KPD Officers Tim Richmond and Jake Laporte, just following orders.
For a dozen weeks, Keene police have ignored the weekly “Nightcap” events that have happened in Central Square, Fridays starting at 11:59pm. I had no reason to continue writing about the events here because they were a success – peaceful people having a quiet party in the Common, unmolested by state aggression.
Until this weekend, when the Keene police attacked in the form of ticketing everyone’s car parked around Central Square. This, while nationwide protests are calling for the defunding or outright abolition of police. In fact, just a dozen or so hours after the police targeted and littered their threats on the cars around the Square, it was filled on Saturday afternoon with hundreds of people protesting the police. Though Keene police’s chief showed up with a sign at the previous Keene Black Lives Matter event and pretended to care, it’s clearly business-as-usual for their agents on the street.
While the nationwide protests are rightfully focusing on the most egregious police abuses like the murder-by-cop or rape-by-cop, a major reason why any goodwill the cops might have had has been whittled away over decades, is their constant harassment and targeting of peaceful people for non-violent, victimless “crimes”. That’s exactly what they did on Friday night, when in search of revenue and obedience, officers Tim Richmond and new guy Jake Laporte showed up at our peaceful party.
When I noticed they had stopped in the street in front of a parked car, I walked over to see what was going on and Jake said something about enforcing a night time parking ordinance. I was not recording the scene just yet and I told him that he could go away and go find something else to do. He made a comment about just doing his job and got back into his police crusier where Tim was in the passenger seat. At that point, though there was still some hope he’d do the right thing and leave, I readied my phone to record video of the scene. Sadly he and Tim got out and began littering on the parked cars around the square.
Later the uniformed monopolists on violence claim they were ordered to enforce some “night time parking” city ordinance that allegedly prohibits parking from 2-6am in the “business district”, which they claimed was Main Street and Central Square. Then, on their last stop around the Square, Leigh, who was visiting from Manchester had gotten into his van right before they rolled up behind him. Because he didn’t leave quick enough, despite being in the process of leaving, the officers pulled up to block him from leaving at all and issued their final $15 ticket before leaving the area. Here’s the video:
Stay tuned here to Free Keene to see what we do with the multiple tickets issued.
Massive crowd watching speakers at BLM event in Keene.
Finally, average people are showing concern for police violence! It only took thousands of innocent bodies piled up over many years and countless millions of peaceful people arrested for victimless crimes before enough people got mad enough to do something. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware of the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis cops who brazenly choked him to death for several minutes while being recorded on video as Floyd tried to plead with the gang of killers and alert them that he could not breathe.
However, what happened to Floyd was the spark that lit a flame – literally, with large numbers of people coming out from their homes to join in protests demanding police accountability and railing against police violence, which is used more often against blacks, but affects all of the human race. The protestors even torched the Minneapolis third precinct station after police abandoned the property after days of protests outside, which was an amazing victory and was refreshing to see the people’s understandable anger targeted where it was actually deserved.
KPD’s Cristina Paterno and Cheshire Sheriff Eli Rivera hear you, but will they listen and change?
Sadly, some protests have also been sullied by violence committed against people and the destruction of private property in many cities. The destruction of innocent-owned private property has been significant and tragic. However, New Hampshire has thankfully avoided these losses, likely because people here are much more free to defend their property from attackers, with weapons if necessary. The people who are targeting private property are unwelcome among the peaceful protestors and are likely a mix of police acting as agents-provocateur and opportunists who are looking to destroy and/or steal.
Today in Keene, several hundred people gathered in Central Square at 4pm today for a Black Lives Matter protest that rivaled the BLM event from Manchester, NH on Saturday. After nearly fifteen years in Keene, I’ve never seen anything this big in Central Square, ever. Today’s event was probably 4-5 times larger than the biggest 420 rallies in Central Square more than a decade ago.
Large crowd in Keene kneels, fist up.
The honking from drivers was nearly non-stop including multiple large trucks and tractor trailers laying on their horns to cheers from the excited crowd. Keene’s police chief Steven Russo and Cheshire County’s sheriff Eli Rivera were both present in the heart of the park holding signs saying, “We hear you” and taking pictures with people. To their credit, this was a smart move. By physically joining the protestors, the police acting like humans can diffuse anger and deescalate tensions. However, talk is cheap, and “hearing” isn’t the same as “listening”, and it’s certainly not actually changing their behavior.
Will the Keene police stop arresting peaceful people for victimless crimes? It’s the insane war on drugs and other prohibitions that have resulted in people of all shapes and sizes and colors being attacked, imprisoned, and murdered by police nationwide for decades. Keene’s police have made a myriad of drug busts and assisted the DEA in raiding a popular local head shop on Main Street several years ago. A stroll through past posts at Keene Cop Block shows just a fraction of the lives the local police have ruined in the name of their authoritarian prohibitions. Are they going to now see how they harmed their brothers and sisters, issue an apology, change their ways and send back the BEARCAT armored tank to its manufacturer?
I sure hope so, for their sake, but then again, I’m an optimist.
