Ian Freeman, Malaise Lindenfeld, Aria DiMezzo, co-plaintiffs lawsuit against mask mandates in NH.
In a fifty-seven page lawsuit filed today in federal court in Concord, New Hampshire, Aria DiMezzo and other plaintiffs including downtown restaurant “Pho Keene Great” are targeting the mask mandates issued by the “City of Keene” and “His Excellency”, NH Governor Chris Sununu.
Attorney Robert Fojo, who also sued Nashua earlier this year over their mandatory mask ordinance, is heading up the suit. In the detailed complaint, Fojo argues the City of Keene’s mask mandate is illegal, as New Hampshire is not a “home rule” state. Municipalities in New Hampshire are only allowed to create ordinances if state law authorizes it. Fojo says cities and towns do not have that authorization when it comes to masks. Additionally, Fojo says the Keene ordinance and Sununu’s state-level mask mandate on groups over 100 people is also a violation of people’s constitutionally protected rights.
In multiple counts, the suit points out the mask restrictions violate the right to assemble, due process, freedom of religion, and the freedom of speech via facial expressions and literally having one’s air passages restricted. Attorney Fojo cites some strongly-written Texas court decisions from this year including Abbott 20-0291 where the Texas Supreme Court agreed unanimously that, “The Constitution is not suspended when the government declares a state of disaster.” and Salon A La Mode, et al 20-0340, where the same court wrote, “All government power in this country, no matter how well-intentioned, derives only from the state and federal constitutions. Government power cannot be exercised in conflict with these constitutions, even in a pandemic…If we tolerate unconstitutional government orders during an emergency, whether out of expediency or fear, we abandon the Constitution at the moment we need it most.”
Sadly, too many people in New Hampshire have been obeying myriad outrageous infringements on our liberties. Some obey out of irrational fear of a relatively unremarkable virus that the media and governments across the world have blown way out of proportion. Others obey the draconian edicts because they are afraid of what their obedient neighbors might think. Business owners comply too, some because they either believe the government’s propaganda or think the restrictions are what their frightened customers want and they don’t want to lose their business. Other business owners obey the diktats simply because they are afraid of what the government goons will do to them if they don’t do as they are “ordered”.
As a result of this pervasive culture of fear, very few NH business owners have stood up against these arbitrary “orders” endlessly emanating from “His Excellency”, and yes, Sununu’s orders really do refer to him in that way.
Magician and Comedian Penn Jillette Wearing a Pho Keene Great Shirt!
Thank goodness for Pho Keene Great, the best-named restaurant in all of New Hampshire that made international headlines after the “City of Keene” gang threatened their moniker during the 2018 Christmas holiday. Owner Malaise Lindenfeld is a local entrepreneur with a knack for opening and operating successful, trendy restaurants. Sadly, like so many businesses across New Hampshire and elsewhere, two of her three area restaurants, Audrey’s Cafe and Piedra Fina have been closed permanently due to the power-mad restrictions imposed this year by tyrant king Sununu.
When asked about her involvement in the lawsuit, Lindenfeld – who immigrated from Venezuela – said, “I am leary of being forced to do things “for the greater good”. Historically, the government starts with small actions and then moves on to sweeping changes that erode our freedoms. COVID-19 could be a case study on how this is true. We started with closing restaurants for two weeks to flatten the curve, and moved on to general lockdowns and mandatory mask wearing. Every time a new rule is made we are told that it is just one small sacrifice for the greater good. “If we could save one life”, we are told, it will all be worth it. But each small sacrifice adds up to one large violation of our rights. I have seen this as a Jew and as a Venezuelan, and I know that ultimately this is not about the greater good after all, but about the greater concentration of power. I am not willing to quietly relinquish my freedom.”
Lindenfeld’s co-plaintiff needs no introduction to those paying attention to the news in the last week. Aria DiMezzo who launched from relative obscurity to international headline-grabber by securing the republican nomination for Cheshire County Sheriff despite being a self-described “Anarchist She-Male” who also happens to be the High Priestess of the Reformed Satanic Church in Keene. Given Keene’s mask mandate targets all “business” including non-profits, her Keene-based church has standing to sue the city gang.
We will not obey.
DiMezzo weighed in regarding her reasons for being co-plaintiff in the case, saying, “It’s not about whether masks are effective or ineffective. That isn’t the issue here. It’s about whether the government can force me to put on a identifier…It’s about whether the government can turn you, my brothers and sisters, my friends, my family in humanity, against me on the basis of what I wear. This is not a Jewish star in Nazi Germany. However, precedents are important. If we allow this to happen, there is no telling what might come next.”
