State Rep. Mike Sylvia is no stranger to civil disobedience.
In a slap in the face to the idea of property rights a robed man from Belknap’s “superior court” has ruled against A+ rated liberty state rep Mike Sylvia for living on “his” property. This week, nearly two months after a civil trial, James D O’Neill III issued a 15-page order, ruling in favor of the Belmont town gang, awarding them legal fees and further ordering Sylvia to no longer stay at “his” property.
I previously reported on this case here at Free Keene in 2018, but here’s a quick rundown on the case history: Sylvia purchased the property in question after the home burned down in 2009. The only standing building left was a garage. Sylvia parked an RV on the property as he worked on the property but soon found himself being stalked by a “zoning enforcer”, Steve Paquin. Paquin, apparently on orders from the city council to target Sylvia, would regularly drive by and creep on Sylvia, observing smoke coming from a chimney on the garage and footprints in the snow going from the RV to the garage. Paquin even speculated about Sylvia’s bathroom habits, his reports ultimately leading to the town gang issuing Sylvia threats demanding hundreds of dollars per day in fines for violating their precious zoning rules.
According to the “Town of Belmont” criminal enterprise, they have a right to destroy people’s lives and steal their wealth because some strangers wrote some words on paper and called it “zoning”. According to these arbitrary rules that none of us agreed to, the town gang says you must ask their permission before laying down to sleep in what you thought was your property, since you know, you paid for it with your hard-earned money.
Zoning thug Steve “Creeper” Paquin wants to watch you on your property.
But no, you don’t actually own your property. Ownership is proven by control. If you don’t control a thing, you don’t own it. Sylvia’s case proves clearly again that the group of strangers called “the state” actually owns all the property. You can’t do what you want without asking their permission, including simply existing on it. Asking permission is evidence that you are not exercising a right, but begging for a privilege. Begging is not the way of free people, nor the actions of an owner.
Sylvia acted like he owned the land. He, correctly, doesn’t believe he should have to ask permission to live a place he should have a right to be. Sadly, there are men with guns calling themselves “the Town of Belmont” and “State of New Hampshire” that have decided to force their beliefs down on Sylvia and all the rest of us who believe in property rights.
Judge O’Neill’s order prohibits Sylvia from “occupying the garage and/or recreational vehicle” unless he is given a permission slip from the town. He’s further prohibited from using a “water appliance or fixture” on the property until a “compliant septic system” is installed. The hundreds of dollars a day in fines the town has assessed against Sylvia and the property were ordered held in abeyance and will only be imposed if Sylvia disobeys the robed man. Sylvia has however been ordered to pay the town gang’s legal fees, for which they’ll present an invoice for some likely ridiculous amount.
What is the state gang’s excuse for their violence? Besides their obvious thirst for obedience, compliance, and control, they would argue that there’s some kind of danger to public health because the garage doesn’t have a septic system. Ignoring the fact that RVs have their own waste tanks that can be safely disposed of, the property is wooded. Sylvia even asked the creeping zoning thug during trial if he was aware of an old outhouse that was in the woods. Even if there isn’t an outhouse and Sylvia was pooping directly in the woods, so what? Are we supposed to believe that human feces is somehow more dangerous to the neighbors’ property than all the bear, moose, dog, and other animal dung that’s left throughout the woods?
Robed man James D O’Neill III says the state owns your property.
Sylvia believes that he was targeted by the town gang specifically because of his actions as a state representative. One less-discussed responsibility of New Hampshire’s state reps is they also make up the “County Convention” which controls the county taxes. Given he’s an award-winning state rep, rated A+ for liberty votes, Sylvia is a threat to the county’s budget as he will not vote to raise taxes. Therefore he was targeted by the town gang for retaliation.
Arguing this in court didn’t help, of course, because the man in the robe is paid by the same state gang that targeted Sylvia in the first place. But no, that’s not a conflict of interest. Sylvia also argued that Paquin couldn’t prove he was actually sleeping or pooping on the property, but that doesn’t matter in civil court, where the court decides based on the “preponderance of the evidence”, not the criminal court standard of reasonable doubt. Therefore, the testimony of the sole creepy witness was sufficient for the court to rule against Sylvia.
Zoning is a nightmare for anyone who believes in property rights and the only solution is to abolish it entirely statewide. We’re going to need a lot more libertarian activists in New Hampshire before that can be done. Meanwhile, Sylvia has literally been kicked off what he believed was his own property by the people calling themselves “the state”, and thrown out into the cold.
