Christopher David’s Felony “Wiretapping” Charge Dropped to Misdemeanor

Chris_David_MugshotIn late 2015, Free Keene blogger Christopher David was arrested and charged with felony “wiretapping” for recording his interaction with a bar bouncer and Portsmouth cop on the streets. Now, Portsmouth police have dropped the charge down to a misdemeanor, which means Chris now only faces a year in jail instead of several years in prison.

Chris told the Portsmouth Herald, “it’s still ludicrous that recording a conversation on a public sidewalk could land me in jail at all… Under that same logic, thousands if not millions of videos on YouTube represent potential misdemeanors. Why single me out? I think we all know why.”

The reason why is that Chris leads Free UBER, a group of drivers committing ongoing civil disobedience and advocating for transportation freedom.

The wiretapping statutes in New Hampshire are one of the worst parts of the state. NH is one of only a few states where all parties must consent to the recording, which prevents people from being held accountable for their actions. In many other states, people with undercover cameras can record their conversations in businesses or with government. Here, doing that will get you a possible jail sentence.

Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest and for more Christopher David, check out his speech this week to the Portsmouth City council, announcing the forthcoming ride-sharing app, Arcade City:

Driving for UBER on New Years Eve in the Shire

UBER Logo

Want to drive for UBER? It’s easy to get started.

I’m one of New Hampshire’s newest UBER drivers, or “partners” as UBER refers to us. I’ve been a fan of UBER’s innovation and open challenging of the status quo of transportation for a long time, and we’ve covered their various conflicts with state and city regulators on my talk radio program, Free Talk Live.

More recently, UBER has been featured multiple times here on Free Keene in the context of the Portsmouth, NH showdown between Free UBER activists committing ongoing civil disobedience versus the city enforcers who are protecting an oligopoly. With Portsmouth police openly threatening New Years Eve charity rides – the city is now scraping the bottom of the barrel, and it will be a real feat for them to look more embarrassing and ridiculous than they do now, but they might figure out a way. Give ’em time. Maybe Portsmouth will file a stupid lawsuit like Keene did against the Robin Hooders and shoot the free publicity for the new Arcade City ride-sharing app to the moon.

UBER NH Territory 2015

The actual coverage extends north of Concord and as far west as Peteborough and Hillsborough.

On New Year’s Eve I logged in to the UBER partner app in the Concord area and was able to help a bunch of somewhat intoxicated, very nice people get home safely! Plus, we had some very interesting conversations. I’ve only given six rides for UBER thus far, but my clients have all been under forty years old. I asked some tonight what made them use UBER in Concord, given that it’s not even officially operating there (click to see UBER’s currently inaccurate coverage map), and their responses were that they knew it worked in other big cities and wanted to try it rather than deal with the apparently awful cabs. There were plenty of unprompted complaints about terrible cab experiences my passengers have had in New Hampshire.

For one passenger tonight, it was his first time taking an UBER. He said it was the best possible UBER first time experience – wow, what a compliment! The guy tipped me, too (not required with UBER, but still appreciated!) During our conversation we were talking about the crackdown in Portsmouth on Free UBER (which he’d not heard about), and he was totally onboard with freedom, at least in the area of transportation. He even commented about how competition makes everything better. (more…)

“Free the Nipple” Trial – Full Video + Interviews

Yesterday I traveled to Laconia, NH’s district court to record the trials of Heidi Lilley and B. Liz MacKinnon, who were unexpectedly cited by police for going topless on the beach in Gilford, NH. This, just a couple of weeks after Lilley’s successful “Free the Nipple” topless equality event in Laconia.

Hoping to overturn the illegal, discriminatory town ordinance, Lilley and MacKinnon teamed up with Free State Project early mover and attorney Dan Hynes.

Hynes’ line of questioning was interesting, specifically asking the state’s witnesses, which included three snitches and a few cops, how they determine someone is a woman. The all answered something about breasts, which is inconclusive. Without inspecting genitalia, which the police did not do, there would be reasonable doubt that the person is female.

Hynes argued, in a ten-page motion to dismiss (complimented by jovial Judge James M. Carroll) the ordinance is unconstitutional and violates equal protection and the right to free expression. Further, he argues the ordinance is also illegal because New Hampshire is not a “home rule” state and unless the state legislature authorizes towns to pass laws of their own, they cannot legally do so.

Here’s the full video of the trial with quick interviews of attorney Hynes and Ms. Lilley afterwards. If you want a brief rundown of the hearing, you can read the live tweets I sent during the trial here. The judge took the case under advisement and will issue a ruling by mail later. Stay tuned to Free Keene for the latest in this important case.

