As one of the behind the scenes people around here, you aren’t terribly likely to see me at an event such as Monday’s deplorable mass arrests of liberty activists and members of the press in Keene. Instead, I do things like upgrade the software that runs Free Keene, and participate in other things which make activists on the front lines more effective at getting their message out. One of these things in particular deserves some attention in the wake of what happened on Monday, and that’s Porcupine 411.
For those of you who somehow still haven’t heard of it, Porcupine 411 is an audio distribution network I’ve been running for New Hampshire liberty activists for about three years now. It’s simple in concept: When something is happening, you whip out your phone, dial 603-413-0411, and leave a voice message about whatever is going on. The system then distributes that message in audio form to over 200 liberty activists (and a few members of the traditional media) who have subscribed to receive the messages by e-mail and on their wireless phones.
Typically people might leave three or four messages in a week on more mundane matters like the location of ad-hoc revenue generation stations (also known as speed traps) along New Hampshire’s highways. But on Monday Porcupine 411 really showed its power when Free Keene’s Dale and Nick called in with their first reports of what was happening at the Keene District Court. These calls drew more people to the scene, at least one coming from as far away as Grafton, and helped keep people who couldn’t be there informed as events unfolded.
Since messages go out as soon as you hang up, people can learn about an event and respond very quickly, even to happenings across the state. All told, nearly 20 messages came in relating to Sam’s arrest and the arrests of everyone else. It would only be later before video and postings showed up at Free Keene and elsewhere on the Internet. Because of its speed and the ability to use it on the scene, Porcupine 411 often provides the first notice of events relevant to liberty lovers in New Hampshire, especially when they involve officious bureaucrats who want to run (or ruin) our lives.
It’s for those reasons that you should be using it. If you haven’t done so already, program the number (603-413-0411) into your phone, and subscribe to receive the messages at your e-mail, and on your phone if it’s capable of receiving them.
If you’re capable of doing so, you should also consider becoming a financial supporter. Porcupine 411 is run entirely on donations and the difference comes out of my pocket, which unfortunately isn’t nearly as deep as it once was, thanks to the economic downturn. At the moment only about 12% of the service’s expenses, which average $100 a month, are covered by recurring donations. For those of you who contribute or have contributed, thank you. If you have not, please consider making a one-time or a monthly recurring contribution to keeping this critical resource running.
In the meantime I will be here behind the scenes, doing everything I can to make sure that you on the front lines have the tools and support you need.