NH Activists Rain on Ross Ulbricht Prosecutors’ Parade

Derrick J and Michele Seven rally to Free Ross!

Derrick J and Michele Seven rally to Free Ross!

Today was jury selection day at the very-important trial of Ross Ulbricht in New York City. Free Keene bloggers were out front of the federal district court in Manhattan, trying to get the word out about the insane penalty that Ross Ulbricht is facing if he’s found guilty at trial. Ross is accused of running the Silk Road underground marketplace and is facing decades in prison for it. Ross’ mother, Lyn has stood by her son and even joined the Free State Project. She has said that Ross will come to Porcfest in 2015 if he is not imprisoned!

However, getting him out of the cage he’s been in for 15 months awaiting trial is no easy task. The prosecutors are well funded and working within a system where they are on the same side as the judge. In the insane, inhumane US court system, jurors are generally precluded from knowing the penalty faced by the accused, as it may make them more likely to nullify a bad law if they feel the penalty is too severe.

Ademo Freeman from Copblock.org holds a sign in front of the Manhattan Federal District Court

Ademo Freeman from Copblock.org holds a sign in front of the Manhattan Federal District Court

In a previous motion, the prosecution asked the judge to prevent Ulbricht from testifying about his liberty-oriented beliefs and they specifically mentioned wanting to prevent the jury from any possibility of jury nullification.

They are deathly afraid of jurors knowing about nullification. Indeed, according to Derrick J, potential jurors are being asked if they saw any signs outside the court. If so, the prosecution is dismissing them.

Several signs came from a heroic effort by Derrick J to help Free Ross that included liberty activists cranking out signage to bring for Ulbricht supporters, including:



Jay Freeville, middle, shows his support for the freedom to buy and sell.

Jay Freeville, right, shows his support for the freedom to buy and sell.

NH liberty activists have been doing jury rights outreach for years and defendants at trial in New Hampshire have been able to raise jury nullification as a defense, but this is federal court. No cell phones are allowed in. No cameras. Not even for the media. Just pencil and paper.

Guardian reporter Nicky Woolf, who came to Keene this fall and interviewed people, including me, about the police response to the Pumpkinfest Riots, took notice of the sign-holding this morning and interviewed Derrick J for his piece on the Ulbricht Trial from today.

Tune in to Free Talk Live tonight at 7pm Eastern for the latest on the case and follow along with live blog updates from the trial at The Liberty Beat and also #silkroadtrial on Twitter.

Here’s the first video from Derrick J and Ademo that shows the scene, including activists from Philly performing jury nullification outreach.

Continue reading below for another pic and the text of the Guardian piece:

Protesters gathered at a Manhattan court building on Tuesday in support of Ross Ulbricht, whose trial for being the accused mastermind behind what was once the internet’s biggest illegal drugs marketplace was beginning at a federal court inside.

Federal prosecutors accuse Ulbricht, who allegedly went by the alias “Dread Pirate Roberts”, of being the owner and manager of the deep-web marketplace Silk Road. He was arrested in a library in San Francisco in October 2013, and charged with drug trafficking, criminal enterprise, aiding and abetting distribution of drugs over the internet, computer hacking and money laundering.

According to the indictment, Ulbricht himself reaped “tens of millions of dollars” in commissions.

He is also charged with involvement in conspiracy to commission six “hits”, including against a former Silk Road employee, using bitcoin to pay the purported assassins. No killings were actually carried out.

In court, Ulbricht, clean-shaven and dressed smartly in a dark blazer and beige slacks, sat confidently beside his legal team. Occasionally he turned to flash a smile at his mother, Lyn, who was in the public gallery.

Ulbricht has consistently claimed that he was not Dread Pirate Roberts, and denies all the charges against him.

Outside the courtroom, protesters had gathered in support of Ulbricht.

