by John Smith | Sep 15, 2011 |
[Transcribed by Mail-to-Jail.]
“KPD Shows True Colors with Parking Meter Proposal & What to Do About it”
Keene Police Chief Ken Meola tipped his hand recently with his proposal to switch from the parking meters littering beautiful downtown Keene that many know and detest to a new system of kiosks.” Each unit will replace several meters and unlike meters in other cities, thees do not require the user to place a receipt on the dash.
Please forgive my inexact numbers. I write this from my jail cell and do not have source material in front of me. I’m going by my memory of recent Keene Sentinel pieces on the subject.
Considering, if I recall correctly, that KPD rakes in over $300,000 per year from the current system, one might wonder what the motivation is to change a system that is “working.” (Though I have heard rumor that the Parking Division actually runs in the red. I would love to have this confirmed or denied. Regardless, that information doesn’t change the point of this post.) (more…)
by John Smith | Sep 4, 2011 |
[We were unable to transcribe this letter due to injury, so thanks go to volunteer Anthony Richard for transcribing this letter from Ian. We have not checked the transcription, so we are still attaching to this post Ian’s letter scanned in a PDF format.]
My most asked question – “Was it worth it?”
My answer – It depends on your perspective. What do you think?
Allow me to explain. The question feels like there should be some objective criteria by which one can determine the worth of civil disobedience. There is not. It’s completely subjective.
For instance, were you to look at this from a financial perspective, I took a big hit. It is costing me thousands to hire contractors to run my business in my absence. My phone bill alone will likely be in the hundreds with the collect calls I am making to the LRN.FM studio to be on-air occasionally and to assist Mark and the rest of our great crew with Technical Operations. Does it hurt to cut those big checks? Yes, of course. Could the money have been spent in better ways, perhaps on other activism? I don’t know. How could I quantify what the extra publicity that Free Talk Live and Free Keene may be receiving is worth? How many people have decided to move to NH or have moved up their plans because of this incident? No way to tell. Even if there was some way to know, what value could be put on each? Incalculable. Therefore, while it is tempting to judge the “worth” of this incident by a financial perspective, doing so is folly. Besides, I came here to do activism. Activism takes time and costs money. I knew that going in.
So, “Was it worth it?”
Another perspective to consider is that of the listener of my radio program, Free Talk Live. The show is my creation and I have been with it from day one without any real vacation for almost nine years. I have my fans and my critics and while I appreciate someone who says, “we need you behind the microphone.” I would encourage them to remember why It’s not called “The Ian and Mark Show”, FTL is a open phones panel discussion with a pro-liberty viewpoint. It has multiple hosts because of a few reasons:
1. I created the show I wanted to listen to, and I prefer not to listen to myself monolog.
2. Multiple hosts bring multiple perspectives to the table and can check each other’s egos.
3. I wanted the show to continue in my absence. It sure would be a waste to put years into building a major communications tool for the liberty movement and then have it wiped out because I got hit by a bus or targeted by aggressors. Considering I am an activist AND talk host, the latter was only a matter of time.
Therefore, the show goes on, with or without me. While I would certainly prefer to be on-air, it would be inappropriate for me to decide the”worth” of this incident from that perspective. No doubt my critics would answer the question with a resounding, “Yes!” I’m glad I could finally make them happy. They will be pleased to discover I still face a trial for last year’s “drinking game”, wherein I may be locked up for 18 more months.
So, “Was it worth it?”
The only valid way for me to answer this is based on how I feel.
I did what I felt was right. I stood in front of that police car as they were kidnapping my peaceful friend, Heika.
I had determined in advance that I was going to take this action after being inspired by David Krouse’s actions during the 2010 420 in Nashua. When one chooses the road of disobedience one should expect to be caged. To believe otherwise is delusional.
I wish the sentence were shorter, but it could have been longer. One must expect the worst. I knew I might get a harsh sentence, as whether I like it or not, the government guys think I am the leader. “Judge” John P.Arnold even called me the spokesman. I hope my time in a cage shows them that the activism continues without me.
See blog post #2 for a detailed description of my conditions here at the Keene Spiritual Retreat a.k.a. “Cheshire House of Corrections”. Being caged could be a LOT worse. Just look to Maricopa County, AZ to see how. Iam making the best of my time here.
I talk on-air and blog about civil disobedience and non cooperation. I advocate it. If I were to advocate it and not perform it, I’d be a hypocrite. Why would anyone want to listen to a hypocrite? If I were to advocate, as Gandhi did, to be the change you wish to see, then stand by and expect others to be that change for me, I’d be a user.
I followed my inner light. I fulfilled my promise to myself. I set an example in the hope of encouraging others. I am the change I wish to see.Had I chosen otherwise, I’d not have been able to live with myself.
I chose to stand for liberty, peace, and love. My awesome liberty family supports me.
OF COURSE it was worth it!!
Ian’s Blog form Jail #4.pdf
by John Smith | Sep 3, 2011 |
[Mail to Jail
was unable to transcribe this letter due to injury, so thanks go to volunteers Anthony Richard and one other person for transcribing this letter from Ian. We have not checked the transcription, so we are still attaching to this post Ian’s letter scanned in a PDF format.]