The Rebel Love Studio is visited by Merrimack County Sheriffs


On December 23, 2015 The Rebel Love Studio was visited twice by agents of the state, specifically the Merrimack County Sheriffs department. They had a warrant for the arrest of a porcupine that they assumed lived at the location. The first visit I was not present at the location, I was for the second. I arrived at the location while on my lunch break from my day job. The purpose of my visit was to bring coffee to Ann Leverette, my fiance and cohost of the Rebel Love Show and Flaming Freedom. She was there for the first visit and I wanted to check in to see if she was doing alright. Now being the voluntaryist that I am, I do not consent to give such men authority over me, regardless of what shiny badge they are representing. I will not help them kidnap anyone. I decided to no cooperate in their hunt when they informed me of why they were there. As punishment for not complying with the sheriffs, I was threatened with arrest(kidnapping) and given a summons(letter of extortion) for my car that I wasn’t even driving at the time I was confronted.

Within a few minutes of being approached by the sheriffs, multiple other porcupines including one of the cohost of the Anarchics, Renee Kate came to my aid. Now to be perfectly honest, I feel as if we did not handle this interaction with agents of the state well. There were positives and negatives from my perspective. The negative being we simply spoke too much. The more and more interactions I have with the police, which seems to never end, the more I am leaning to only saying what needs to be said without being arrested. The positive being that we did have plenty of people recording and had back up within minutes. That is something I would wager a bet on is not something that most people can say when interacting with police officers.

Stocking Stuffer: Derrick J’s Victimless Crime Spree Now Available @ Bull Moose in Keene

Bull Moose Logo

Now Open in Keene @ Hannaford Plaza

Regional physical media chain Bull Moose recently opened its doors in the old Video Headquarters location in the Hannaford plaza on West Street in Keene. They carry a wide variety of media including video games, cds, vinyl, DVD, Bluray, and even books! It’s refreshing to see someone trying to keep physical media distribution alive – hopefully it works out for them. Kudos also to Bull Moose for carrying Keene-produced-and-edited documentary Derrick J’s Victimless Crime Spree on DVD!

DJVCS DVDs on-the-shelf at Bull Moose, Keene!

DJVCS DVDs on-the-shelf at Bull Moose, Keene!

Of course, you can watch the feature-length documentary produced by Free State Project participants for free in its entirety online, but that doesn’t do you any good if you’re looking for a gift for this holiday season. Victimless Crime Spree makes a great stocking stuffer, and Bull Moose in Keene is selling it for LESS than Amazon! Amazon has it listed for $7.93 while Bull Moose has it on-the-shelf, brand new, for just $6.97! There’s no cheaper place to purchase the Director’s Cut DVD, which is loaded with hours of bonus footage and even features TWO commentary tracks!

Bull Moose has three copies in stock as of yesterday, so if you’re looking for a perfect last-minute gift, stop in to 401B West St. in the Hannaford plaza. They’re open until midnight tonight and 7pm on Christmas Eve.

If you don’t live in the Keene area, just grab your copy at Amazon where it qualifies for Amazon Prime and Free Super-Saver Shipping!

NH Jury Activists Bring Message to Potential Jurors for James Cleaveland’s Recording Cops Trial

NH Jury Activists Outside Cheshire Superior Court

NH Jury Activists Outside Cheshire Superior Court

NH Jury activists gathered this morning outside Cheshire superior court in Keene to perform jury outreach prior to jury selection for the trial of James Cleaveland which begins tomorrow morning (Tuesday 12/15) at 9am.

James is facing two “Class A” misdemeanor charges with a possibility of up to two years in prison for being arrested while recording video of police at the scene of a suicidal man in the summer of 2014. The charges are “disorderly conduct” (the state’s favorite catch-all charge) and “resisting arrest”.

James has already had a bench trial at Keene district court, the video of which can be seen here, and was found guilty. District court judge Edward J Burke sentenced him to 1.5 years in jail, suspended, plus a $625 fine. After sentencing, James opted for his right to a jury trial “de novo”, which means, “from the beginning”. So now, not quite a year later, he is being given that trial.

This morning was jury selection. Nearly all of the jury pool of about 58 people had received the NH Jury trifold last month. (In Cheshire county, petit juries are empaneled for two months.) Usually the jury outreach process involves handing out flyers and opening the door for folks, but in addition today it included activists holding signs featuring phrases like, “2 Years 4 Filming?”, and “Filming the police is not a crime!”

More activists are expected to be on-the-scene tomorrow morning at 8am for further sign-holding, with the trial starting at 9am and expected to last two days. If you can’t make it in person, live tweets will be available here at FreeKeene.com and later the full trial video will be posted.

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