The third co-plaintiff is me, Ian Freeman, co-founder of Bitcoin Embassy NH in Keene and also minister of the Shire Free Church, which in addition to operating the Embassy, owns the building housing the Embassy. The Embassy also runs the local cryptocurrency meetup group that continued to hold meetings even in the early days of COVID in defiance of governor’s orders prohibiting gatherings of over ten. All the lawsuit co-plaintiffs were co-organizers of a mask freedom rally held in Keene’s Central Square after Sununu issued his “order” banning unmasked gatherings of over 100. The order targets organizers of such events with the penalty, not the attendees, much like the Keene mask ordinance that puts the consequences on local business owners, turning them into unpaid enforcers against their own customers, effectively forcing them to cut their own business’ throats.
This lawsuit isn’t perfect. It targets only the most symbolic of the insane restrictions put in place over the last six months – the mask mandates in Keene and statewide. It’s merely a starting point. The ideal suit would be to target all the governor’s orders and the statutes that enable him to issue them in the first place, however our attorney says that needs to be done in state court and our case here is federal. Attorney Fojo already has a couple of relevant cases pending in state court with other clients. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for updates regarding any progress or failure in regards to the legal pushback against this insane medical authoritarian state growing around us. Whether our suit prevails or not, we’ll never win so long as people keep obediently doing what these government goons tell them. When will you stop obeying?
Eight years after I was released from jail, my record now shows no arrests, no charges, no jail time. Just a regular guy who has had zero problems with the law. All wiped away. I am so relieved. Thanks for following along with this story. It is now officially over. NO CRIMINAL RECORD. The End!
The nice woman on the phone was very polite and respectful. She let me know that she looked into my records and found the judge’s order saying they were supposed to expunge my entire record, and they must have made a mistake and missed some.
(An honest mistake, they took care of 5 arrests and 16 charges with a single $100 fee. It’s reasonable to have missed a couple pages in the huge stack of paperwork they had to sift through.)
She took care of it and asked me to re-apply for a criminal history check — with no fee for that — just a note saying the fee had been waived. So I sent that in.
What happens next? Will my record finally be cleared after all these years?
A year ago, I filed to annul my record. 5 arrests and 16 charges would be wiped away with $100 and some time filling out paperwork. Okay, not bad. Then there was a final charge of something like another $100 to the NH State Police for them to go into their system and make the changes that the judge ordered. And they did. Except they missed some.
Fast forward to today, and I opened up a letter from the NH State Police with the results from my criminal history check. Again I paid $25 to the police for them to run my name through their records and report back to me what they have in their system. If all was correct, I expected to receive a letter saying, “You have no records.”
But that’s not what happened.
Instead, I saw a record of one arrest and two charges. Uh oh! How could this have happened? They erased all the other charges except for these? I have the documents to prove these charges were annulled, but they are still showing up in the criminal history database. What do I do now?
Along the way, whether as part of the libertarian migration to New Hampshire or later as part of a group of despicable NAZIs and other assorted white nationalist types, Cantwell has always been a polarizing figure and has caused schisms and drama withing whatever movement he put himself. This is one of the factors that leads people to believe that Cantwell himself is a federal agent. Having spent many hours with him over the years, I don’t believe he is a federal agent.
One thing’s for sure, Cantwell did do a lot of talking to federal agents in the last few years, and he allegedly even admitted to them having sent the messages he’s now been charged with sending via the Telegram chat app. The FBI raided his house last month on two felony charges, one of “Exortionate Interstate Communications” and one of “Threatening Interstate Communications”. Here’s the two-page indictment. In it, Cantwell is accused of sending the following message to someone over Telegram: “So if you don’t want me to come and fuck your wife in front of your kids, then you should make yourself scarce Give me Vic, it’s your only out.”
The feds are arguing that this is a rape threat. Beyond the fact that Cantwell didn’t say he would rape the woman, a little background and context is important to know. According to testimony at the detention hearing in federal court in Concord NH, the as-yet unrevealed “victim” in this case never complained to the feds about the message, but he did post it publicly online where a federal agent on the West Coast spotted it. The supposed victim is allegedly a member of an internet hate group called “Bowl Patrol”. The group is named as such because they worship the sicko church shooter Dylan Roof and he apparently had a bowl haircut. A Manchester police officer who works closely with the FBI testified that the “Bowl Patrol” was targeting Cantwell’s podcast phone lines with awful calls and allegedly hacked Cantwell’s website. That led Cantwell to attempt to discover their identities and to the chat where he threatened to have sex with the man’s wife if he didn’t give up the identity of the “Bowl Patrol” leader, “Vic”.