“Reflections on Civil Disobedience”
One night, later in the week at Porcfest this year I was walking around
and stopped at a campfire. A couple of the faces I had recognized as
people I had met earlier in the week – the rest I did not know. I believe
100% of them were attending their first Porcfest.
Apparently, I was right on cue, as when I approached the fire, some
comment was made about how if Ian Freeman were around, they could ask me.
The individual looked up, saw that the universe had delivered me to their
campfire, exclaimed a pleasant surprise and proceeded to ask: “Why Keene?”
Just prior to my arrival they had been discussing this, perhaps curious as
to why I had not chosen to move to Manchester and also under the
misconception that it was I who started the move to Keene. It’s an
understandable misconception, especially to people who may not have paid
attention to the Free State Project prior to the last year or two. (more…)
by John Smith | Aug 27, 2011 |
[transcribed by Mail-to-Jail.com]
A Taste of Life at the Cheshire “House of Corrections”
It only took ten days, but I finally have stamp and envelopes! For the uninitiated, the commissary or “canteen” is a system that allows prisoners to make life on the inside a little more comfortable. In the case of Cheshire county jail it is accessed by a touchscreen system mounted in the dayroom area of the cell block. The deadline for placing an order is Tuesday, and your order is delivered on Friday night. Unless you are sentenced to jail on a Monday and happen to be classified by Tuesday, (policy is that you be kept on 23-hour lockdown for observation for at least 24 hours ion entering the jail until they classify you – in case you are dangerous or suicidal, etc.) which is unlikely, you can expect to wait at least a week before you can get commissary.
Speaking of commissary, thank goodness for the Civil Disobedience Fund at CDEvolution.org! Did you know that if you are imprisoned for civil disobedience or noncooperation that CDEF will likely deposit $50 in your commissary account? That $50 is more than sufficient to buy some useful comforts. Subtracting the 100 envelopes and stamps I bought (I’m getting lots of mail thanks to Mail-to-Jail.com), which alone cost $50 ,($44 in stamps, $6 envelopes) I only spent $30 on a couple done items, some of which includes shampoo, deodorant, (which I have been looking forward to after working 8-hour days in the kitchen), toothpaste, toothbrush (the toothbrush they give you in here is AWFUL and will easily tear up your gums), vitamins, writing stuff, drinks, and snacks. I had money in my pocket when I came in, so the CDEF contribution wasn’t critical, but if I did not have money on me, it would have been a BIG help. Thanks to all who contribute to CDEF! (more…)
by John Smith | Aug 26, 2011 |
[transcribed by Mail-to-Jail]
Hello from the Keene Spiritual Retreat, aka, the Cheshire County “House of Corrections!” In case you aren’t aware, I have been sentenced to 90 days here (plus 270 days “suspended”) for the “crime” of “obstructing government administration.” In other words, my friend Heika was being kidnapped by the people calling themselves the Keene Police because she was enjoying an afternoon in the park with an alcoholic beverage, and I chose to peacefully stand in front of police car to prevent the kidnapper’s escape. Turns out, I merely delayed them for a few minutes before they kidnapped me and the other brave activists who stove in front of, and behind the police cruisers -Rich Paul, Meg McLain, and Wes Gilreath.
So began an odyssey into “legal land” that has lasted over a year. Apparently, waiting over a year for a trial is “speedy.” That is one of several absurdities about this sick, slow, stupid system to which we are all subjected, that I experienced personally. Here are some more “highlights,” which you will be able to see in the trio video, thanks to Talley.TV:
• KPD’s Jason Thompson admits that he doesn’t really think about liberty, even though it’s his fundamental duty to protect it, according to KPD’s “Statement of Ethics”
• KPD’s Colin Zamore appears to be oblivious to what “subject” means, even though he and fellow officers use it all the time to refer to us non-police-folk
• “judge” John P. Arnold claims the constitution does not apply in this case
• Arnold ejects members of the public from court under threat of violence because their moral or religious beliefs prevent them from standing for another man.
There are more, but I only have so much space. Another interesting aspect was the jury. This was the third jury trial in Keene, and the first time they have returned a non-guilty verdict. They found me not guilty of “resisting arrant.” Unfortunately, they found me guilty of the “obstructing” charge, which is why I am in jail. There had been jury nullification outreach done to the potential jurors and the concept was the cornerstone of my defense. Was their “not guilty” a nullification? I’d speculate it wasn’t, but simply their decision regarding the facts of the case. Perhaps someday we will know for sure, as I have heard NHJury.com intends to contact them with a survey.
So here I sit at the Keene Spiritual Retreat, as my work responsibilities go unmet and email piles up – I am having months of my life stolen from me because I delayed the police for five minutes! It’s a clear violation of NH Constitution Article 18, which says punishments should be proportionate to the crime. Of course, if you are reading this, you probably know the government people don’t give a damn about their founding document, or any of their rules, for that matter. Look at the camera/audio ban at “Superior Court” – it violates both the NH Constitution and RSA 91-A:4, but good luck getting anyone to enforce their own laws on their buddies!
I am already jotting down ideas for future blogs from jail – for now though, I bid you goodbye. First though, THANK YOU to all who came to my trial and to everyone who has moved or will be moving to New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project. The more people who come here and get active in the way that is right for them, the better our chances of someday living free. Special thanks to the financial uprooters or Mail-to-Jail.com – one of the most useful activist tools out there!
Thanks for reading,