It has been a long road, but thanks to free speech attorney Jon Meyer and judge John C Kissinger of the Cheshire superior court, Keene’s Robin Hooders are again victorious! Nearly two years ago, the same court dismissed the two cases brought against the charitable meter-feeders, alleging we were “threatening, intimidating, and harassing” their parking enforcement officers and demanding a 50ft floating, constitution-free buffer zone to protect them.
The city appealed to the NH supreme court which ultimately upheld the superior court’s dismissal except for one part. They affirmed the lower court’s ruling to dismiss based on free speech grounds, but said the superior court needed to look at the request for the “buffer zone” injunction separately from the allegations of “tortious interference”, “civil conspiracy”, “negligence”, and the demand for financial compensation, all of which the city failed to prove to the court’s satisfaction.
The city, which had originally wanted a 50 foot floating buffer zone around each enforcer that would prevent all speech and recording by the Robin Hooders, had whittled that down over the 2.5 years this has been in court to a 5-10ft zone that would only be temporary and only if the parking enforcer requested said distance from the Robin Hooder. Mind you, we generally do not wish to be so close to them – it’s best to fill meters at a greater distance, so as to have enough time to fill the meter and leave the Robin Hood calling card on the windshield, BEFORE the parking enforcer catches up to us and gets ahead. That would mean she could successfully write a ticket if she gets ahead, so having distance is my goal, but the enforcer is constantly trying to close that gap, so sometimes we do get within ten feet. That would mean that such an injunction (besides being unconstitutional) would also prevent us from Robin Hooding, as anytime the enforcer managed to close the gap, we’d be subject to arrest for “contempt of court”.
The Court cannot conceive of any more narrow or alternative relief that would provide any meaningful protection to the PEOs without running afoul of the Respondents’ First Amendment rights…the government interests here are not sufficient to warrant an infringement on the Respondents’ First Amendment rights. Any injunction requiring a buffer zone of any meaningful distance would require a significant change in the method used by the Respondents to disseminate their protected speech.
So, despite the city’s interests in their parking enforcement continuing unabated, their significantly-reduced proposal for injunction is still beyond what is constitutionally permissible, and further, the court could not think of any lesser restrictions that would pass constitutional muster.
Kissinger, in his conclusion, does remind the city that if Robin Hooders’ conduct is rising to the level of violating criminal statutes, that they can bring such charges. Of course, the reason they never have brought criminal harassment or assault charges is because Robin Hooders are peaceful. There is zero evidence of “harassment, threatening, or intimidating” – the claims the city has long libeled us with throughout this lawsuit.
The poor, innocent parking enforcers.
In a classic case of projection, the people in this who are actually harassing, threatening, and intimidating others are the parking enforcers. They harass, threaten, and intimidate the good motorists of Keene six days a week by giving them threatening tickets for just trying to do some business downtown. Those tickets threaten, intimidate, and harass their victims into paying their fines so as to avoid the threat of having their car stolen. Talk about intimidation! This is why Robin Hood of Keene exists – we are here to save people from having to deal with the city’s threats. That’s always been the primary motivation, at least for me. I certainly don’t speak for everyone.
If the parking enforcers don’t like being called out for their threatening, intimidating, and harassing behavior, they should get jobs in the productive economy. Until the city council ends the parking department and turns over the spaces to downtown businesses to decide how to administer, per market forces, Robin Hooding will continue to rescue peaceful motorists from the threats of the city government.
The city has 30 days to appeal this latest failure. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest.
Finally! A candidate worth voting for has entered the presidential race. Vermin Supreme is back for 2016’s presidential primary, this year filing in the Democratic contest. On Friday the boot-wearing candidate, who advocates mandatory teeth-brushing, is promising to buy everyone a pony if he is elected, and will go back in time to kill Hitler if elected, filed for the office of President in Concord, NH with a $1,000 filing fee.
Before heading into the state house to file, Vermin exercised his right to open carry weapons and strapped on a few guns, including a pistol attached to the boot on his head. Sadly, the Secret Service had taken over the state house and were somehow able to temporarily destroy NH’s freedom to carry a gun. Vermin was disarmed, and they would not even allow him to bring in his pony doll or even a cigarette lighter. Apparently they were protecting some lesser candidate named Ben Carson with their ridiculous security apparatus. Here’s the full RAW video of his appearance at the NH state house:
Of course, the security is all for show. If someone were intent on hurting Carson, they could simply wait until he leaves the building.
It’s supposedly illegal for the government to deprive people of their right to bear arms in NH’s government buildings that aren’t considered “secure facilities” like jails or courts. Apparently these rules do not apply to the Secret Service.
Today, more than 600 households statewide (39 in the Keene area) were delivered full Thanksgiving meals including turkey, stuffing, gravy, eggs, cornbread mix, vegetables, pumpkin pie ingredients, and some cooking supplies as part of the “Shire Sharing” charity now in its fifth year. Shire Sharing is based in Manchester and headed by state representative Amanda Bouldin, a Free State Project early mover.
Amanda has managed to continually grow the yearly charity event, which she began in memory of her father who did something similar in Dallas when she was growing up. In an interview for Free Keene today, Amanda reported that fundraising for 2015 reached record levels, allowing more than 600 families to be fed. She was hoping to raise enough for 500 families. (Last year, Shire Sharing fed 350 families – a huge increase in just one year!) This year, at least $17,000 was raised by direct contributions and fundraiser events.
State Representative Amanda Bouldin, Founder of Shire Sharing
Though the first year of Shire Sharing was supposed to be a one-time event, Amanda says, “when the second year rolled around, everyone encouraged me to repeat the project. so we just keep going”. Despite the obviously high stress level involved in organizing such a massive operation, she’s committed to continue: “I know SS is very important to a lot of people — not just the recipients but the volunteers, too. I can’t quit!”
Last night, newer Keene-area mover Maria Korfiatis headed to Manchester to grab dozens of the bags for delivery, then this morning volunteers from this area gathered at the Church of the Invisible Hand’s “Society for Love and Peace” (SLAP) at 75 Leverett Street to head out on routes taking meals to Keene, Winchester, Ashuelot, Westmoreland, Swanzey, and Chesterfield.
It was Keene’s second year as part of the ever-growing Shire Sharing operation, and like last year, recipients were grateful for the special delivery! (more…)
I was prepared for a weekend of exciting adventure and invigorating learning, and I got it. Libertarians know how to get things done. And in the Shire, they know how to have fun.
Richard first attended Keenevention in 2014, and posted a similarly amazing write up about that event. Like last year’s post, his article this year delves into detail on each panel and speaker he witnessed, including questions from the audience and panelists’ quotes. It’s exhaustive, in a good way.
Brooks gets his reporting mostly correct, though I don’t share his view that bitcoin is doing poorly. It’s arguably the strongest currency in the world at over $335 USD per BTC as of this writing, with a myriad of businesses accepting it online and as Brooks notes, a bunch of NH businesses. By no means has it skyrocketed in popularity among average folks, but we’re talking about a major change in money here – there’s a learning curve involved at this point. It’s important to keep things in perspective: Bitcoin was released to the world in 2009. It’s been six years – a drop in the bucket of time. Bitcoin is just getting started.
Bitcoin is also easier to use than ever before. In the beginning, it was only geeks who could access bitcoin. As it spread and investors and more entrepreneurs got involved, easy-to-use wallet software became available. Now, all you need to do to get started with Bitcoin is download a free wallet and drop by the Keene Bitcoin Vending Machine at 661 Marlboro Street in Keene (Route 101), or acquire bitcoin in various other ways. Visit Bitcoin.com to learn more.