The excellent libertarian podcast “Punk Rock Libertarians” recently interviewed two of the best activists who cut their teeth in Keene and also bloggers of Free Keene, Derrick J Freeman and Ademo Freeman. The hosts of the show really have an appreciation for the activism here and it’s cool to look back with Ademo and Derrick J and also see what they are up to today. Don’t miss these great interviews. You can follow PRL’s YouTube and subscribe to their podcast. Punk Rock Libertarians also airs on LRN.FM.
Concord police have ignored groups of protestors at the state house but are more than happy to target a small group of parents at a local playground, when called to scene by a local cowardly snitch. Thankfully, this is New Hampshire and the parents, as yet unidentified in this video originally posted to social media, give the police hell in response! If only more people pushed back like this against government gangsters.
The parents rightfully call the police “NAZIs” and “robots” and get the costumed people to admit that someone had called and snitched on the families for being at the playground. As you might expect, the cops lie to the parents, claiming they have to investigate if called. However, that’s not true as police have discretion and can choose to do nothing. Claiming they are obligated to investigate is a common lie by police to justify harming peaceful people. At the end of the amazing video, the male cop tries to propagandize the parents about COVID-19 and one lady starts coughing – the cops then finally leave – it’s hilarious!
Kudos to these parents for calling out the police and recording video of their thuggish behavior. Thank goodness some people are standing up for freedom here in New Hampshire. Those of us who don’t want to live in fear – as the state and mainstream media are demanding – need to let our voices be heard. I don’t want to live in an insane medical authoritarian nightmare state, what about you?
If you are sick of this shit and want more freedom, come to the state house this Saturday from noon to 2pm in Concord and join the next freedom-to-assemble rally. See you there!
Last night in Keene’s Central Square, nine liberty activists gathered after the New Hampshire governor Chris Sununu’s seventeenth “order” went into effect at 11:59pm, demanding all “nonessential” people stay at home and close their businesses for the next month. I’m happy to say that police, despite passing by the group more than once, ignored the peaceful activists. We enjoyed each other’s company, ordered Domino’s pizza, and imbibed some tasty beverages.
Not long after “HIS EXCELLENCY” – no, I’m not kidding, the orders actually refer to Sununu this way – issued the “order” the people calling themselves the “NH Department of Justice” issued a 33-page memorandum to law enforcement, instructing them on how to handle people disobeying the “order”. Page three of the memo encourages police to use their discretion when enforcing the diktat, first telling them to give out warnings and attempt to propagandize people who are acting free into believing the fearmongering about this virus that has been purposely overhyped.
The government goons want you to believe this is about safety when it’s really about them grabbing as much power as they can get away with. And they’ve gotten away with a lot. People who would normally be skeptical of politicians’ lies have fallen under their spell and are now lashing out with “quarantine shaming” at those who would dare to continue to live normally. You can see examples of this in the comments on recent posts about Coronavirus noncooperation here on Free Keene. These Stockholm Syndrome victims will even go so far as to threaten violence and wish death upon those who question the media and government claims about this virus and choose to exercise what few freedoms we have left.
It’s essential to have the company of other humans. It’s also a human right.
To Sununu’s credit, and he doesn’t deserve much, his order does have an interesting provision that gives more flexibility than is found in other governors’ orders like Illinois. It allows people to leave their homes for several reasons, including:
any other errands an individual determines to be for essential needs
Given that most people need to have contact with other humans, as we are a social animal, it could be considered essential to the need of good mental health to go out and be with others. It’s also interesting that the language allows the individual to determine, not state agents, so he does deserve some credit for this carve-out. However, Sununu is not a defender of freedom and his overall actions here are contributing to the spread of fear and the destruction of New Hampshire’s economy.
Though we were not able to reach over ten people at last night’s Nightcap, we likely will at the upcoming event at the state house on April 1st at 2pm that Sununu’s challenger in the 2020 republican gubernatorial primary, “Nobody” announced this week. Ten is most recent limit on the number of humans who can gather in the same place, per Sununu’s “order” on the subject earlier this week. In case you missed it, Nobody received excellent coverage for his views this week from the Boston Globe. Hope to see you in Concord on April 1st at 2pm at the state house steps to make a stand for the freedom to assemble, a basic human right.
Also, Keene Nightcaps will continue Friday nights, at 11:59pm, at Central Square. Attend at your own risk, bring your substance of choice and enjoy the company of other humans, as is your right to do.
Last year, Bedford police targeted 2020 Republican candidate for governor of New Hampshire, “Nobody” for felon-in-possession of a weapon charges over a machete they found with other garden tools in the trunk of his car. This, despite the fact that a machete does not qualify as a weapon in New Hampshire unless used, intended, or threatened as such.
After charging him and dropping the charge, not once, but twice, Nobody, who at the time was called by his given name Rich Paul, was finally able to get the robed man at Hillsborough Superior Court North in Manchester to order the police to allow Nobody to pick up his machete.
This video includes the full hearing for the return of the machete and our visit to the police department in Bedford to retrieve it: