  22. Once again,thank you,KoK,for seeing through it all,and telling it as you see it. Nice to see you around! —bil

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  23. Free Keeners: First let me say I hate you all.

    That being said. This is the kind of stuff that you can focus your attention on. Go about it smart though. Investigate it don't piss off people. Use a gentle hand. I agree with you on what happened. Just please let me agree with you once on how you handle the situation.

    Reply
  24. Jeff, you don't think people ridiculed Gandhi and MLK?

    How about you take the lead and show us how it is done? Much better to show the way rather than critique from the sidelines.

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  25. Ian,

    I think Jeff already had some pretty good points that you could take into consideration, I don't know why you simply write him off as merely critiquing from the sidelines. Starting with his first observation of the fact that most successful civil disobedience movements need not only a clear purpose, but a clear leader.

    This is something that Free Keene adamantly avoids, and something which I believe greatly discredits the actions people are trying to take. The unwillingness of people such as yourself or Sam to step up and claim leadership of the group, to me, just reads as you/Sam/etc. not wanting to take responsibility for things that go wrong. It is pretty clear that you and Sam both spearhead most of the goings-on, yet you often revert to statements like 'Free Keene is just a blog' or 'there are no leaders.'

    Most people aren't going to take any movement seriously if there is no clear force to get behind. Would you be more likely to a) support Dr. MLK Jr. in is fight to end racially discriminate civil rights abuses, or b) support a group of bloggers that want to start a peaceful evolution with no real direction other than 'liberty'? Just because your cause might be clear to you, doesn't mean it is clear to others…even others who try to inform themselves. Lack of leadership and clear focal points/movements leads to a sense of apathy.

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  26. Holy,

    Is it really so impossible to imagine a group without a leader? I'm in a book club…we don't have a leader.

    How can a person take responsibility for the actions of other people? Ian and Sam don't control the actions of anyone but themselves. What would it even mean for them to "take responsibility" for the actions of others?

    Also, I think ending the institutionalized violence known as "the state" is a very clear (though far more lofty than those of MLK or Ghandi) goal

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  27. Vince,

    I never said groups have to have leaders, but I believe they do if they want to really accomplish anything. Is your book club trying to implement any sort of wide-spread social change?

    A person *can* take responsibility for the actions of others, to some extent. That doesn't mean they have to admit to doing it themselves, but if you are leading a movement, yes, you should be willing to claim responsibility for the actions of those who follow you. The lack of clear responsibility means a lack of cohesiveness.

    And I would disagree that Free Keene's goals are as clear as MLK's.

    Reply
  28. "A person *can* take responsibility for the actions of others, to some extent."

    You can't control the actions of anyone other than yourself, so I'm still having a tough time understanding taking the blame for something not under your control. Do you take responsibility for the rain too?

    If you aren't clear as to the goals of Free Keene, you should take a look at the "About" and "New Here?" pages. Taking them together, it's pretty clear that the purpose is "peaceful evolution to a voluntary society"

    Reply
  29. Vince,

    Taking responsibility for someone's actions doesn't mean you have to control them. Rather, it means that if you choose to allow them to associate themselves with your initiative (eg Free Keene) you are also choosing to accept that their actions will forthwith be linked with that initiative, unless you publicly condemn what they have done.

    Here's another example. Does the CEO of a company that makes, say, car seats, personally inspect the quality of all of his or her workers products? Of course not. Does that mean he/she does not assume some responsibility if there is a product recall? No. You will never hear a CEO saying 'this is just a group of people making car seats, I can't help it if some of my employees do things wrong.'

    And believe me, I have read the info page many times, and talked to a lot of people. I understand what some people are working towards, but that doesn't mean that there isn't still an issue of vagueness with the movement as a whole.

    Reply
  30. It’s hard to get behind you as a group without knowing what it is you’re trying to accomplish. One can’t even tell if you intend to accomplish anything.

    The purpose is to work to eliminate tolerance of aggressive violence in society. The main unchecked perpetrator of aggressive violence at this time are the men and women calling themselves government, so their actions are a major focus.

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  31. Free Keeners: First let me say I hate you all.

    Why?

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  32. The CEO is the leader of a corporation, so that's an invalid analogy. The CEO is chosen to head a company, and is given ultimate decision-making power within the corporation.

    Since Free Keene has no leaders, each person is responsible for himself. How would Ian go about "not allowing" someone to be associated with Free Keene anyway? Doesn't seem possible.

