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.
As Shire Dude shared last week, employees of the Manchester Police Outfit will be stopping, questioning, and potentially issuing ransoms and/or caging drivers at a suspicioness checkpoint on April 22nd.
Without question, individuals in and around Manchester have effectively Copblocked past instances of this Manchester police thuggary, and many have already expressed their intention to do the same via the Suspicionless Checkpoint Party event.
In this video Manchester residents Rob Mathias and Cassidy Masengale detail their own motivation for participating and how such events tend to unfold.
The Manchester Police Department has announced its first sobriety checkpoint of the 2016 year (4/22), continuing its tradition of revenue collection via suspicionless vehicle stops. These ordeals have prevented nearly zero drunk drivers. Instead, the MPD continues to harass Manchester drivers for victimless crimes, such as cannabis possession, illegal immigration or driving with a suspended license.
Numerous activists have vowed to divert traffic from the upcoming checkpoints. This activism traditionally has a fantastic turnout, and it garners widespread support in New Hampshire’s largest city. Cheers and expressions of gratitude are heard from passing vehicles throughout the evening. Folks walking near the activists often stop to discuss the uselessness of the checkpoints, and activists have even been handed cash tips on several occasions.
I’ll be present at this first checkpoint, livestreaming, so you can watch the event as it happens. Bookmark this link, and it will be easy for you to tune in. Oh, and don’t forget to grab your copblocking gear.
Brandon Pinney Awaits Trial in a “Fuck Cops” Handmade Shirt
Brandon Pinney is a NH native who is now facing a year in jail for telling state police to fuck off. His is a classic case of being oppressed for freedom of speech. Historically, people arrested for flipping off or telling off police have been vindicated on appeal. It may not be nice to say mean things to cops, but freedom of speech is meant to protect unpopular speech.
Brandon was arrested at Surry Dam when after doing five-miles over the speed limit he was confronted by a forest ranger. We don’t know exactly how their interaction went, because Brandon did not record video. According to Brandon, the ranger berated him about the speeding and Brandon blew him off in an unkind manner. The ranger then said he would be calling the police and Brandon followed him back to his office. The ranger claims Brandon was pounding on the office door yelling at him, while Brandon says he was not pounding on the door and was in no way threatening the man.
However, the ranger’s testimony was that he was frightened and when state police arrived, Brandon told them to fuck off, and when he repeated it at the request of one of the staties, Brandon was arrested.
One note – during trial, Burke said nothing about his shirt, but at sentencing, wearing the same shirt, Brandon was told if he did it again it would be contempt of court. Not only can you not express yourself to police, you can’t express yourself via your wardrobe. Whatever happened to freedom? You generally don’t find it at the district court level.
Last November at the Third Annual Keenevention five Copblockers had a lively panel discussion. Video of that talk has been up for a while, but in case you didn’t yet catch it or you balked at its length, this video includes some excerpts.
Props to those involved: JP Freeman, Jessica Phillips, and Steve Daves, all of Keene Cop Block, and Rob Mathias and Ann Leverette, who are based in Manchester, where they create weekly the Rebel Love Show.
And of course, much love to Ian Freeman and other Keenevention organizers for spearheading the event and capturing and sharing the footage. You can find out more about the upcoming Fourth Annual Keenevention, which is happening November 4-6, at http://Keenevention.info