Yesterday, Governor Maggie Hassan signed into law a 22% increase on the New Hampshire gas tax, with a bridge construction site near Windham as a backdrop (apparently, there’s some unwritten rule that the state’s theft must be justified by roads).
This would have been another staged press conference victory, if not for a protest staged by the state chapter of Americans for Prosperity. Over a half-dozen Free Stater activists joined with AFP to ruin Hassan’s perfect little photo op. The protest gathered considerable media attention, and got Free Keene blogger Rich Paul prominently featured by the Union Leader.
Most of the battle is just showing up. Some of the most egregious offenses of the state take place because of no visible objection. Just being present to show that the people don’t consent to government coercion is all it takes to derail the illusion of consensus and change hearts and minds.
On Tuesday March 25th, 2014, five activists from Manchester including myself and Free Keene blogger Joel Valenzuela drove to Nashua to protest the rally to raise minimum wage. According to the Nashua Telegraph, Vice President Joe Biden was to be speaking at the event. Unfortunately, Joe Biden did not show. However, neither did anyone else. The crowd consisted mostly of activists from Manchester, a friend of the Free State Project (who none of us had ever met), and the local media. The most interesting part of the event was how the “show” went on. There was no real reason to do a political presentation to just protesters, yet they did it anyways. The Union Leader interviewed us and mentioned the protest in their article.
Today there was a rally in Nashua to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. They thought it would be a quick, one-sided media circus to portray the wage hike as an issue with unanimous consent. They thought wrong.
I ventured down to Nashua with a party of counter-protesters including Free Keene bloggers Rob Mathias and Wendy French to make sure both sides of the issue were accurately represented. What we found was a bus full of big government advocates completely unprepared for a turnout of actual concerned citizens.
Our impromptu happy little gaggle of activists made up a full quarter to third of those in attendance, and this made the rest, who had planned on a rally without dissent, visibly uncomfortable. Once the press conference was over we were swarmed by reporters itching to catch the underrepresented other side of the story. One of them couldn’t believe we were just concerned citizens and not “with someone.”
We also ran into a friendly local who worked nearby and stopped in to have his voice heard. He was happy to see that he wasn’t alone in fighting for liberty in the Granite State.
It’s important to note that when it comes to making a difference, 90% of the battle is just showing up. The encroachment of the state relies on its opponents just staying home and not getting involved. Make the time, show up, and make a difference for liberty.
On January 25th 2014 I made the move to Manchester New Hampshire for the Free State Project. In my short time here I have witnessed such amazing aspects of the liberty community that exists in Manchester and New Hampshire in general. The community here is very strong and vibrant.
Agora Cab accepts payment from a customer, in bitcoin
After a short time here one very quickly begins to realize that the free voluntary society that we are all passionate about is literally being created in Manchester as well as across New Hampshire. From Keene to the Lakes Region down to Manchester/Nashua and the Free Coast, people are here right now being active for liberty. There is infrastructure in that there are multiple buildings such as Area 23 and the Quill in Manchester where people in the liberty community can hold meetings, events, and of course socialize. Agorism is a large part of this community as well. There are multiple businesses in operation that have not sought permission from “the state”. (more…)
This week’s regularly scheduled AKPF #1 presentation has been rescheduled to present instead the presentation of official USA president Barack Obama in his Union of the State address for all citizens (but not all civilians). In the spirit of Mystery Science Theater 3000, but lacking in caricature silhouettes to adorn the bottom of the screen, the audience is treated to live commentary from a local demographic recorded during an amity gathering. As scripted, the US president painted vast and vivid pictures of bright tomorrows from obfuscatory presents. The crowd was electrified most of the time, which featured politicians and bureaucrats of multiple privileged rankings.
Yesterday out front of the McDonalds at least 25 people gathered to support low-wage workers and ostensibly advocate for an increase in the minimum wage. While the protestors have laudable motivation, in that they only want to help low-wage workers have a better life, sadly they don’t realize that advocating government force to achieve their goals will have negative, unintended consequences. Former city council candidate David Crawford dropped by with his video camera to talk to some of the protestors and get their perspective:
Right now, it is government threats called “zoning” and “ordinances” that work to prohibit the poor from starting their own business. They make it prohibitively expensive to open a restaurant, for instance, as anyone should be able to do, even from their own home. In most places, doing such a thing is illegal. That means that only wealthy people who can afford commercial storefront rent and professional-grade equipment can legally compete with mega-corporations like McDonalds.
As usual, the government that people are turning to to solve their problems is the same group that created the problems in the first place. (more…)