    As far as the purpose being vague, well, I guess if you don't understand the purpose then it must be vague, since clearly it wasn't communicated well enough for you to understand it. I felt it was pretty clear, but then again it could just be that I'm very familiar with these ideas. Perhaps the about and new here pages could be edited for clarity (or maybe a "goals" or "purpose" subheading added on one of those pages.

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  33. Don't pay the protection money like the rest of the slaves you're gettin' shut down.

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  34. "The CEO is the leader of a corporation, so that’s an invalid analogy. "

    Why? You said that you can't take responsibility for someone's actions other than yourself.

    "Since Free Keene has no leaders, each person is responsible for himself. How would Ian go about “not allowing” someone to be associated with Free Keene anyway? Doesn’t seem possible."

    I'm saying that they *should* have leaders, that has been my whole point this entire time. If someone did something that Ian didn't feel was appropriate in light of what Free Keene was trying to accomplish, he would have to publicly state that he didn't think those actions were appropriate. Just like a CEO.

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  35. "Why? You said that you can’t take responsibility for someone’s actions other than yourself."

    As the leader, it is YOUR decisions that you take responsibility for. Like your decision to hire that person. And yes, the CEO should indeed take responsibility.

    "If someone did something that Ian didn’t feel was appropriate in light of what Free Keene was trying to accomplish, he would have to publicly state that he didn’t think those actions were appropriate."

    Why do you need a leader to do this? Can't Ian (and other Free Keeners) call out people whose behavior they don't agree with without having a leader?

    To have a leader, you have to have followers. Does the Free Keene crowd seem like the kind of people who are willing to take orders to you? :)

    Reply
  36. This entire situation could have easily been avoided, had those involved actually wanted to help the homeless, and not just get publicity for themselves. I own a business on Main street. I have not paid for permits or 'protection money' to sell at the Pumpkin Festival for the 3 years I have owned it. I have been out front each year, selling coffee, pastries etc., and never been hassled, because I am on my property. These folks were on the sidewalk, not private property. This year I had several officers come and buy coffee from me on the sidewalk. No problems. I spoke to the people for Center Stage during the day. No problems. This year I sold pumpkin whoopie pies as a benefit for the Keene Community Kitchen. Again, no problems. We were on private property. There are plenty of spaces on Main street where this could have been set up, if those who organized it had done it properly. I know of at least 1 storefront that was closed. You could have contacted the property owner to see if they would be willing to let you use it. That is what the Community Kitchen did with me, and I was glad to offer my space for them, free of charge, and in a spot where I could have easily put more of my products out to sell. Other businesses have space on their property where you could set up a small stand off the sidewalk. There would not have been a problem, but there would not have been any 'publicity' for FreeKeene, either.
    I also find it interesting that Sam continues to taunt the police, and when they give him some advice and remind him he is on probation, he takes it as a threat. You really, really need to grow up Sam. Advice is not a threat. I know. I tried to give you some and that is what you ignorantly accused me of as well, doing so to try and promote your own purposes.
    This incident had little to do with the homeless shelter or the Boy Scouts. It had everything to do with trying to create a scene.
    The Pumpkin Festival has been put on for 20 years by Center Stage. I certainly don't agree with all, or even most of what they do. But they are the ones who organize it, set it up, clean up and pay for it. It has been their show. But now it is now open for somebody else to run it. If Free Keene thinks they can do a better job, why don't you step up to the plate? it is a perfect opportunity to show your organizational and promotional skills. And you won't even have to start it up from scratch like Center Stage did. There are tens of thousands of people who are just waiting to come back for next year. Sam, you were taunting the person from Center Stage, saying that this is the reason the Pumpkin Festival is 'dying'. Well, show them the right way to run it. Open it up to any vendor who wants to show up. Don't charge fees or have any rules. See if you can get this many people coming back year after year. How many came up specifically for the Free Keene Fest? It didn't look to me like 70-80,000, but I could have miscounted by a bit.

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  37. "Advice is not a threat."

    Hey, buddy, if you don't watch your mouth, it might get bloodied.

    Just some friendly advice.

    Reply
  38. had those involved actually wanted to help the homeless, and not just get publicity for themselves

    Do you think it's possible for people to want to take a stand against bad laws for reasons other than to gain publicity for themselves?

    Advice is not a threat.

    Uh, yes it can be, e.g.: "I advise you to hand over your wallet if you don't want to get shot"

    I know. I tried to give you some and that is what you ignorantly accused me of as well, doing so to try and promote your own purposes.

