Activists showing support for a man pulled over for honking in support of them.
DUI checkpoints have become a normal way of life across America. The violation of the fourth amendment is common place where people have become domesticated to the idea that police have the authority to stop and search you for simply traveling under the guise of “safety”. In New Hampshire, it has become common place for dozens upon dozens of activists to take out cameras and show their opposition to the police. On the night of 7-25-14, roughly 30 plus activists took part in warning motorists of the check point and confronting police about their illegal activity. By yourself in any other part of America, this would be considered crazy and unsafe. In New Hampshire, showing resistance and opposition to the police state is just a normal night.
A couple of months ago, Free Keene blogger Rich Paul was arrested for “violation of probation”. Despite having failed a drug test and having admitted using cannabis, probation officer Jason Smith had chosen not to arrest Rich, per his testimony at the hearing below. Smith said he was arrested because a local hater snitched on Rich, claiming he’d violated probation by possessing a weapon.
Rich says he was using a camera monopod to take a defensive stance against two employees of Pedraza’s/Pour House who were threatening, and subsequently attacking, people who were chalking in Central Square. In point of fact, one Pour House employee who did a lot of threatening, is seen in the video of the incident, taking the camera Rich had put down and smashing it, among other criminal acts.
In a full violation of probation hearing at Cheshire superior court this week, Rich was jailed over the cannabis violations, but vindicated of the most serious charges: weapons & rioting. The video and testimony made it clear his actions were justified. He was legitimately using the monopod to prepare to defend himself and others from attack. As I understand it, in NH even felons are allowed to defend themselves against attack, and use anything in the vicinity in order to do so.
Regarding the cannabis violations, probation officer Smith testified that probation was pointless for Rich, as he is going to continue using cannabis for medical purposes. There are 500 people on probation, and only four agents, according to Smith. Judge John C Kissinger took Smith’s recommendation and agreed to remove Rich’s probation after he serves six months in the Keene Spiritual Retreat! (Factoring in his time served prior to the hearing and presuming he meets the NH “good time” requirements, he’ll be out in about three months, in time to speak at Keenevention 2014!)
Rich’s testimony is passionate and principled. This is a great court video:
The probation system is awful and is designed to violate the participants, over and over, keeping them in an unending cycle of destruction of their lives. (more…)
There’s a restaurant in Keene called The Stage. But there’s no stage quite like the one that sits adjacent to it: Keene Central Square. Made famous by dozens of courageousarrests, Central Square plays host to the most bizarre encounters ever to be imagined.
In this video, activist and FreeKeene.com blogger Garret Ean records as he and members of the group “Stop Free Keene!!!” are locked in a never-ending chalk-removal battle. Some people are chalking while others are removing the chalk with water.
Local cop (and occasional persecutor for ‘the State’) Jason Short arrives and asks if there is a problem. Immediately the cries come from both sides, like children reacting to daddy coming home and finding siblings fighting.
“We are just trying to clean up the park, and these mean people keep making it dirty!”
“They sprayed water on me! Don’t we have a right to the first amendment?”
“Yes, yes, calm down children. Behave. You’re both right. Now just get along, will you?”
“Don’t tell us what to do!”
One girl with bleached and fading pink hair faces a much taller Jason Short as if confronting a bully, and then, teary-eyed, dramatically walks away. Hamming it up.
With the exciting double parking ticket trial of AKPF #1 co-producer Garret Ean last week, the audience is treated in this episode to the complete and illustrated footage of the court hearing featuring infamous faces of the Keene criminal justice system. Judge Edward Burke hears the case brought forward by KPD prosecutor Jean Kilham, with AKPF agent Jane called upon as the sole witness. In this inquiry, we see how eager to object to anything and everything that the state’s representative is, and Burke also plays a significant role in tipping the hand of the defense on lines of questioning. Ultimately, most arguments are not permitted to be made, and the disproportionate fine of five dollars per offense is levied, though compensated partially in Obamacoin.
In a press release announcing the settlement, attorney Hipple says, “The precedent set in Gericke v. Begin is just now starting to ripple through the courts…and I look forward to seeing many more victories for the First Amendment and government accountability in the coming years.”
Myself, fellow Free Keene blogger Joel Valenzuela, activist Andrew Vermiglio (Shire Dude), and other Manchester activists have been uploading content to our raw unedited youtube channel called Free Manchester Raw. Some video is great for stock footage other content covers activism and life in from our perspectives living in Manchester and traveling the Shire. All content that we upload is intended to be used by any one who wishes to edit videos. Below are playlist from the last two DUI check point Cop Blocking efforts in Manchester as well as footage taken at Porcfest 2014 and Operation Arcadia – NH Independence.