I look forward to participating in what will be the second annual Keenevention this weekend. The forum taking place at the Best Western Plus Sovereign Hotel on Winchester Street will feature panels and speeches by New Hampshire’s activist community. In addition to a panel focusing on Direct Action that I will be hosting on Sunday, I was also asked to speak on Saturday’s media panel by organizer Mark Edge. When I agreed, I was not informed who else would be on the panel, though I expected that organizers would only select participants of honorable reputation when showcasing the most effective activists that New Hampshire offers.
While there is certainly a need for diversity of perspective within the activist community, there are standards that a reasonable person would expect individuals would hold each other to if we wish to make any sort of collective impact. As a peace activist, anyone who directly advocated or applauds the use of violence can be objectively classified as having beliefs counter to my own. For myself, I am wasting my most valuable asset, my time, if I support those working against my interests, those who are promoting ideas that are the opposite of my own.
It was once consensus within the libertarian and anarchist community of greater Keene that embracing peace was equally imperative to embracing ideas of social liberty. For whatever reason over the past year or so, that sentiment has changed as some formerly positive spirits have darkened amidst of heightened wave of reactionary opposition. (more…)
Ruth Sterling has already faced consequences for her aggression. Here’s one of her memes by Bill Walsh on Facebook. lol!
Local independent newsman and viral video sensation Jared Goodell sent a press release a few days ago announcing his decision to not file suit against Pumpkin Fest organizer Ruth Sterling, despite being approached by multiple attorneys with offers. Good on Jared for dropping the matter rather than continuing conflict with the poor, exasperated lady.
Rather than grandstanding with a lawsuit, Jared instead uses the opportunity to remind us of the value of freedom of speech and of the press:
From the moment that Ms. Sterling came onto the live TV set during the Pumpkin Festival, I cited the First Amendment of the Constitution of The United States and my right to report on the violence occurring at the Pumpkin Festival. Ms. Sterling’s threats to “pull the plug” on my report seriously undermined Freedom of the Press.
Since the founding of this country, town commons across the United States have served as the place where any person could share their opinions and views. From soapboxes to gazebos, TV cameras and reporters, all viewpoints were accepted without prejudice at this sacred community gathering point. I find it fitting that last Saturday, the First Amendment was tested in Keene’s downtown common.
If there is any lesson to be learned from this video (more…)
The hell is Pumpkin Fest and why should we care? • Local reporter accosted by Pumpkin Fest organizer for simply speaking the truth • Higher education: not worth it. Gonna drink instead • Overqualified? Underqualified? Not gonna work with either • Snipers and Homeland security keeping us safe from EbolaISIS • No date tonight? how bout starting a bottle Fight • Jimmy from AZ pushes the envelope • Cussing on the show and radio hosts we hate • Liberty Tits • Shuanna’s new found love: yelling at folks • Eric’s dog is a murderer • Darryl, Eric, and Shaunna join • Show notes at: BlackSheepRising.org
The headlines are all over New England media: Keene Police have released photos of suspects from the Pumpkin Fest 2014 riots. Inevitably, critics of liberty activists in Keene, and those who are confused and angry about Cop Block will tend to think liberty-oriented people are anti-police, because we so frequently criticize them for various things. It’s a common misunderstanding.
Many in the freedom movement, including myself, value the idea of protection services, which is what the police are supposed to be. While I’d prefer competition among protection agencies and consent-based funding of the agencies, while we have a monopoly provider, as we do today, I’d prefer they investigate real crimes, and I support them when they do.
Once upon a time the government’s police were referred to as peace officers, but now they are “law enforcement officers”, which is a whole different role and mindset.
During the Pumpkin Fest riots, peace officers would have acted to stop the violence (bottle throwing, fighting), property destruction (destroying street signs, tossing cars and dumpsters), and trespass (people going unwanted, onto private property). Law Enforcement Officers, on the other hand, arrest people for all kinds of nonsense things like open container, underage drinking, cannabis possession, and various other “malum prohibitum” victimless “crimes”. Every moment they spend harassing a young person for drinking or smoking is a moment they can’t be investigating actual crimes that have victims.
After I got off-the-air from my live Saturday radio program (on which we discussed the initial Pumpkin Fest 2014 riots), I headed back down to the college. At the time, there was a helicopter broadcasting a message to disperse or be arrested. I arrived at the gateway to Keene State College – Winchester St. to witness a huge throng of police marching down the street. I quickly pulled out my camera and began to record:
After walking around the nearest building on campus, in full view of the line of police, activists walked onto campus and right back over to Winchester St. We continued walking west on Winchester and no cops said anything to us there. However, we again went on campus and came back out on Madison St., on the west end of the college. Here there were several police standing around the intersection and one of them told me we couldn’t pass, despite college students walking down Winchester St. immediately behind them. (more…)
Rather than only arresting people who were causing violence and destruction, the police were targeting people crossing arbitrary lines and partying on private property. In this excellent ten-minute video, Alex is right there when cops create all kinds of unnecessary mayhem: (click links below to jump to that part if you are short on time)
They shoot pepperballs at party houses on Winchester St – completely unnecessary – those people were on private property and not in the road. It’s arguable that pepperballs are useful to clear a crowd who won’t leave a street and indeed, blocking streets is one of the reasons the “disorderly conduct” statute exists, but the people at these houses were just enjoying themselves. The use of pepperballs in this situation is just aggressive.
Guy walking down sidewalk is violently arrested by a throng of cops – This guy is literally just walking down the sidewalk. He’s hasn’t threatened anyone and is not blocking the street. The reason he can’t walk down the sidewalk is, well, because the men with guns say so. The reason the cops decide to jump him like he’s strapped with a bomb is, because they can.
It’s behavior like this from police that alienates them from average people. This is why Cop Block is so popular on campus. Here are the students’ sensible responses to the violence that was visited upon them by the police:
“We’re not terrorists. We love America. We just like to drink! Don’t shoot us!”
There’s a reason why the young ladies in the video think that the police are “pieces of shit” (more…)