    I heard it, and what you said absolutely sounded like a threat. You implied that you could have Sam locked up for a year, so you "advised" him that he play ball.

    What the cop said here sounded a lot like a threat to me too. Sam was standing there talking to them, when he "warned" sam about his bail — obviously trying to thwart Sam's speech.

    It had everything to do with trying to create a scene.

    The police and center stage created a scene. They should have left the boy scouts and 100 nights alone. And the boyscouts had been in the same spot for years.

    If Free Keene thinks they can do a better job, why don’t you step up to the plate?

    Personally, a pumpkin festival is not something I'd be motivated to spend the bulk of my time and effort on.

    Open it up to any vendor who wants to show up. Don’t charge fees

    People being forced to pay for the upkeep of these areas have a right to use them. You can't extort money from them, use it to maintain land, and then charge admission or restrict access to that land by those people.

    If a pumpkin fest were to be held on this taxpayer funded land, it would have to be a very open event, yes.

    Personally speaking, if keene city council were to transfer central square to a voluntary organization, and give everyone in keene a chance to join, I would respect the decisions of that organization.

    or have any rules

    Well, rules against harming persons or property could be enforced — no smashing pumpkins, etc.

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  39. Obviously, Paul and Vince, a threat can be phased as 'advice', but it is only a threat if a condition is put on it. A cop reminding someone he is on probation is not a threat. Me telling someone the police are drooling to get their hands on him is not a threat. Twist things around however you want. You are getting very good at it Paul. All I know is I never paid any kind of fee to Center Stage, extortion or otherwise. And I have never had a problem. But let's remember, none of this would ever happen if Center Stage didn't put on the Pumpkin Festival. If you guys want to run it another way, have at it. Something tells me it would be as well attended as the Free Keene Fest. Except there wouldn't be the few extra thousand people still in town that happened on to your event this year.

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  40. "A cop reminding someone he is on probation is not a threat."

    Yes, it is.

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  41. "As the leader, it is YOUR decisions that you take responsibility for. Like your decision to hire that person. And yes, the CEO should indeed take responsibility."

    So why shouldn't someone like Ian take responsibility for allowing certain people to associate with Free Keene? It's the same issue of protecting your image–an issue Ian, Sam, or someone else doesn't seem to want to have to deal with…which is what I believe discredits their commitment.

    "Why do you need a leader to do this? Can’t Ian (and other Free Keeners) call out people whose behavior they don’t agree with without having a leader?"

    Yes, but if you read back you will see that this whole conversation was started on the basis of effectiveness. Jeff suggested that most, if not all successful social movements come hand-in-hand with a leader willing to take the blame *and* spearhead the cause. Without a clear driving force, it just becomes an ambiguous mess of people, not a clear, concise push for change.

    "To have a leader, you have to have followers. Does the Free Keene crowd seem like the kind of people who are willing to take orders to you?"

    Since when does being a follower imply that you have to take orders? Can't following someone be voluntary? A leader doesn't have to order people, he/she has to motivate them and make them *want* to follow him/her.

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  42. Obviously, Paul and Vince, a threat can be phased as ‘advice’, but it is only a threat if a condition is put on it. A cop reminding someone he is on probation is not a threat.

    No, it can still be a threat. For example, suppose you're saying something I don't like to a group of people, at which point I say, "Remember James, I know where you live". That's an implied threat.

    Me telling someone the police are drooling to get their hands on him is not a threat. Twist things around however you want. You are getting very good at it Paul.

    I'm not twisting anything. And yes, a statement expressing your desire that someone do something, followed by something like, "Remember, the police are dying to get their hands on you, and I can hand you over to them" is absolutely a threat.

    Look, this is water under the bridge, I'm not trying to dredge this up again — you deserve to be able to move on. All I'm saying is, depending on context, "advice" certainly can constitute a threat.

    All I know is I never paid any kind of fee to Center Stage, extortion or otherwise. And I have never had a problem.

    You were forced to pay the Keene city government for the maintenance of the square, however — that was the extortion I was referring to.

    But, your account is useful information — and I'm certainly glad you were not harassed for selling whoopee pies, and I commend you for loaning your space for such a good cause.

    Personally, I think the sidewalk sections should be given back to the business owners that abut it — so what you allow or disallow in front of brewbakers would be up to you.

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  43. This story made it into the morning news mix this morning on WTAM 1100 out of Cleveland Ohio. It's a good way to get people thinking about why it is we obey bad or arbitrary rules and what the proper role of the law is in a civil society.