Chris in Simpler Times, Acting as Security for the Hallowkeene Dance Party in 2014.
Cantwell’s racist views are despicable, but the “Bowl Patrol” people may be worse, if that’s possible. Either way, it’s just white hate group members fighting with each other. If they are busy infighting, they can’t be out doing publicly awful things. Rather than just let the white supremacists have their internet spats, the FBI used the fact that Cantwell trash-talked someone on the internet – free speech – to charge him with felonies for which he faces up to 25 years in prison.
That’s twenty-five years for the level of trash-talking that goes on all across the internet, every day. Cantwell’s persecution here is an attack against freedom of speech and also served as an excuse to take his computers, flash drives, guns, and drugs. There’s no doubt that he has a ton of bad karma out there waiting for him for the things he’s said and done, but that doesn’t mean he belongs in prison. Yes, he’s a rude guy with a big mouth and terrible, disgusting ideas, and that’s why he’s a perfect target for a government attack on freedom of speech.
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
In 2020, first they came for the “Crying NAZI”. I don’t agree with what he says, but I will defend his right to say it. Cantwell is a target because not only does he have views that good people will detest, he’s also detested by people who hold similar views to his. Not one single supporter was at his bail hearing. He may still have a small fan club on the internet, but according to the federal government, he doesn’t have much money in the bank.
However, Cantwell does know about cryptocurrency and internet privacy tools like Signal and Telegram. The agent who testified, Brett Fernald, explained that Cantwell used bitcoin and that bitcoin could be used to hide money and was anonymous. Though that’s not true – bitcoin is completely trackable. It’s Monero that’s a privacy coin. Anyway, according to the robed woman called a “magistrate judge”, Andrea K Johnstone, in a nine-page detention order, Cantwell’s computer knowledge is one reason he can’t be allowed out of a cage even with severe restrictions like gps tracking and even being disallowed from the internet, to which the defense was readily willing to agree.
The feds also argued at the hearing that Cantwell can’t be relied on to make it to court and cited the fact that he was drunk while on bail in Virginia, despite the fact that he never missed a single court appearance. When Cantwell was informed he was wanted on a warrant for his actions in Charlottesville in 2017 he took a week to turn himself in. Cantwell’s public defender pointed out that he wanted to acquire an attorney before turning himself in, which he did do. However because Cantwell didn’t IMMEDIATELY turn himself in, the prosecutors submitted that was a reason he wouldn’t show up to court.
Political Prisoner, Christopher Cantwell
Though Cantwell says he was acting in self-defense in the Charlottesville fights, he took a plea deal on assault and battery charges and that was brought up as evidence of why he’s a supposed danger to the community. That’s despite the fact that Chris has since kept to himself and his apartment in Keene since 2017 and that prior to that he was not known for any violent acts.
Further, they made him out to be meth-crazed lunatic. He may be a lunatic in his beliefs, and who knows what role his meth use several years ago had in forming his current racist mindset, but he’s been off the meth for a long time. A drug screening when he was arrested in January only showed cannabis use, according to the evidence in the case.
During the hearing, Johnstone, overruled every one of the defense’s objections and in her detention order agreed with the prosecution’s ridiculous assertions that Cantwell is somehow a danger to the community. In the order, She cited also his legal possession of over a dozen various guns, including one found inside an unlocked case magnetically attached underneath his car. Johnstone even parrots the prosecution’s point that somehow this was a danger to the school across the street from his apartment.
The guns, alleged threats, drugs, bail violation, plea deals to violent crimes, were all cited by Johnstone as factors, but most critically it seemed that it was Cantwell’s knowledge about internet secrecy techniques that is really keeping him behind bars. Johnstone wrote, citing another case on the matter, US v Savader:
given the defendant’s demonstrated facility with computer technology, it would be all but impossible to fashion terms and conditions that would eliminate defendant’s access to… certain electronic files that could be used to threaten victims
Now the case moves to trial, ostensibly set for April. The federal government has already spent likely tens of thousands of dollars on the court hearings alone, not to mention who knows how much more money on investigating Cantwell over years. After all that money and effort, some internet trash-talk between despicable people is all they have to go after him on. If Cantwell is convicted here, he’ll be a proverbial canary in the coal mine. The federal government would like to get a conviction here so there’s a precedent set for prosecuting people who say ugly things. Who will be targeted next? Maybe some trash-talking teens on an Xbox or Playstation online video game?
If you’d like an in-depth discussion of my experience attending the detention hearings, please listen to this episode of Free Talk Live. This link will start you where the topic comes up. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest on Chris Cantwell, political prisoner. #FreeCantwell
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.