Free Staters in Keene, New Hampshire, are pushing back against the town’s proposed plan to buy a Bearcat armored personnel carrier.
Interestingly, LENCO, the company that makes the vehicle, pulled the promotional video below from its website in response to the Keene protests. DHS has given out hundreds of homeland security grants to local police departments across the country to purchase these vehicles.
I am proud to live here amongst the courageous activists and community members who have the courage to stand up and say “Thanks, but no tanks”, and the entire city of Keene should be proud to lead local communities in the fight against police militarization. However, this is far from over.
Today at 3PM, there is an open community meeting being held at Colony Mill Food Court and all are encouraged to attend. The issue is slated for the full city council’s vote on the first Thursday in March. Whether or not the city council will do the right thing remains to be seen, but in the meantime there are steps that we individually and as a community can take to keep Keene BearCat free.
Over the next week, I intend to contact all city council members to initiate a discussion regarding the concerns voiced on Thursday night. I am also putting together an educational video with former law enforcement officers Brad Jardis, Will Ponce, and Stephen Frakes about their experiences with the worsening militarization of police across America.
I would like to suggest that everyone call and write to their council representatives. Their information can be found on City of Keene – Who’s Who on Facebook. I also strongly suggest attending the meeting this afternoon, as well as the city council meeting on Thursday. The city council needs to know that we are not simply going to go away.
Personally, I intend to do whatever it takes to keep a BearCat out of our peaceful city, up to and including pitching a tent in the middle of central square and occupying until the city gets rid of this monstrosity. Keene is slated to receive delivery of the BearCat in early summer, so the weather will be perfect for an occupation.
This issue affects the entire community and is something we can all unite behind. I hope to see each and every one of you at the meetings today and on Thursday, and again I ask you to continue to join me in saying “Thanks, but no tanks!”.