Sylvia told me in an exclusive interview, “Property rights, according to the judge don’t really exist”. He says he was unable to find any cases where property rights have been looked at by the NH Supreme Court and is not sure whether or not he will be appealing the decision. He’ll be considering future action legislatively to address the corruption in town governments. You can read his response to the ruling here on his blog. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for any further developments in this case.
Over the last several days the video and story about Keene High’s “school resource officer” Joshua English attacking and tackling a student for allegedly vaping in the school’s bathroom, has gone viral. However, there’s more to the story than cop-attacks-teen, though this incident alone is bad enough. In case you haven’t heard about this incident, according to other students the young man who was viciously attacked by English was vaping in the bathroom and English confronted him. The student heroically refused to identify himself to the armed, intimidating, uniformed man and walked out of the bathroom. Moments later, English bursted out of the bathroom and tackled the peaceful student, subduing him with a shocking level of force.
Thankfully, another brave student pulled out their phone upon hearing a commotion from inside the bathroom and captured the entire tackling on video:
Understandably many are outraged at the officer’s use of force over a simple vaping incident, but that’s not really what caused English to fly into a violent rage. The young victim’s real crime was disobedience. The youth had the gall to act as though he were a free man, walking away from a threatening, potentially violent anti-nicotine nuisance and attempting to go about his day. English has his “authority” to worry about and can’t possibly be seen by others as someone who one could just walk away from without consequence, so he used violence to dominate the young man in front of a crowd of people.
Keene Police have been making headlines nationwide for proclaiming that English was fully within police guidelines for his use of force against the “subject” – yes, that’s actually how they refer to the rest of us non-gang members. Keene police chief Steve Russo exonerated English in a recent release, saying his agent had not violated any department guidelines or state statutes, but Russo said further that English was worried the young man was a potential trespasser, claiming to the Union Leader, “At that point, he didn’t even know he was a student”.
Keene Police Officer Joshua English
Perhaps English needs to have his memory tested. While it would certainly be hard to remember previously seeing one random male in a school with over one thousand students, how could English forget that he’d written the same young man a ticket for “possessing tobacco products” two weeks prior? The student’s father showed the proof of this claim to WHDH-TV in Boston.
While Keene Police are trying to make English look like a hero protecting the school from a potential intruder, the reality is much different. In KPD’s official release, they claim the Keene Police and the school district are, “committed to maintaining the safety and security of the students…which may regrettably include when necessary, the use of force to secure that safety.” There were no allegations the young victim was doing anything violent. He was allegedly vaping in the bathroom. No one was threatened by the young man. The only dangerous, violent threat in Keene High School that day was Keene Police’s Joshua English. Who is he?
Don’t expect the mainstream media to do a modicum of digging about English. Otherwise you might have already discovered English shot a man to death in Keene back in 2010. Free Keene blogger and former police officer Brad Jardis covered the story here when English was found to be within the state’s use-of-force guidelines in the shooting incident. In that case, the man who was shot by English was holding a knife to a woman’s throat, so our blogger Jardis agreed with the shooting as necessary. However, is it really the best decision to assign one of the only officers at KPD who has violently taken another human being’s life the duty of being the high school’s cop? (more…)
It’s 420 at 4:20pm Saturday 9/28 at Keene’s Central Square!
Ten years ago, in September of 2009, a group of liberty activists and NH natives made history by gathering every day in Keene’s Central Square at 4:20pm to smoke cannabis in an act of mass civil disobedience protesting New Hampshire’s insane drug prohibition. You can watch a bunch of videos of it here. The group grew larger as the days went by to where, at its peak, there were at least 130 people in the tiny little common in the heart of Downtown Keene. The Keene police were unsure of how to handle the situation after a couple of arrests they made at the rallies resulted in a bunch of protestors smoking cannabis inside the police station lobby!
After that, the police simply ignored the ongoing civil disobedience, publicly stating that they investigated and had found no one was smoking – which was a lie. The historic events garnered local and even international headlines and most importantly got a conversation started among the community about ending cannabis prohibition.
Eventually, the weather got too cold for most to bear, but the following spring, the daily rallies returned! Over time, people went back to their regular lives and the rallies continued yearly at the Concord, NH state house steps. We’d won the territory of Central Square and had essentially turned Keene’s little town common into a demilitarized zone where cannabis prohibition was not enforced!
We have made a lot of progress in 10 years, but we have a long way left to go. We have gained medical, we have gained decriminalization, we have, most recently, loosened the cruel and pointless constraints on medical marijuana. Most importantly, we have won the hearts and minds of the people but we are not done. We must serve notice that the people will not be satisfied until the crime against humanity that is the “war on drugs” is over and those responsible brought to justice, or at least to peace.
