At the rally in Central Square on June 13th, Alani Besson, a Keene native, calls out the Keene police and Cheshire sheriff for pandering to the first Keene BLM event and delivers the best speech thus far in all the New Hampshire Black Lives Matter events I’ve attended.
Thank you to Dave Kirkpatrick from “November and Beyond” for the video!
Massive crowd watching speakers at BLM event in Keene.
Finally, average people are showing concern for police violence! It only took thousands of innocent bodies piled up over many years and countless millions of peaceful people arrested for victimless crimes before enough people got mad enough to do something. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware of the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis cops who brazenly choked him to death for several minutes while being recorded on video as Floyd tried to plead with the gang of killers and alert them that he could not breathe.
However, what happened to Floyd was the spark that lit a flame – literally, with large numbers of people coming out from their homes to join in protests demanding police accountability and railing against police violence, which is used more often against blacks, but affects all of the human race. The protestors even torched the Minneapolis third precinct station after police abandoned the property after days of protests outside, which was an amazing victory and was refreshing to see the people’s understandable anger targeted where it was actually deserved.
KPD’s Cristina Paterno and Cheshire Sheriff Eli Rivera hear you, but will they listen and change?
Sadly, some protests have also been sullied by violence committed against people and the destruction of private property in many cities. The destruction of innocent-owned private property has been significant and tragic. However, New Hampshire has thankfully avoided these losses, likely because people here are much more free to defend their property from attackers, with weapons if necessary. The people who are targeting private property are unwelcome among the peaceful protestors and are likely a mix of police acting as agents-provocateur and opportunists who are looking to destroy and/or steal.
Today in Keene, several hundred people gathered in Central Square at 4pm today for a Black Lives Matter protest that rivaled the BLM event from Manchester, NH on Saturday. After nearly fifteen years in Keene, I’ve never seen anything this big in Central Square, ever. Today’s event was probably 4-5 times larger than the biggest 420 rallies in Central Square more than a decade ago.
Large crowd in Keene kneels, fist up.
The honking from drivers was nearly non-stop including multiple large trucks and tractor trailers laying on their horns to cheers from the excited crowd. Keene’s police chief Steven Russo and Cheshire County’s sheriff Eli Rivera were both present in the heart of the park holding signs saying, “We hear you” and taking pictures with people. To their credit, this was a smart move. By physically joining the protestors, the police acting like humans can diffuse anger and deescalate tensions. However, talk is cheap, and “hearing” isn’t the same as “listening”, and it’s certainly not actually changing their behavior.
Will the Keene police stop arresting peaceful people for victimless crimes? It’s the insane war on drugs and other prohibitions that have resulted in people of all shapes and sizes and colors being attacked, imprisoned, and murdered by police nationwide for decades. Keene’s police have made a myriad of drug busts and assisted the DEA in raiding a popular local head shop on Main Street several years ago. A stroll through past posts at Keene Cop Block shows just a fraction of the lives the local police have ruined in the name of their authoritarian prohibitions. Are they going to now see how they harmed their brothers and sisters, issue an apology, change their ways and send back the BEARCAT armored tank to its manufacturer?
I sure hope so, for their sake, but then again, I’m an optimist.
Massive Crowd at Black Lives Matter Protest in Manchester, NH
In response to the latest national police murder in Minneapolis, well over a thousand people gathered on Saturday May 30th at Manchester, NH’s Veterans Park to protest the continuing injustice against not just blacks, but the entire human race by the authoritarian state.
Manchester’s event remained peaceful and no agents provocateur made themselves known. The Black Lives Matter Manchester event was at least double the size of the largest Reopen NH protests in Concord. Unlike the Reopen events in Concord, where police didn’t even drive by, Manchester police were all over the area in this case. However, rather than interfere with the rally, they closed off a few streets to traffic, and that’s about all I saw them doing besides watching. Of course, Manchester police are known for being some of the worst, violent cops in all of New Hampshire. In this case however, they were strongly outnumbered, which always changes how police behave.
I was able to spread a large stack of Foundation for New Hampshire Independence fliers to the attendees, and most responses to the idea of secession were positive! Whether at a righty or lefty rally, the idea of leaving the United States is favorably received here in the Shire. Maybe that time is coming with all the unrest spreading across the land. Here’s are video highlights of the event:
In a recent Keene Sentinel article, the “city” is doing a trial run of the Park Mobile System. This move is good news for the following reasons:
First, adoption of this technology will likely reduce the 29,170 (FY13 Goal, pg 212) tickets issued by parking enforcers, their primary task, thus making enforcement more obsolete. If people use this new system, their chance of receiving a parking ticket will be greatly reduced because they can receive alerts reminding them when their meters are about to expire. Additionally, they may be able to extend their time remotely through the Park Mobile App adding more time to their session if they need it. Furthermore, the number of tickets issued because people who did not have change or enough change is also likely to go down since there will be an additional way of paying for the meters.