Manchester PD was one of 7 gangs to receive a share of $1,304,118 (pages 63 and 124) in grants to conduct “sobriety” checkpoints. One of the checkpoints was conducted this past Thursday, July 20th 10pm through July 21st 2:30am. The checkpoint was located on the westbound lane of Bridge St. Manchester PD records indicate that there were 3 stops on Bridge Street during those hours. There were no arrests, and no citations are listed. No DWI arrests occurred during those hours anywhere in Manchester, according to the gang’s website.
As always, a group of libertarians showed up to warn drivers of the presence of the gang members. Though it seems that the MPD gang did not remove any unsafe activity from the roadways, the libertarians warned several drivers, both those who drove through the checkpoint and those who did not, that their headlights were off. One car was pulled over in the right turning lane turning onto Elm St. This was promptly filmed by several libertarians and the driver seemed to me to be let go without any further violations of their rights beyond the initial kidnapping/death threat.
A “Utility Work Ahead” sign was on the sidewalk next to the right turn lane turning onto Bridge St (towards the checkpoint). There was no visible utility work in the area. The sign was facing away from any traffic that would have seen it. Due to the design of the sign, it was easy to walk behind to walk down the sidewalk with a sign to warn drivers. (These drivers would have seen the blank metal back of the utility work sign.) The only drivers who this sign would realistically been visible to would be a driver driving east on the westbound side of Bridge St.
If you want to be warned of checkpoints in the geographical area occupied by New Hampshire before they happen, you can follow Checkpoint Free New Hampshire on Twitter,Facebook, or send an SMS saying “follow @NoCheckpointsNH” to 40404 to get SMS alerts.
Keene Signals its Support for Secession by its Recent Peaceful Civil Disobedience
In case you aren’t aware, the police have their own gang symbol. It’s called the “thin blue line” – a blue line horizontally sandwiched between two black bars. You’ll frequently see it on the back of vehicles presumably containing police or their immediate relatives. Of course, anyone can buy these stickers now, so police have other ways of recognizing their own, like these family “professional courtesy” passbooks, but regardless, the blue line is still seen on their cars, their clothing, and now flags. It helps create the “us vs them” mentality that some police have. Worse still, some people insist on treating the police as though they are better than the rest of humanity. Their word is gold in court, they get special burials when mass calamity happens, deferential treatment in many of the crimes the corrupt officers commit, and more.
In a recent Keene Sentinel piece about multiple city councilors gushing over their recent decision to paint a horribly garish blue line down the middle of Marlboro St, local commenter Johnson Rice points out that the city is actually committing civil disobedience against the federal government: (more…)
You won’t believe this. Even I can’t believe it. I had to stop investigating this story because the rabbit hole of corruption was so deep that I lost sight of where it began. So let’s start at the end and work backwards…
Large Group Copblocks DUI Checkpoint in Manchester, NH
As one of the original copblockers (badge #5), I’ve been in the streets a lot over the years. I’ve helped save people from harassment by the police on countless occasions, informed thousands of young people about their rights, and have been arrested several times.
There’s no doubt that a couple of dedicated copblockers can make an impact out there. I’ve seen that happen. However, have you ever hit the streets with a dozen people on your side?
I’d bet you haven’t. We just don’t have enough people in most places to accomplish numbers like that. Police accountability activism in the streets is a risky place to be, so its hard to find people who are willing to go out, even among vocal supporters.
I have had the pleasure of being out with large groups and let me tell you, it’s a game changer, especially in New Hampshire, where there aren’t a whole lot of police in most towns. Even in its biggest city of over 100,000 people, Manchester, the police DUI checkpoints have basically been shut down by groups of up to a few dozen people. The DUI checkpoint activists come out every time the police do a checkpoint and the activists bring reflective signs, cameras, two-way radios, and set up at strategic locations to alert drivers to the existence of the checkpoint and encourage them to turn away. At a recent such event, there was a relatively small turnout of only about a dozen people and they reported 90% success at getting cars who were going to turn into the checkpoint road to turn away from it instead! There was one arrest at the event, as a couple visiting Keene copblockers ventured away from the group to target the checkpoint directly with their cameras. Activist Christopher Waid was threatened and arrested as he crossed the street into the median. You can check out video of that here. What would have happened if there were a dozen people backing Chris up instead of just one? (more…)
Chris Waid (right), safely demonstrating for NH independence, in the median on Main St. in Keene in 2016.
On April 20th, Manchester police conducted another DUI checkpoint, believed to be the first of 2017. As always, Cop Blockers and more than a dozen other liberty activists came out with signs redirecting peaceful motorists away from turning down Bridge St, where they would have hit the checkpoint.
Longtime Manchester Cop Blocker Riaz Kahan stated that the interdiction was a major success, with 90% of cars that were intending to turn towards the checkpoint being redirected to another route, avoiding unnecessary police harassment. Manchester police conduct at least a few of these checkpoints per year and activists from all over the state are attracted to help. It’s another unprecedented level of activism that happens easily and regularly in New Hampshire, since there are active migrations of libertarians moving here. (Check out 101 reasons why, here.)
However, for the first time in the history of Manchester’s checkpoints, an activist was arrested. Not for DUI, but for crossing the street, walking toward the checkpoint.
Chris is a weekly co-host on syndicated radio show Free Talk Live, where we discussed the arrest on last Friday’s show. He’s a rare breed – a business owner who is willing to put his very freedom on the line. If more business owners had this level of courage, they could just ignore the government rather than obey them, and the government would have to go away.
In addition to standing up for freedom of the press, Chris is an active police accountability activist, with many hours logged in the streets, recording cops. It is his right to stand where he wants, so long as he’s not actively interfering in police investigations. By standing in the median, he’s taking his risk and the police have no obligation to protect him, especially from himself. If they try to use the argument that them yelling at him was for his own safety, that hopefully won’t hold up in court. We’ve been in medians frequently for activism in Keene and police here have been mostly respectful towards us. By the way, Chris is a homeowner in Keene, to which he moved his linux hardware business, Think Penguin in early 2016.
He’s currently facing a “Disorderly Conduct” Class A charge – the police’s favorite catch-all to target people they don’t like. Of course, we’ll continue to follow Chris’ case closely here on Free Keene, so stay tuned.