Ian, Mark, Keeniacs, Friends, and Family,
It’s the first Wednesday after my arrest. I’m writing this thanks to the kindness of the other prisoners here. I haven’t cooperated with the state up to this point. I was completely isolated and cut off from the world until yesterday. I’m sure there are questions, so I’ll do my best to explain.
I was at the court to get a copy of the sign on the wall restricting cameras in the lobby. Lance the court security person had previously claimed it’s an order. Only problem, orders are signed by the issuing judge. This order and the one obtained from the court clerk had no signature. This is clearly an attempt by Judge Burke (or whoever wrote it) to usurp power, in direct opposition to District Court Rule 1.3, which allows judges control over proceedings, and place very stringent guidelines explaining when freedom of the press and the public’s right to open courts may be restricted. What did you expect from a man appointed to a lifetime dictatorship by His Excellency the Governor – a nice little holdover from the days of King George, that remain in the New Hampshire constitution. Talk about isolated from market signals…this must change. Okay, the screaming.
I went to the court wearing a silver 1/4 inch thick cuff bracelet with flat edges. It has very sharp corners, and the flat end makes 4 sharp points. I was handcuffed over the bracelet. As they dragged me the bracelet tangled even further with the handcuffs and began grinding into the bone. The pain was severe and intense. The cuffs were not locked, and they tightened an additional 2 clicks. The guards were amused at my screaming, and told me to keep faking it and putting on a show.
Once they dragged me to the star chamber behind the courtroom, the cuffs were loosened and locked. The bracelet was tangled and left in place. I explained to the Keene PD who responded that he, as a Certified Peace Officer in the state of New Hampshire, which he confirmed, had a duty to arrest Lance for violation of 18 U.S.C. 242 and 241, acting under color of law to deny me in my rights,. His response ,”I don’t care about that.”
Funny isn’t it? How many times have we all heard the bureaucrats say, “it’s the law!” Of course they mean as it applies to the subjects. The Keene PD officer was angered that I brought out the violence that backs his every request. I don’t think he saw me as a human being in that moment. It sends them off the deep end when people don’t acknowledge their authority, and force them to show the gun in the room. He yanked me up off the floor so hard, I floated weightless for a split second before being jerked towards the door. I screamed in pain. He mocked me and again told me to “play it up.” And for all this, I forgive them.
I understand now why Lt. Shane Maxfield is angered by our acts of civil disobedience. He knows “the system” up close and personal. He knows the government has no issue throwing away as many lives as it takes to retain its control and legitimacy. Police want us to look upon them as heroes, when in fact, most of them are cowards: scared of speaking out against the monster they have helped create, all the while collecting a paycheck, counting on that government pension, and telling themselves, “it’s the law.” Having seen the destruction and injustice, most of them cower at the thought of doing anything that might turn this out of control monster upon them. “Use the system,” they say, “After all, it’s much much safer that way.” The problem, and what I have taken a stand to change…the government’s monopoly on the legitimate use of force. How does one go about using a system to change the bedrock upon which all of its actions depend? I believe the answer lies in educating and enlightening people to the ideas of freedom and liberty. Once they do, a more fair, humane, and just solution will quickly evolve.
Once they dragged me out of the car at Keene PD, they saw the severe bruising and the lacerations. From that point on I was treated with great care and respect, minus one thing. I was dragged into a cell, and when I didn’t consent to the quetions and exercised my right to remain silent, one of the cops shouted something in anger and slamemd the cage door like a 4 year old throwing a temper tantrum. I smiled in my understanding that he’s only angry at himself, or more to the point, what I have shown him about himself.
I was quickly transported to the Cheshire Country Caging Facility. I was dragged into the visitation room. Before removing the handcuffs, I was told if I moved I would be sprayed. The sadist guard then suggested getting the taser. Luckily the man uncuffing me understood what I was doing and held my arm against my chest so I wouldn’t be tear gassed. I was eventually dragged into a holding cell in a noisy booking room where the lights were kept on 24 hours a day. I was once awoken to a 6’3″ imposing man barking questions. He didn’t like my answers and left. Some might consider these to be sleep deprivation tactics. I stayed there for 2 days without a toothbrush, toilet paper, or even soap. Until I scratched “FreeKeene.com, there is a better way” into the rubber wall of the holding cell. Then I was stripped out of my street clothes, dressed in prison orange, and moved into a solitary max-security cage called E Block, where I sit now on Thursday morning writing this. Yesterday I was delivered an order from Judicial Dictator Burke. Apparently they held a hearing without me. I’ve been charged with 3 Class A misdemeanors carrying up to 3 years in jail, with a $10,000 cash bail. The order says I have options; I can motion the court, hire a lawyer, bond out, etc. Only problem? The jail won’t allow me to use the phone, write a letter, petition the court, unless…I consent to their authority and tell them everything they want to know. You see, in New Hampshire, rights guaranteed by the government are only given to those who bow before the government’s authority. Otherwise, they are perfect willing to railroad me through the system, throw away 3 years of my life, cost the tazpayers over $100,000 dollars; all to be right about a system that boasts a 5% rehabilitation rate. Any animal trainer will tell you positive reinforcement is the way to change behavior. The current system is designed to control, restrict, anger, and enrage. When the prisoners lash out as expected, the state comes crashing down upon them. The lesson? The state’s authority cannot be challenged. “We will break you, so submit to our whims like a good slave.”
This brings me back to Burke’s order. All of the terms are subject to change if I’ll just consent, and he’s awaiting my response, which I can provide once I consent.
I’ve been on a hunger strike since I arrived. The guards are moving past their initial response of anger, to curiosity. They have started coming by asking why I won’t eat. I didn’t have an answer at first. I would simply tell them, “I’ll eat when I’m free.” Now I understand my motives. The state has taken away almost all of my freedoms. This is one of the few choices I have left. The fact is, I own me, at least until the state’s doctors decide they need to take that are from me as well.
I’ve told them I will consent, as they are willing to throw my life away to be right about their system. Gandhi saiid it best: “First the laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” They’re done laughing at us, now New Hampshire is taking political prisoners.
The jailers haven’t known quite what to do with me, as they are used to dealing with anger and resentment. I have only love and compassion to give. That said, the jailers have gone out of their way to be polite and curtious, and for this, I commend them.
As the government will learn, what you resist, persists. What we need are people who have the courage to take a stand for freedom in the face of tyranny.
[this was written by Sam and transcribed by Mike Barskey]