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:
Here’s the final video from the series of videos from this year’s 4/20 Rally in Concord, NH at the state house steps where a lone state trooper walks up and attempts to intimidate the peaceful cannabis users into leaving a place where they have a right to be by bellowing, “If you’re smoking marijuana here you need to leave… move out now!”
A few inexperienced attendees begin to make an exit but most of the crowd stays in defiance. After being greeted by state representatives who were attending the event including Dan Hynes, the lone trooper tries again with a much more timid, “If you’re smoking marijuana, please move off the property.”
No one leaves. While he could have written tickets for anyone smoking the now-slightly-decriminalized cannabis, he instead exits the scene, never to return.
For those keeping track, this is the first time in nearly a decade of 4/20 rallies at the state house steps where any such intimidation was tried. At previous rallies, all participants were risking misdemeanor possession charges, yet no one was ever arrested. This year was the first where decrim for under 3/4 oz has been in effect.
Thanks to Garret Ean of Free Concord for capturing this on video.