FSP Schism Over Snowden Recording Headlining NH Newspapers

Crowd Holding Snowden Masks

Snowden is all of us. Photo courtesy Union Leader.

The Free State Project got a lot of things right about this year’s Liberty Forum. It was well-attended, fun, and the organizers did a good job overall. The Edward Snowden keynote interview made a huge splash in various media around the globe.

However, for reasons yet unknown, it’s being claimed by new FSP president Matt Philips that keynote speaker Edward Snowden requested there be no recording by audience members. Free Keene blogger and NH native Garret Ean recorded anyway and released it here yesterday.

Why would Snowden try to restrict recording when hundreds of people would be attending with recording devices, including, likely some undercover federal agents? I tweeted at Snowden today in an attempt to get a comment and received no reply thus far. According to the organizer of the Liberty Forum in an unofficial facebook post, there was some agreement to allow the FSP to record the event and have Reason.com (whose editor Nick Gillespie conducted the interview with Snowden) release it via their YouTube.

Many in the liberty community are on an all-out attack against Garret for making the recording, and me for refusing to pull it down. One even called for “Free Keene” to be banned from all FSP events. Hilariously, that ban would include FK blogger JJ Schlessinger, who is the video professional the FSP hired to record the event. He called Free Talk Live Tuesday night to inform our audience that he is currently editing a high-quality five-camera HD shoot of the Snowden talk.

NH mainstream newspapers are now picking up the story of this latest FSP schism. Here’s the first two headlines, posted online and appearing in print today:

These schisms have occurred forever in the FSP, where once a group gets near to thirty members, there’s some ideological or personal division between them where some people choose sides and go strike off in their preferred direction. When schisms are happening, some people find them distressing but ultimately they are a sign of growth and have resulted in creative destruction, where new ideas and activism are built.  Most of the time, tensions reduce and most people get along fine, even between whatever various tribes there might be.

That this latest schism is making mainstream media headlines really shows how successful the liberty movement has been here thus far. People outside the movement are paying attention to petty liberty drama! Most libertarians are lucky to even get a single mention per year in the media in other states. It’s pretty clear that NH liberty activists have already become an important part of New Hampshire’s scene and continue to be relevant, and that’s with the FSP official move having just started two weeks ago!

Here at Free Keene, thanks to Garret, we’ve started another conversation both inside and outside the movement about freedom. Last night on my radio show, Free Talk Live, we delved deep with Garret as our guest, covering this topic for all three hours of the show, which you can listen to here:

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