Derrick J Freeman, who had come from Keene, New Hampshire, to demonstrate outside the court, told the Guardian he thought it would set a dangerous precedent if a website can be prosecuted for what its users do. “If so, drag Craigslist off to prison,” he said.

In its heyday, Silk Road was a sprawling marketplace where people used bitcoin to purchase a galaxy of different stimulants, hallucinogenics, opiates and prescription drugs.

In July 2013 it was estimated that transactions on Silk Road could be upwards of $30m-45m per year, and the indictment states that the site had “well over a hundred thousand buyers worldwide”.

It operated on the Tor network, a web anonymising service originally developed by the US naval research center and partly funded by Darpa as a way of protecting government communication.

For Freeman, if Ulbricht is actually Dread Pirate Roberts, he is a pioneer of the deep web, and a hero. “He brought the black market online,” he said. “There’s no fear of drive-by shootings, or back-alley stabbings.”


James Cleaveland braves the cold to support Ross Ulbricht


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  1. Good work guys.

  2. How can a website that deals in fake IDs be called honest?
    Don’t tell me liberty activists are defending fraud now.

  3. The Silk Road is honest in the sense that vendors advertise what they are selling and the customer receives what he expects. There’s no fraud alleged on behalf of the site itself.

  4. Derrick you’ve done a good job of not answering my question. The owners/administrators of the website knowingly dealt in selling fake IDs which is fraud. Fraud is not something that liberty activists can defend which is why I assume you avoided answering my question.

  5. Fucking loser. Fake ID’s are illegal. I know that means nothing to an incredible shitbag douche like yourself, but there it is.

  6. “The prosecutors are well funded and working within a system where they are on the same side as the judge.”

    Bernard … STFU. You’re a complete moron.

  7. LOL … yeah – good work. Ulbricht is going to prison for at least 10 years, regardless of what you freetard douchebags do or say.

  8. “NH liberty activists have been doing jury rights outreach for years and defendants at trial in New Hampshire have been able to raise jury nullification as a defense, ”

    Um, no – they haven’t. There’s what you freetards think is the truth … and then there’s the truth:


    Go fuck yourself, Bernard.

  9. Uh, yeah they have been allowed. I’ve seen it done in multiple trials. Maybe that will change since that supreme court case, maybe not. Guess we’ll see.

  10. like derrick pointed out before, you’re wrong. the silk road was a website used by 3rd parties to make private sales. people sell illegal things on facebook. should facebook be liable?

  11. Craigslist is rampant with prostitution and stolen goods,

  12. Actually, a fake ID is no more fraudulent, in and of itself, than a Halloween mask.

    It could be used for fraudulent purposes, of course, but could also be used for neutral or beneficial purposes.

  13. My question had nothing to do with 3rd parties Steve. The owners/administrators are the ones that were caught dealing in fake IDs. Try again.

  14. I don’t know what universe you live in. Forged government documents are most definitely fraudulent.

    If you’re saying engaging in fraud can be used for beneficial purposes you just gave police officers all the justification they need for sting operations and operations that liberty activist would consider as entrapment.

  15. Anarchists keep telling us how their mythical society will work with ratings agencies serving as a clearing house to establish people’s reputation so other people know whether or not people can be trusted to honor their contracts and to hold them accountable.

    What you’re telling me is that all any criminal in your mythical society has to do if he isn’t happy with the reputation he receives from the rating agency is go out and get a new fake ID because it’s no different than getting a Halloween mask.

  16. Yep 1st day in Ross admits he set up the website and claims it was just an “experiment” and then claims he was framed by the anonymous person that he turned the website over to, which is how they caught him logged into the administrator’s page when he was busted.

  17. How is dealing in fake ID’s “fraudulent”? If the buyer and seller both know what is being traded, then there was zero fraud.

  18. fake
    1. prepare or make (something specious, deceptive, or fraudulent):
    to fake a report showing nonexistent profits.

  19. Right, fake ID’s can be used to defraud, but buying and selling them is not fraud. No fraud takes place between the buyer and seller of the fake ID. I can have a photo ID of myself with Elvis Presley’s photograph on it. To buy, sell, or own it is not fraud. Passing the ID to someone to verify yourself as being Elvis Presley would be fraudulent. Buying it or selling it, again, not fraud.

    What you’re saying is akin to saying something illogical, like “guns kill people, so people who own guns are guilty of murder.” It’s stupid, and completely untrue. “People use fake ID’s for fraudulent purposes, so owners of fake ID’s are guilty of fraud.” Zero logic.

  20. Can you delegate to others a right that you don’t have, shit stain?

  21. You’re bitching about someone encroaching on a government monopoly.

  22. The real fraud is the government passing itself off as the only entity that’s entitled to issue IDs.

  23. What gives the government the right to enforce a monopoly on the sale of IDs?

  24. The free market has provided, and will continue to provide, ways to unambiguously identify individuals, dumbass.

  25. You’re the pathetic piece of shit who’s proud to publicly proclaim that you’re owned by others.

  26. You’re trying to reason with a mentally retarded individual.

  27. Fake ID’s are fraudulent by their very definition
    /head desk

    “I can have a photo ID of myself with Elvis Presley’s photograph on it”

    A photo ID of yourself with someone else’s photo on it?
    Are you an idiot or a comedian?

  28. Before you troll, you 1st need to learn not to say something stupid that proves to everyone that you’re a complete moron.

    Government is NOT the only entity that is entitled to issue IDs. Your supermarket, your health club, your school, your bank, the company you work for, etc etc…. are all entitled to issue IDs There is no monopoly on issuing IDs.

  29. Hey dumbass the next time you get pulled over for speeding try using your company ID card and see how that works out for you.

  30. Moronic question since they don’t have a monopoly on the sale of IDs. Try again.

  31. I can have a fake ID with my name and Elvis’s face, or vice-versa, or Elvis’s face and name, or some other name and face, and there’s nothing fraudulent about that unless I go to use it and represent myself as someone I’m not.

  32. OK you answered my question you’re an idiot.

  33. Yeah, and we’re getting really tired of responding to you.

  34. … which they are constantly vigilant against and remove those posts as they find them – huge difference.

  35. Seen what done? No one in the State of NH has ever been found not guilty because of jury nullification. Now with the NH Supreme Court stating there is no such thing as jury nullification, the point is moot. Once again, you freetard douchebags get pwned.

  36. Does your Mom know what you do down in the basement all night? What time does the short bus pick you up in the morning to take you to the special school you attend?

  37. Again … don’t confuse the freetard douchebags with the facts. The facts get in the way of their idiotic beliefs.

  38. You know what, short-bus-boy: you still haven’t told us what that means. Do you even know?

  39. And just because the Supreme Court gutted the law in no way means that a jury cannot still use jury nullification, it simply means that the judge will no longer be obligated to inform the jury of their right to nullify. Or at least that is my understanding.

  40. I own myself, regardless of what you say, scum.

  41. You’re the retard who doesn’t know that it means that if you don’t have the right to steal and murder, then you’re not able to delegate to others the right to steal and kill on your behalf. You really are incredibly fucking stupid.

  42. Moron, merely possessing a fake ID does not constitute fraud, just as merely possessing a gun does not constitute murder.

  43. The state does have a monopoly on issuing IDs, dumbfuck.

    When are you going to man up and explain how merely possessing a fake ID harms anyone.

  44. So now you’re admitting that the state has a monopoly in the area of IDs, in that for some situations, you’re forced to used a government ID.

  45. When a fake ID changes hands, who is the victim?

    When a gun changes hands, who is the victim?

  46. Address Just M.’s points, imbecile.

  47. That’s because you don’t like getting trounced.

    If you don’t have the right to steal, then how can you give someone the right to steal on your behalf?

Care to comment?