Cannabis users are not disposable people. Whether we use it for medical, spiritual, or recreational purposes, we retain our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, even if we seek that happiness through unapproved chemical means.
Nobody has invited people to bring cannabis to smoke and share, though in case of a police crackdown, avoid having over three quarters of an ounce, since that is the decrim limit in New Hampshire. As of 2017’s overwhelmingly passed slight decriminalization, possession of under 21 grams of cannabis or five grams of concentrate will only net the first time offender a $100 ticket. Whereas previously it would have been a misdemeanor arrest. So, now the risk to participants at 420 rallies is lower than ever.
However, if the police do show up to attempt to confiscate your cannabis and you end up with a ticket, I highly suggest you don’t take the plea deal! Take the ticket to trial and make them work to get their conviction, and even when you’re found guilty, refuse to pay the fine and instead do community service. Or just sit in jail for a day, since NH allows you to sit off fines at $150 a day. Whatever you do, don’t pay the fine, as that only encourages them to target peaceful cannabis users for fundraising purposes. If the police know they can’t get money out of people for cannabis “violations” and the police’s victims will instead clog up the courts via their right to trial, the cops may just stop ticketing people for cannabis entirely.
I look forward to seeing you out this Saturday, 9/28 at 4:20pm on Keene’s Central Square for the return of the 420 celebration rallies! If it goes well, we might even come back the next day…
Heroic Open-Air Drug Market at Porcfest 2019 During #FreeRoss Auction
Ross Ulbricht has been in prison since 2013 and is sentenced to stay there for the rest of his lifetime, plus another lifetime and forty years on top, all for the “crime” of creating and operating a website known as the Silk Road. Ross is a longtime advocate of liberty, even when he was acting as the head of Silk Road, “Dread Pirate Roberts”. He’s a lover of peace, not an evil drug gang kingpin, as the government goons were trying to portray him. The sham of a “trial” they forced on him was a travesty including corrupt cops and more. Rather than retell the sordid story here, I recommend you watch or read Railroaded.
It was a moving presentation and was followed the next day by the historic #FreeRoss auction! With dozens of items donated, the illegal auction ran for more than two hours and raised over $10,000 for Ross’ legal defense fund. Of course, many winning bidders paid for their items with cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. The auction results alone are impressive, but real civil disobedience history was made at the auction, in two ways. One, auctioneer Jay Noone was unlicensed by the New Hampshire state gang. That made the entire auction an act of civil disobedience. Two, at the very end of the auction, a cannabis grower from Maine donated two eighth-ounces of cannabis and they were auctioned off to two lucky winners, one of which was me, the other was Cop Blocker Angie Gordon. This auction was the icing on the cake for this year’s Porcfest – what fun and productive civil disobedience. When was the last time, if ever, that cannabis was auctioned in New Hampshire? This had to be a first.
Here’s a video featuring all of Lyn’s speech, her intro to the auction, a little bit of auction footage, full footage of the cannabis part of the auction, and a song from musicians Josh Noone and Jordan Page:
Hardcore civil disobedient activists who came out in the rain for 4/20/2019! -Photo courtesy Shire Free Media
For years, I’ve been reporting on the brutally slow political progress in New Hampshire, of ending the prohibition on possession, growing, and selling of cannabis, one of the most amazing and useful plants on the planet. Though New Hampshire finally legalized medical cannabis in 2013 it took a few years for the first dispensary to open due to bureaucratic foot-dragging – as patients died waiting.
Given sales of and growing cannabis are still criminal offenses and people can still be ticketed for possession, the annual 420 rallies on the steps of the state house in Concord continued into its ninth year last weekend. At least sixty hardcore activists came out from across the state on April 20th to gather on what started as a rainy afternoon but ultimately cleared up in time for the mass civil disobedience at 4:20pm.
Rich Paul gave his tradition invocation and spoke on why government regulation of the cannabis business was unnecessary and Rick Naya led the crowd in a moment to remember the activists who have died or been incarcerated along the road to where we are today. Thank you to everyone who came out this year despite the weather. Mark your calendars for April 20th of 2020 and join us in Concord next year! Here’s the video I took from this year’s event:
Think you have a right to privacy? Think again. These bureaucrats think they own your dog and will prosecute you over a $4 dog license in New Hampshire to prove it. Cop Blockers Michael and Angie Gordon of Alstead took a ticket for an “illegal” unlicensed dog to Keene District Court. They lost, but made the bureaucrats work to get their coerced money. Kudos to them for standing up against the oppressive police state where not even dogs are safe from state regulation. Here’s the full video: