Friday August 31, 2012, I went out to a Keene CopBlock event with about 12 other individuals. The purpose of the event was to patrol the streets of Keene and hold accountable public officials in the course of their duties by way of documentation. As the vehicle I was in drove down Winchester Street, I noticed approximately seven or eight Keene Police cruisers and three or four bike cops along Winchester CT, a short side street. We notified other activists via two-way radio, turned around, and found a place to park. Winchester CT mainly houses Keene State College students, it appears. The multiple officers were in various different locations; some were on the street, some in the backyards of homes looking around, and some standing on front lawns talking to people.
Activists recorded as well as talked to students about what was happening. Cecelia and I got a chance to interview a student after he very politely asked that Cecelia avoid filming the house behind us. To learn what was so urgent that a single police officer could not go across town to respond to a call about an extremely unsafe driver, continue to LadiesinKeene.com.
This blog was originally posted at CopBlock.org, and was written by Ademo Freeman from Valley Street Jail.
Before coming to jail, I used a song and some clips my friend Clyde Voluntaryist put together called, “None of us are free, one of us is caged.” More recently, I received a letter from a person I’ve never met who credited the “Free Ademo” movement for bringing him and his friends to the concept of Voluntaryism. Jay, the man who sent me such letter, stated, “We are no more free than you, except that our cage has a larger roaming ground and aims to be more subtle.”
Before I elaborate more on that statement, I’d like to thank everyone who made this interaction possible. The “Free Ademo” movement is something I can not take credit for. It’s something y’all have done, and done extremely well. Be proud of yourselves as I’m sure ‘Jay and his friends’ are not the only one’s you’ve touched.
Back to the issue at hand – freedom. As I sit in my jail cell, writing this on the lamest excuse for a desk combined with some of the most ridiculous rules you’d ever hear, it’s obvious I am not free. That I am in fact caged and basically the slave of my captors. But what about you?
Are you free? If society was as clearly controlled at the setting I currently live in, would you tolerate it with the same compliance as you do current day-to-day life?
Let me expand a little more on what I’m trying to say. In my jail cell, all movements are controlled. When I was taken to court for my trial, in order to leave my unit I had to have my jail ID. To leave the jail, I had to have the proper paperwork. Some may say that’s understandable because I’m an inmate, but how is that any different from those who are not incarcerated? In order to leave your house, you need a government driver’s license – which is the exact same size as my jail ID. Of course, you can walk without it, unless you’re stopped and questioned by the police. Then, like me when I roam the jail as their worked, you must produce such identification in order to end the involuntary interaction. Even if you have the ID, states require you to have some sort of registration. Sounds very similar to the paperwork required to transport me.
Look at it from another angle and you get the same effect. Everything in my possession (ie, in my jail cell) must be jail issued. I’m told how many razors, toothbrushes and even how much food I can have in my possession. There is a whole chapter in the handbook dedicated to what I can possess while caged here. Again, many will say, “What do you expect?” or, the common line on the inside is, “Welcome to jail.” Is this really all that different from those outside of jail, though?
In some states you’re told how many guns or ammunition for those guns you can possess. Even possession of a medication can land you in the cell next to mine without proper paperwork – as in, some state licensed doctor’s permission slip. For me, if a cellmate gives me an extra soup or shirt and I don’t possess the proper proof, I can be written up or taken to the hole. Some governments – state or local – go as far as to tell you how many cars, trees, or animals you can have on “your” property. There have even been stories of people being charged or harassed for painting their house a certain color, or for refusing to move a piece of property (Ian’s couch, for example) from their own property.
I could go on and on about the control, oppression, and restrictions put on people every day. The point Jay reminded me of is simple: Your jail might be bigger, your chains invisible, but they’re restraining you just the same as mine. Yes, we’re all oppressed and it’s not getting any better. When will we break these chains?
Originally posted at LadiesInKeene.com
August 13, 2012, Ademo Freeman, founder of CopBlock.org, was found guilty on three counts of felony wiretapping after recording his conversations with public officials in an attempt to bring accountability to a situation where it was noticeably absent – an incident where excessive force was used against 17-year-old Frank Harrington, a student at Manchester’s West High School, by Darren Murphy, school resource officer and an employee of the Manchester Police Department.
If you are not familiar with Ademo’s situation, learn more.
Ademo was sentenced to one year in Valley Street Jail, all but 90 days suspended, as well as 1-3 years in NH State Prison suspended for 5 years of good behavior.
In a letter from jail, Ademo wrote: “By the time this is posted, we’ll already know the outcome and hopefully the jury is understanding of my position. I don’t, or won’t, blame them if they find me guilty.”
Ademo may not blame them, but I do. (more…)
Today is August 11th, 2012 – my 31st day of incarceration – and it’s 7:20AM. I’m awake because my cellmate was chosen to unload a delivery, but the truth is that I haven’t slept over two consecutive hours in a week. My mind is stuck on my pending wiretapping trial. I’ve been told of the mounting support and many articles (mainstream media and blogs) that have covered my case. It seems many of them share the same opinion as I do; public officials have no expectation of privacy.
Yet, knowing what I know about the court system through experience, I’m preparing my mind for more jail time. By the time this is posted we’ll already know the outcome and hopefully the jury is understanding of my position. I don’t, or won’t, blame them if they find me guilty. The state, via Michael Valentine and “Judge” Brown, will do its best to control what is presented to the jury. Via objections, Mr. Valentine will try to keep me from speaking plainly to the jury. “Judge” Brown will start and end the trial with specific instructions for the jury. If the jury follows them for whatever reason (but most likely out of fear or lack of understanding of the justice system), they will find me guilty. My only chance is if the jury or a juror simply votes based on logic, and logic stells me that a) PUBLIC officials have no expectation of privacy, and b) Prisons and jails weren’t built to house people who record phone calls with public officials.
No matter the outcome, and as I’ve said before, I feel no remorse for what I’ve done or what will happen to me. Sure, jail sucks, but here I’m surrounded by other victims of government abuse. Countless “criminals” whose crimes bear no victim. Advocating for the cause of liberty runs in my veins and won’t stop simply because I’m caged.
I want to thank everyone who has donated, worked on and continues to support myself and CopBlock.org. The reason the outcome doesn’t matter is due to people like you – the supporters. I’ve made my point and others have seen the failing system at work. I hope others will continue to refuse plea deals, refuse to follow the court’s rules and challenge the system to the fullest. I look forward to joining y’all on the path of liberty when freed from my cage.
I’d like to give a special thanks to Kate, Pete, Clyde and Ian who’ve – as always – gone above and beyond helping me share this message while caged. I miss you all dearly.
If you’d like to help, here are some suggestions:
–Become active at CopBlock.org
-Move to the Shire
–Donate to Ademo/CopBlock.org
-Write Ademo in jail
445 Willow Street 03103
-Send liberty-orientated stories to Ademo’s roommates
Happy Birthday, Ademo Freeman!
Instead of spending his 30th birthday with those that love him, Ademo is sitting in a cage at Valley Street Jail.
Ademo is sitting for two months for “resisting ” (going limp) when kidnapped for writing with chalk last summer. Ademo appealed, but due to a clerical error (or purposeful action), he was denied the chance to be judged by his peers.
In the upcoming weeks, Ademo will be defending himself against three counts of felony wiretapping (totaling 21 years in prison).
If you support Ademo, please send some love his way by a) donating, b) sending him a letter, or c) working to get more eyes on his current situation. http://copblock.org/pledge.