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…)
More importantly, this event is a fundraiser for Ross Ulbricht. He’s been accused of running the Silk Road black market website, and he needs your help to avoid life in prison. Whether or not you attend the party, you can give to Ross’ legal campaign here.
If you don’t have your Keenvention badge with you, please have at least $10 (or BTC) to donate to Ross at the door of HALLOWKEENE to get entry to the party. See you on Saturday, 11/1 from 9p-Mid. Boo!
Pumpkin Fest organizer Ruth Sterling made international headlines this weekend when during a live broadcast from her event on Cheshire TV by local newsman Jared Goodell, she stormed onto the set, grabbed at his microphone and threatened to take him off the air. With over 100,000 views and climbing, the original clip is one of the top five most popular videos of all time on the Free Keene youtube channel.
Sterling was interviewed this morning on WKBK by Dan Mitchell where she complained that the original viral clip did not show the context of what made her storm the set. If you recall from the clip, she alleged that Jared had been “inciting” people, “alarming” pumpkin fest attendees, and “self-promoting”. As you can see in this clip which shows what came before the original, he’s doing none of those things – he’s merely reporting what he’s heard and reading a statement from the president of Keene State College. All I’ve edited out of the following clip is the commercial break, which lasted for about 1 minute:
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…)
Jared Goodell is a Keene native and local independent journalist. Yesterday he was the host for EIGHT hours during Pumpkin Fest 2014 on Cheshire TV, the local public access channel. Jared also put thousands of dollars of his own money into producing the all-day event coverage. For this amazing effort to cover the yearly festival (it would not have been covered on CTV without him), he is rewarded with an evening visit by Pumpkin Fest organizer Ruth Sterling who behaves in a ridiculous manner:
Sterling attempts to grab his microphone multiple times, as well as block the camera’s view of Jared, accuses him of frightening the guests of the festival and demands he stop talking about the riots happening just a few blocks away in the college neighborhood.
Since Jared is a newsman at heart, he feels obligated to report on what is happening in-town, and tangentially related to Pumpkin Fest. He defends his right to be the media and she responds by telling him she’ll “pull the plug” (which she has no control over) and that he should behave because she gave him the physical location for the CTV remote studio. As though she somehow was doing him a favor – he’s the one who spent over $5,000 of his own money to make the coverage of her event happen!
At one point in the beginning of the video, Sterling accuses Jared of being a “Free Stater”, this is the new pejorative to describe anyone who stands up for their rights. It’s not Jared’s first time causing controversy for reporting the news. Earlier this year he stirred it up for reporting from the scene of this Summer’s suicide and on the resignation of a despised school principal. Jared is not afraid to break the official city narrative of Keene being a perfect, blemish-free New England town, and is willing to take the heat. Keep up the good work, Jared – we’re all Free Staters now!