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  44. You make decent points HC … people do seem to have an easier time understanding groups when they have clear leaders. Historically, these leaders are the intended new political leaders (kings, etc).

    I really wish people in general could learn to judge ideas, persons, and actions individually, rather than collectivizing people into the modern equivalent of tribes, and judging them that way. Perhaps that's asking too much.

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  45. While it may look like a threat to remind Sam about his probation (and it may be,I don't know) it would have been easy for the cop to say nothing until Sam did something that could be interpreted as a violation,then have his probation revoked. Threats and warnings sometimes sound alike.

    While I certainly do not approve of the shutting down of the sale or cub scouts,I think it was handled by both parties much better than other events in the past. And yes,I was there at both actions. The fact that so much of the public was also there may have had an effect,also. Nacht und Nebel works better. Sorry to hear that the compromise move was also shut down.

    One of the big problems I have is the city council declaring everything public property for the day. Is this some form of martial law? Is it even legal? I would imagine what they did was to declare all public property to be under the control of Center Stage for the day,but how far does that extend? Main street? 50 feet back?

    Or does it extend to the city limits? What was also interesting was the crowd control action as soon as the fireworks ended.Loudspeakers telling everyone they must be off the streets immediately,so cleanup could begin.No liesurely stroll back to your car,maybe enjoying the pumpkins better as the crowd thinned. No,it was bullhorns or the loudspeaker,very harsh and authorative.Not what I would call a nice ending.

    Yes,the streets had to be cleared so the cleanup crews and trucks could work safely.But a little bit of time could have been given.This was before the 'riots' that occured later,and in another part of town,toward the college. The police could have done a nicer job of ending the event,instead of a 'all over,get the fuck out' attitude. And I know some of the cops were not familiar with the city,having been brought in from elsewhere.In fact,there were several that Hitler gave the night off directing traffic-you know who you are.

    Continuing with my rant– how true,I don't know,anyone with the facts,please enlighten me. I was told that formerly the leftover pumpkins were used as pig food,but now because of some rule,they had to go to the dump.or more accurately,the contracted waste disposal site. I remember reading that Keene city council was discussing the fact that some folks and haulers were sending their garbage to cheaper facilities,and was cutting into the revenue stream,so all garbage must go to the Keene dump. If true,this would mean they even own your trash. Enough of this off-topic. Nice to see positive protest since some actual money was raised for the shelter.good cooking,too.Hard to believe at least one cop couldn't resist the baked goods! —bil

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  46. Paul,

    Thank you. But yes, I actually do think that asking people not to collectivize ideas is 'too much.' Subtle nuances become less relevant when looking at the larger picture, and I don't think it is necessarily detrimental to collectivize ideas–usually, finding common ground and working towards that is more effective than working towards each individual, slightly different goal.

    Not to mention, when observing a movement from the outside, it is hard to judge ideas and persons individually when all the information you can garner is on a group level.

    I don't necessarily understand why 'collectivizing' is always so negatively stigmatized. Yes, it can be dangerous to judge a group based on superficial commonalities, but is it wrong to acknowledge these basic commonalities at all? I don't think so.

    Although people associated with Free Keene may not be working towards all of the same specific goals, I think it is safe to say that they all hold common beliefs on a fundamental level, so what is wrong with recognizing that?

    There is strength in numbers–resorting to excuses like 'we are all individuals' (no matter how logistically 'true' that statement may be) when something goes wrong, disseminates the force of collective power and ultimately stunts the growth of the movement, I believe. If there is a sense of group desire (ie, the drive to work towards liberty) there also has to be a sense of group accountability and responsibility.

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  47. Thank you. But yes, I actually do think that asking people not to collectivize ideas is ‘too much.’ Subtle nuances become less relevant when looking at the larger picture, and I don’t think it is necessarily detrimental to collectivize ideas–usually, finding common ground and working towards that is more effective than working towards each individual, slightly different goal.

    There is one goal, I would say: ending tolerance for aggression.

    There are, however, many different ideas about the best methods to use towards that end.

    Not to mention, when observing a movement from the outside, it is hard to judge ideas and persons individually when all the information you can garner is on a group level.

    I wish people would take the time. The thing is, members of the liberty movement are so diverse, that to have more or less homogeneous groups would require a very large number of groups.

    I don’t necessarily understand why ‘collectivizing’ is always so negatively stigmatized. Yes, it can be dangerous to judge a group based on superficial commonalities, but is it wrong to acknowledge these basic commonalities at all? I don’t think so.

