In 2010, Rich Paul founded the yearly mass civil disobedience event on April 20th in front of the state house steps in Concord where cannabis users come to toke up in full public view. After taking a year off from activism in New Hampshire, he has returned to retake his role as the emcee of the well-attended rally where thus far, no one has ever been arrested. Here are some highlights from his speeches at last week’s 420 celebration:
Carla Gericke, recently profiled along with me in a detailed piece by NHPR, made an appearance with me and other liberty activists yesterday at the annual Concord, NH 420 rally.
Carla’s the former president of the Free State Project and the current president of the Foundation for New Hampshire Independence, an outreach group that promotes New Hampshire’s peaceful exit from the United States. She didn’t hold back in her short-but-sweet speech at the 420 celebration at the state house steps, telling the federal government, “Fuck you”, as she announced her second attempt at running as a “pro-gun, anti-war” republican for the Manchester NH senate seat against a longtime incumbent democrat.
This weekend there were nationwide anti-gun protests across the United States and one of them happened in Keene’s Central Square on Saturday morning. Nationally syndicated talk radio program “Free Talk Live” co-host Chris Rietmann came out with a sign announcing he was an AR-15 owner and inviting people to talk to him. Another talk show host, Vincent Freeman from “Questioning Authority” was there to document:
Also appearing in favor of freedom in the video is Robert from Vermont, a regular Free Talk Live caller. For all the people in NH who want to ban guns, they should just move to Massachusetts and they’ll instantly attain their goals.
Rietmann is a regular Thursday night co-host on Free Talk Live and Vincent’s show is live on Saturday nights. Both shows are streamed live now on Twitch in HD and of course are available in audio form via streaming and satellite on LRN.FM.
In April of 2017 Darryl and I were traveling back to Keene from Taco Beyondo in Hillsborough (they accept Bitcoin Core and DASH, by the way) and were waylaid by four armed, uniformed men. They surrounded the car and issued a written threat over what they call “misuse of plates” due to the Shire Society plate on the back of the car at the time.
This video contains the original pullover from April 2017, the full trial at Hillsborough District Court in New Hampshire in January 2018 and then the sentencing hearing from February 2018.
I was found guilty and sentenced to twelve hours of community service – but I had fun asking the cop some interesting questions in court. Enjoy the video:
One of the great things about the internet is the availability of information at the push of a button, and the ease with which people from around the globe can communicate. While this can be a powerful tool to help minority voices (including libertarians) publish their views, it has contributed greatly to the prevalence of the 24-hour news cycle. And with so many outlets competing for views, you end up with sensationalism, or what is now called click-bait. When social media is added into the equation, you end up with manufactured news, i.e. news reports about tweets and other posts on social media, and libertarians are not exempt from this either.
There’s an old saying, “you don’t have to attend every argument you are invited to.” And this is the reason I’m writing this letter. Stop! Yes, I know that arguing on the internet isn’t a new phenomenon and has been happening since the internet existed; I also know that libertarians have been arguing with other libertarians for decades. As Mark Twain once said, “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”
Believe me, there is life outside of social media and facebook drama. I’m not going to tell you how to spend your time, however I am going to suggest that maybe arguing on facebook isn’t the best use of your time and energy. If the goal “is nothing more nor less than a world set free in our lifetime,” then maybe you want to consider: volunteering in your community; attending and speaking at legislative committee hearings; running for office with a goal of educating voters about your beliefs, or volunteering to help such a candidate. And above all else, enjoy life. Go for a hike, go to the gym, run a 5k, watch a TV show, go to a sporting event, etc. