Unlike other state houses across the United States, libertarians, voluntarists, and even anarchists are frequently seen testifying on various issues here in New Hampshire. With at least fifteen Free State Project participants having been elected to the state house in 2014, liberty activists are there as legislators, lobbyists, and average folks testifying in favor of freedom!
This week, the Keene contingent shared their thoughts with a house committee hearing a bill that would offer protections to bitcoin-transacting businesses from being regulated as “money transmitters”. Chris Cantwell, me, and Darryl W. Perry all testified with Cantwell and I being asked many questions by the interested committee members:
Mattheus Von Guttenberg, Bitcoin Magazine contributor, and Liberty Forum speaker, stops by the Rebel Love studios. Rob, Shire Dude, and MVG all announce that they have have talks at this year’s Liberty Forum in Manchester NH at the Radisson Hotel. The Rebel Love Show will also be recording live at Liberty Forum each day of the event. Topics discussed in this episode include MVG giving an update on the status of Bitcoin, should the Bitcoin Foundation be in existence?, when will Bitcoin be the mainstream currency?, MVG and Rob share TSA activism stories, issues with coming out as a Free Stater at work, using the topic of police as a tool of outreach, MVG filmed Amanda Billy Rock being arrested, right to travel activism, and cop blocking in Manchester.
I was recently photographed and briefly interviewed for an article about Bitcoin-accepting businesses in Keene. Super-activst James Cleaveland also made the paper. It’s great that Bitcoin is taking off in this community. There are about as many bitcoin-accepting businesses here than in my home city of Philadelphia. I like bitcoin because it’s so easy to send any amount of money long distances without going through a third party. I maintain control, unlike with banks or money transfer services. And I don’t have to give up any privacy to do it! Learn more about bitcoin.
Today was jury selection day at the very-important trial of Ross Ulbricht in New York City. Free Keene bloggers were out front of the federal district court in Manhattan, trying to get the word out about the insane penalty that Ross Ulbricht is facing if he’s found guilty at trial. Ross is accused of running the Silk Road underground marketplace and is facing decades in prison for it. Ross’ mother, Lyn has stood by her son and even joined the Free State Project. She has said that Ross will come to Porcfest in 2015 if he is not imprisoned!
However, getting him out of the cage he’s been in for 15 months awaiting trial is no easy task. The prosecutors are well funded and working within a system where they are on the same side as the judge. In the insane, inhumane US court system, jurors are generally precluded from knowing the penalty faced by the accused, as it may make them more likely to nullify a bad law if they feel the penalty is too severe.
Ademo Freeman from Copblock.org holds a sign in front of the Manhattan Federal District Court
They are deathly afraid of jurors knowing about nullification. Indeed, according to Derrick J, potential jurors are being asked if they saw any signs outside the court. If so, the prosecution is dismissing them.
Several signs came from a heroic effort by Derrick J to help Free Ross that included liberty activists cranking out signage to bring for Ulbricht supporters, including:
“30 YEARS TO LIFE FOR AN HONEST WEBSITE?”
“WEB HOSTING IS NOT A CRIME. WTF?”
Jay Freeville, right, shows his support for the freedom to buy and sell.
NH liberty activists have been doing jury rights outreach for years and defendants at trial in New Hampshire have been able to raise jury nullification as a defense, but this is federal court. No cell phones are allowed in. No cameras. Not even for the media. Just pencil and paper.