Laconia Shuts Down Bike Week Music Festival

Laconia, New Hampshire’s Bike Week is a motorcycle rally that has successfully pulled in large crowds since 1923. Attendance has ranged from 188,000 to 375,000 people. Despite the track record of fatal motorcycle accidents in the area during the event, it has always been relatively peaceful. Until the summer of ’65.

Riots involving around 10,000 people between motorcycle gangs and local police caused the City of LaconNational Guard at Weir's Beach Riotsia to crack down on the event. Laconia officials no longer saw bike week as a source of tax income, but an inconvenience.

Laconia restricted the event to three days rather than the full week and attendance started to drop. When the city started feeling the loss of money in their pockets in the 90’s, they invited the organization to bring back the week-long festivities.

Here we are today. Bike week at Weir’s Beach in Laconia ran from 1923 to 1965 on its own in peace. A riot, which the state alleges the Hell’s Angels started, brought bureaucratic control to the event.

I was able to attend one day for CopBlock’s week long event at Laconia. Every police department in the area shows up in force. Five departments including state troopers, county sheriffs and even the department at the University of New Hampshire show up for patrol. Small towns who only have a few officers to spare send one or two on a few days out of the week. And the national guard sent around fifteen soldiers in a “non-law enforcement capacity.” According to the UNH officer in the video below.

Bike Cops and Laconia Bike Week 2016

Credit: Matthew Perreault

Aside from a few crashes on the highways (one fatal), the event was peaceful. Happy, even. Everyone was in a good, talkative mood. Even the groups of officers found on every corner were having fun. But this police presence came at a price.

LaconiaFest, the music festival headlining Ted Nugent, shut down on Saturday early after Nugent’s performance. The festival manager said the city overestimated how many people would show and charged more than expected for first responders.

The police who were in groups on every corner, having a fun time, were costing the festival too much. It raises the question, were they necessary, and how willing was the city to send officers home to keep costs down?

The state lacks the ability to respond to the market in a timely manner. If the City of Laconia had a disagreement with festival managers on this issue, I think the city should have listened. The festival I saw did not require four cops on every corner and it did not deserve to have it’s funding drained by a forced monopoly.

Standing up to Police Militarization in Manchester NH


On June 7th, 2016 residents of the west side of Manchester NH in the neighborhood of Rimmon Heights joined in a protest at the Manchester City Hall. They were protesting the police militarization tactics and shelter in place order that was issued on May 13th after a suspect was caught in a shooting and lasted for nearly five hours. For one day martial law was in place where police were seen throughout Rimmon Heights patrolling with automatic weapons, road blocks at almost every intersection, and helicopters overhead. Carla Gericke current candidate for NH State Senate and president of the Foundation for New Hampshire Independence did a speech outside of City Hall during the protest about de-escalation and community policing instead of daily lockdowns and heavily armed law enforcement officers lurking everywhere. Multiple west side residents also spoke during the city council meeting to voice their concerns at the actions of the Manchester Police department.

RLS 092 – Thanks but no Tanks


podcast:

Recorded June 6th, 2016
In this week’s episode, the Rebel Love Crew covers the protest that took place earlier in the very same night at the Manchester City Hall. The protest was led by Carla Gericke, the president of the Foundation for New Hampshire Independence. The protest focused on the militarization of the Manchester PD and the lock down of the west side of Manchester earlier this year. The Rebel Love Crew plays multiple videos on on air that were recorded at the protest including from within the city council meeting.
The Rebel Love Show airs every Tuesday night 10pm-12am EST on LRN.FM and RebelLoveShow.com/live. Call into the show, skype username: rebelloveshow

Manchester Cop Blockers to Converge on City Hall Tonight

Manchester Police State

Manch Cops Unnecessarily Intimidate Innocent People in Search for Suspect

Manchester has recently been the site of some major police state tactics including lockdowns and checkpoints. Tonight beginning at 6:00pm, Manchester-area activists and Cop Blockers will be holding a press conference at 6:30pm, then various members of the West Manchester community will be testifying to the city council about their experience in the recent police state activity. Here’s the full event announcement from Foundation for NH Independence president Carla Gericke:

Is the Manchester Police Department on the Warpath?

Concerned Manchester residents will gather at City Hall Plaza on Elm Street at 6PM on Tuesday, June 7th, 2016, to discuss the increasing use of military-style occupation tactics and deployment of military-grade equipment on the streets of Manchester, NH.

MPD Police Chief Nick Willard says, “crime is down 20 percent in Manchester,” yet in the past 3 weeks:

  • 8 Manchester schools have been placed under lockdown;
  • MPD has deployed its SWAT team and armored BEARCAT at least twice;
  • One home was tear-gassed;
  • At least 3 helicopters clamored over the city for hours after an entire neighborhood of 30,000 people was placed on lockdown with a shelter-in-place order for more than 5 hours after the suspect had been apprehended.

In Manchester, a city with a population of 110,000 that often ranks highly in affordability and livability, the past few weeks have seemed like a war zone. (more…)

Pirates on Bridge Ahead!

Armed men wearing badges were parked on the bridge in Manchester, New Hampshire. Friday, April 27, 2016. They used bright lights to stun, mesmerize, and intimidate passing travelers into pulling over. Once stopped, the armed men demanded documents and investigated their victims. Finally, they demanded money from the drivers backed by threats of kidnapping.

A watchdog group from Manchester organized a creative advertising effort to warn drivers of the danger ahead. With laser lights, reflective displayboard, and LED programmable signs, they stood by the bridge and informed those passing that it is their last chance to avoid the pirates.

Some went bar hopping, informing patrons of the extortion trap and offered cards with tips for interacting with the badged criminals.

This went from 10pm to 2am. All night, people expressed their appreciation as they passed and diverted their routes. I estimate that 100 cars were saved.

Reinforce these awesome people by moving to New Hampshire. Learn more at StateFreeProject.com

Full video here:

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