    People do tend to get judged, unfairly, for the actions of others, which they often don't even agree with. It's assumed everyone in the group is the same, when that's usually far from the case.

    Although people associated with Free Keene may not be working towards all of the same specific goals, I think it is safe to say that they all hold common beliefs on a fundamental level, so what is wrong with recognizing that?

    There's nothing wrong with recognizing that — free keene folks are generally anti aggression and pro liberty. That's the purpose of the group, after all. Sometimes it seems that the actions of one or two people, however, which the majority may even oppose, are ascribed to the whole group.

    It's easy to group people together and assume they're all the same … but it's really unfair, lazy thinking.

    I mean, I don't assume all cops are the same, for example — and they dress the same, get paychecks from government, etc. Often words like "most" or "some" can be very helpful. E.g: "Most" cops "seem" not to follow their own consciences, or minds, but instead just blindly enforce the diktats of politicians.

    It'd be unfair for me to say "Cops don't follow their own consciences", because I'm sure there are a few who do — I'm sure some choose not to enforce bad laws.

    There is strength in numbers–resorting to excuses like ‘we are all individuals’ (no matter how logistically ‘true’ that statement may be) when something goes wrong, disseminates the force of collective power and ultimately stunts the growth of the movement, I believe. If there is a sense of group desire (ie, the drive to work towards liberty) there also has to be a sense of group accountability and responsibility.

    Can't the individual be responsible for their own actions? I mean, suppose someone acts in a way most don't approve of. What would you like to see happen?

    You're certainly right that strong leaders have been very successful in the past. While there are certainly people who have greater influence than others, perhaps such a leader just doesn't exist at this time.

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  48. "But, your account is useful information — and I’m certainly glad you were not harassed for selling whoopee pies, and I commend you for loaning your space for such a good cause.
    Personally, I think the sidewalk sections should be given back to the business owners that abut it — so what you allow or disallow in front of brewbakers would be up to you."

    Paul, the point is that they never would have been 'harassed' on private property. For that one day, the sidewalks are contracted to Center Stage. Just like other events on City property. The Waldorf School holds a Crafts Fair at the Rec Center every year. Since it is public property, should I be able to go and set up a table and start selling whatever I want with out paying the fee? I don't think the other vendors would be too happy with that.
    It would be great if I could do what ever I wanted on the sidewalk, but that isn't my property, nor under my lease. Like it or not, the City decides what goes on there. If I don't like it, I'll work to change it and elect people who I know share my views. Otherwise, you aren't getting anything accomplished, you are just crying and whining about the evil state. The Pumpkin Festival never would have been here if it wasn't for the people at Center Stage getting it organized. It is a little more than disingenuous for people to whine about having to pay a fee to sell stuff, after the organizers attracted 70,000 people to the event. I don't like all the controls and things they do either. They give away free coffee, that doesn't help my business. But if they didn't organize it, it wouldn't happen.
    I think it is still open for next year. One of you guys should step up to the plate with a plan, instead of whining about it.

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  49. It would be great if I could do what ever I wanted on the sidewalk, but that isn’t my property, nor under my lease. Like it or not, the City decides what goes on there.

    On what moral basis? If I steal money from you, and use it to purchase land, or even just to maintain it, do you think I have a right to exclude you from that land?

    If I don’t like it, I’ll work to change it and elect people who I know share my views.

    Do you think a majority has a right to extort money from their neighbors, use it to maintain land, and then exclude them from that land?

    I wholeheartedly oppose the assumption that basic morality doesn't apply to the winners of popular votes.

    Otherwise, you aren’t getting anything accomplished, you are just crying and whining about the evil state.

    Awareness has to precede change, and I think this abuse by police and by center stage has done a great deal to raise awareness.

    One of you guys should step up to the plate with a plan, instead of whining about it.

    I don't think anyone here is going to be keen on begging city council for permission to use the land, which would probably be step 1. Personally, I'm more interested in using my limited time to help those in need, and work to reduce aggression.

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  50. Keep up the extortion and stealing rhetoric, Paul. I'm sure it is serving you well. I just don't think you will ever accomplish anything with it. It is not a question of "begging city council for permission to use the land". It is organizing and planning an event on City property. Go to any event, Art In The Park, The Waldorf Crafts Fair, there are plenty of others, and try to set up shop without the organizers permission. See how they react. If you don't want to organize an event, fine. But don't complain when someone else does and they don't do it the way you want.

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