Experiences from 4-days in Manchester’s Valley St. Jail

Former cop-turned prosecutor-turned judge William H. Lyons said I owed “the state of New Hampshire” 248 FRNs. His claim is without merit. I did no harm to person or property. “The state” was not a victim that I was responsible to make whole. But I recognize that if I failed to act, I could be killed.

It wouldn’t happen right away, but if I ignored ever-more threatening letters sent by faceless strangers that I never wronged, their associates with guns would come for me. If I remained steadfast still, they’d use force, including lethal force. And most wouldn’t question their actions. After all, they wore badges. They’re “just doing their job.”

Looking over my shoulder doesn’t sound like a good way to live. So I’m forced to engage in damage control while remaining true to myself. Rather than pay the ransom, I decided I’d sit the time. Using “the state’s” math, 248 FRNs equated to four days and three nights at the Hillsborough County House of Corrections.

A week ago today I checked into my cage.

Read a concise and exhaustive write-up about my jail experience over at CopBlock.org.

I wanted to share a bit about my jail experience to personalize what stemmed from an incident last June when I and seven others were arrested when trying to hold aggressors responsible. The natural reaction of the aggressors and their friends has been to target those of us who point-out the double-standards (Ademo is threatened with 21yrs).

I stand by my actions on June 4th. I am confident that I did nothing wrong. In fact I was doing something good – I was trying to hold people responsible for their rights-violating actions. Most anyone familiar with the situation will say the same.

I hope to help draw attention to the injustice inherent in the current monopoly-provided institution and force people to question their own actions. When man-made legislation conflicts with natural law one should be true to their conscience.

From Mark Shepard’s essay “Gandhi and His Myths,” included in the Strength Through Peace compilation:

Gandhi pointed out three possible responses to oppression and injustice. One he described as the coward’s way: to accept the wrong or run away from it. The second option was tro stand and fight by force of arms, Gandhi said this was better than acceptance or running away. But the third way, he said, was best of all, and required the most courage: to stand and fight solely by nonviolent means.

Background:
Response to “Notice of fine” from Chalking 8 (Jan. 10th)
Pete’s Message from Valley St. Jail
(Jan. 20th)

  • http://www.IanFreemanTheTyrant.org SeriousSplinters

    It's too bad Ian cant behave like the copblock boys. He is a tyrant who ostrisizes those who dont do as he says. What a COWARD. He will eventually get whats coming to him.

  • http://NHFREE.com/forum Tom Sawyer

    Thinking about Pete's time in Valley Street Jail, made me reflect on earlier Civil Disobedience…

    Jump into the way back machine and see some of the roots of the NH activism.

    Free Lauren Canario
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJLMOd-1PKM

  • BigScrotum

    @SeriousSplinters on Fri, 27th Jan 2012 11:33 am

    Keep it on topic or STFU.

    No thanks necessary.

  • Bob Constantine

    Pete talks the talk and walks the walk.

    Thanks for posting the video Tom Sawyer, a shot of iconic history is always inspiring.

  • enslave keene

    To the tune of John Denver;

    Valley street jail, keep on cagiiiinnngggggg!

    Keep on jailIIINNNGGGG!!

    The freek keeners!

    Valley Street Jail keep on takiiiinnnggggg

    keep on rakkkiiinnngggg

    free staters up!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mike Tiner

    I'm glad you're back out Pete and after reading through the 'exhaustive write-up' it sounded like everything went OK for you, save the food.

    It is very possible to have good conversations with the C.O.'s at Valley. The majority are good people and agree that we are doing the right thing and do not belong in jail.

    That said, at what point do we start building alternatives for people like Beaudoin and Fender, who might leave their job if we had something better to offer?

    I realize there is something to be gained by standing our ground. I also know that more than 1000 people were recently arrested across the country during the Occupy protests. Clearly the state does not care that they waste taxpayer money on prosecution of trivial offenses. Preaching to their agents, even when the agents agree with the message, will continue to fall on deaf ears.

    You were away for 4 days. Wes is gone for months. Adam faces years. At some point we should have the conversation as to whether it's better to get locked up for writing on a building with chalk or setting up alternative institutions that help members of the community.

  • name

    mike, that conversation should have started a long time ago. Perhaps sometime in grammer school, but certainly by middle school.

  • name

    /grammar/ Yes, I am a moron too.

  • Jeff

    I love coming to this web site. It has got to be the most comical stuff out on the internet. You guys are great. You should create your own comedy team and take it on the road!