Derrick J and Michele Seven rally to Free Ross!
Today was jury selection day at the very-important trial of Ross Ulbricht in New York City. Free Keene bloggers were out front of the federal district court in Manhattan, trying to get the word out about the insane penalty that Ross Ulbricht is facing if he’s found guilty at trial. Ross is accused of running the Silk Road underground marketplace and is facing decades in prison for it. Ross’ mother, Lyn has stood by her son and even joined the Free State Project. She has said that Ross will come to Porcfest in 2015 if he is not imprisoned!
However, getting him out of the cage he’s been in for 15 months awaiting trial is no easy task. The prosecutors are well funded and working within a system where they are on the same side as the judge. In the insane, inhumane US court system, jurors are generally precluded from knowing the penalty faced by the accused, as it may make them more likely to nullify a bad law if they feel the penalty is too severe.
In a previous motion, the prosecution asked the judge to prevent Ulbricht from testifying about his liberty-oriented beliefs and they specifically mentioned wanting to prevent the jury from any possibility of jury nullification.
Ademo Freeman from Copblock.org holds a sign in front of the Manhattan Federal District Court
They are deathly afraid of jurors knowing about nullification. Indeed, according to Derrick J, potential jurors are being asked if they saw any signs outside the court. If so, the prosecution is dismissing them.
Several signs came from a heroic effort by Derrick J to help Free Ross that included liberty activists cranking out signage to bring for Ulbricht supporters, including:
“30 YEARS TO LIFE FOR AN HONEST WEBSITE?”
“WEB HOSTING IS NOT A CRIME. WTF?”
Jay Freeville, right, shows his support for the freedom to buy and sell.
NH liberty activists have been doing jury rights outreach for years and defendants at trial in New Hampshire have been able to raise jury nullification as a defense, but this is federal court. No cell phones are allowed in. No cameras. Not even for the media. Just pencil and paper.
Guardian reporter Nicky Woolf, who came to Keene this fall and interviewed people, including me, about the police response to the Pumpkinfest Riots, took notice of the sign-holding this morning and interviewed Derrick J for his piece on the Ulbricht Trial from today.
Tune in to Free Talk Live tonight at 7pm Eastern for the latest on the case and follow along with live blog updates from the trial at The Liberty Beat and also #silkroadtrial on Twitter.
Here’s the first video from Derrick J and Ademo that shows the scene, including activists from Philly performing jury nullification outreach.
Continue reading below for another pic and the text of the Guardian piece: (more…)
Sketch of Ross Ulbricht in Court
Ross Ulbricht is the man accused of running the Silk Road underground market. He’s facing life in prison and his jury trial begins tomorrow morning. If Ulbricht did run the Silk Road, he’s a hero for making the black market a safer place. If he didn’t, then he’s a man wrongfully accused. Either way, he should be found not guilty by the jury.
Liberty activists from Keene including Derrick J Freeman, James Cleaveland, and Jay Freeville and activists from Manchester Andre Rosa and William Kostric are heading down to Manhattan today! They’ll be meeting up with liberty activists from as far away as Austin, Texas and will be doing everything they can to help Free Ross and bring attention to his case. Stay tuned here at Free Keene for more.
This piece by AP reporter Lynne Tuohy is being published all over and the headlines vary from misleading to acceptable.
For instance, the worst headline of them all is WCVB‘s, which says, “Keene’s parking meter ‘Robin Hooders’ must back off.” When the people calling themselves “the city” tell you you must do something, generally that means it must be done, or else violence will be used against you. In this case, that’s not at all what has happened. The city of Keene folks WANT Robin Hooders to “back off” and they’ve filed a lawsuit to try to force us to. “We want” is very different from “You must”.
The article itself is more honest, and reveals that in fact the city lost their case at superior court and is appealing to the NH supreme court. Obviously, the author of the article does not choose the headlines, that would be one of the editors of the paper. Thanks to Lynne and the AP for the coverage, despite the awful, seemingly default headline.
Here’s a sampling of headlines that various news outlets chose for this story:
You can see even more here, y mas en Español aquí. Looks like the story was printed in several dozen outlets. Thanks especially to those with more honest headlines.
The Telegraph’s David Millward got wind of the Free State Project when he was covering Robin Hood of Keene for the paper. Naturally, he was interested and came to Keene to interview Free Keene bloggers Rich Paul, Derrick J, and me about the Free State Project. Here’s the story:
Nirvana for a libertarian in New Hampshire is a gay married couple guarding a stash of marijuana with an AK47.
“I could live with that,” said Ian Freeman, a leading light the Free State Project and one of the pathfinders in a mass migration of like-minded people to the New England state. (more…)
It’s out! “101 Reasons Liberty Lives in New Hampshire“, the brand-new documentary produced by Free State Project participants is now available in full on Youtube.
This one-hour documentary is packed with 101 persuasive reasons why New Hampshire is the best destination for liberty-loving people. In addition to focusing on lots of reasons why New Hampshire is already a great, more-free place to live, it also showcases some of the successes of the Free State Project‘s early movers thus far. It’s an amazing film and kudos goes to executive producer Vince Perfetto and especially producer and editor Beau Davis for making it happen. This movie is going to be the key to pushing the Free State Project to 20,000 signers and triggering the official move – please share it as widely as you can!
LiNK’s Esther Gives a Presentation at the KAC
After being able to give four separate presentations at Keene High School, Liberty in North Korea‘s Northeast Nomads dropped by the Keene Activist Center on Saturday afternoon and had a good session presenting to local liberty activists. Their message was focusing on the “Jangmadang Generation”, the millennials who have grown up to understand how the marketplace means freedom. Jangmadang means “market grounds”. It is the market that has provided, illegally, for the feeding and education of the North Korean people after the government-provided famine of the 1990s.
It was during the famine that people learned to take care of themselves and to no longer rely on the state, as relying on the state was leading to starvation.
Today, the underground market in North Korea is smuggling in laptops, USB drives, and other media to help expand the minds of the North Korean people.
The hat was passed after the presentation and they received cash support from the attendees. Though LiNK is not yet accepting Bitcoin, hopefully they will soon. Thanks to Esther (pictured), James, and Tiffany for their dedication to human freedom!