BREAKING: James Cleaveland Arrested in Virginia

UPDATE @ 8:30pm: James has been arrested for Klonopin allegedly found in the truck. According to an officer Lee at the Dinwiddie sheriff’s department, this is a class 1 misdemeanor. James is facing a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail if the state can prove he “knowingly” possessed the drugs. He has a $1,000 bond and will likely be transported to the Meherrin regional jail.

Original post from this afternoon:

Free Keene blogger and owner of 101 Deals Thrift Store, James Cleaveland, is currently stranded in Dinwiddie, VA after armed men calling themselves “sheriffs” stole his yellow box truck. Initially the armed men asked James to search, which he refused. They then informed him they will be getting a warrant to search, because of terrorism, human trafficking, and serial killers. He is currently at the Dinwiddie county sheriff’s office and is currently streaming live video on Bambuser:

James says the Dinwiddie gang brought out a dog which they claim alerted on the vehicle and further claims that the tag is expired, so they towed it to the sheriff’s department. That’s where he is right now, awaiting the search of the truck. He has not been arrested or charged. James has said on his livestream that the “bad cop” Sgt. David Williams prevented him from retrieving his wallet from the cab of the truck. Later however “good cop”, name unknown at this point, did retrieve his wallet for him. Early on in this situation, I called the sheriff’s department to inquire on the whereabouts of the truck. The lady who answered the phone told me that the truck was indeed there and that Williams had been involved in the stealing. I asked to speak to Williams and at that point recorded the call. He acted like he didn’t know what I was talking about: (more…)

Power-Hungry Judge Threatens Courtroom and Jury in Ross Ulbricht Trial Over Jury Outreach

Jury Nullification Outrach Outside Ross Ulbricht Trial

Jury Nullification Outrach Outside Ross Ulbricht Trial

Liberty activists are reluctantly backing down from their jury outreach projects outside the Manhattan federal courthouse, but not because an insane robed person threatened the entire courtroom and jury over the activists’ signs and pamphlets yesterday afternoon. As reported here yesterday, the federal gang is pulling out all the stops to prevent jurors from accessing information about jury nullification.

They dismissed jurors who admitted to seeing signs or looking at activists’ fliers. However, that wasn’t enough for the woman in the robe, Katherine Bolan Forrest. Philly liberty superactivist James Babb explains:

Evidently, despite the millions of dollars spent and incalculable power of the state, Judge Katherine Forrest feared that a few folks with pamphlets could upset their steamrolling operation. As predicted, a juror with a conscience and knowledge of their power terrifies these petty tyrants. The billboard campaign and the pamphleting op were referenced on multiple occasions. Selecting an uninformed jury became a top priority for the prosecution and their subservient judge…

Free Keene Bloggers James Cleaveland and Jay Freeville Outside the Ulbricht Trial

Free Keene Bloggers James Cleaveland and Jay Freeville Outside the Ulbricht Trial

Basically, she decreed that if the independent volunteers didn’t stop informing jurors of their right to nullify unjust and misapplied laws, she would “annonymize” the jury, bussing them in from a secret location, blocking their contact from the outside world. Of course, the jurors won’t be told that they are being “protected” from a 100% factual pamphlet about their indisputable rights. Instead, they will thank the judge for protecting them from a dangerous crime boss. Experts have confirmed that this is a credible threat…

After careful consideration, we have decided to postpone the pamphleting operation until the hostage is recovered safely. However, the offending judge will not be forgotten. She will become accustomed to dealing with informed jurors. We will not be intimidated. We will not abandon our mission. Forrest’s grumpiness confirms what we already knew. They are scared of the truth. They fear for their house of cards.

Pamphleting at this court will resume at a later date. The kiosk ad campaign will continue. If you want to help expand it, you can participate here.

NH Activists Rain on Ross Ulbricht Prosecutors’ Parade

Derrick J and Michele Seven rally to Free Ross!

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.

Ademo Freeman from Copblock.org holds a sign in front of the Manhattan Federal District Court

Ademo Freeman from Copblock.org holds a sign in front of the Manhattan Federal District Court

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.

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, middle, shows his support for the freedom to buy and sell.

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…)

Keene, Manch Activists Head to NYC For Ross Ulbricht Trial

Ross William Ulbricht

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.