VIDEO: State Trooper Fails to Intimidate 4/20 in Concord

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.

NHPR’s Feature Piece on Free State Project (& Free Keene) + Full Interview Audio

New Hampshire Public Radio Logo

New Hampshire Public Radio Posts Feature on NH Freedom Migration

Thanks to New Hampshire Public Radio reporter Taylor Quimby (originally from the Keene area) for his detailed and well-researched report on the Free State Project, which delves into the history of the project, the diversity of opinions of its movers, their effectiveness and impact in New Hampshire, including plenty of focus on Free Keene – one of the top blogs in NH that chronicles the NH Freedom Migration, focusing on Keene.

The audio version of the report is excellent, with audio that doesn’t appear in the printed version. Both editions are lengthy, so settle in for a good long read or listen.

Besides a few minor quibbles, Taylor’s reporting is fair and the audio version is quite entertaining. I laughed out loud a few times.

In case you were curious, I’ve uploaded the full hourlong interview Taylor did with me where we discussed the Keene 420s, how I found the Free State Project and its early history, the start of Free Talk Live, my early discovery of libertarianism, Robin Hooding, the NH freedom migration, Shire Society, Forkfest and schisms in the movement, the Shire Free Church, Porcfest, cryptocurrency in NH, the FSP-FTL breakup, decentralization, and the (in my opinion) success of the Free State Project:

One of the quibbles I have with the NHPR report is the audio used as evidence of the Robin Hooders‘ supposed bad behavior is actually audio of hater Rev. David Berman when he was haranguing Robin Hooder Graham Colson. To my knowledge no Robin Hooder ever behaved like Berman and purposefully invaded the Parking Enforcers’ personal space (and the Enforcers under oath in the case never said the Hooders ever did such a thing). (more…)

VIDEO: Indie Journalist Dave Ridley Gets Booted From KSC Campus by Keene Police

Proving he’s the most consistent, longest-running activist in the Shire, Dave Ridley from RidleyReport.com once again returns to Keene to occupy the hallways and confront bureaucrats and politicians with tough questions. If you want to jump straight to the encounter with Keene Police, it’s here. However, if you have time, it’s one of a series of entertaining videos Ridley recorded while attempting to attend a “public” meeting at Keene State College.

Ridley is known for his excellent “ambush” interviews of politicians and bureaucrats and this series doesn’t disappoint with ridiculous reactions a-plenty. In the initial video in the series, he actually gets some answers to his questions from city councilor Phil Jones:

Immediately after, the interactions return to what longtime Ridley Report viewers expect from bureaucrats and political people that Ridley ambushes – evading, cowardice, and excuses: (more…)

Police Pay Out $275,000 For Illegal Wiretapping Arrest in Manchester

Alfredo Valentin

Alfredo Valentin, Hero

How many spankings in their own courts must the governments of New Hampshire endure before they finally learn their lesson? Three years ago, Weare police settled for over $57,000 to then-Free State Project president Carla Gericke for arresting her for recording them on the side of the road.

Now Manchester police are shelling out $275,000 to Alfredo Valentin who was arrested for recording the police on his smartphone inside his own home during a drug raid. Police were raiding Valentin’s home searching for evidence against another man, Christopher Chapman. Though police already had Chapman in custody from an earlier arrest, they went ahead with a full swat raid against Valentin’s house, including, “firing incendiary devices through the property’s windows, kicking in the doors, and entering the property SWAT-style with semi-automatic weapons—damaging property, terrifying the two women who were still in the house, and creating an unjustifiable risk of accidental death or injury”. This according to the one million dollar lawsuit against Manchester brought by the excellent NH Civil Liberties Union.

Valentin was never charged for anything drug-related, only for “wiretapping” police. A lower court judge in NH ruled back in 2015 that even secretly recording police was legal in New Hampshire.

Darryl W Perry and Ian Freeman at the 2017 ACLU 1st Amendment Awards Dinner

Darryl W Perry and Ian Freeman at the 2017 ACLU 1st Amendment Awards Dinner

NHCLU head attorney Gilles Bissonnette worked with attorney Richard Lehmann on the case. In a press release published at IndepthNH.org, the NHCLU’s Bissonnette said, “This settlement recognizes that the right of citizens to observe and record the police is a critical check on the use of power and force by law enforcement…The police need to understand that individuals who are recording their work without interference have a constitutional right to do so, and it is not cause for their arrest.”

Major thanks to the NHCLU for their excellent work holding Manchester police accountable. Too bad its taxpayers who have to foot the bill instead of the terrible, oppressive officers themselves.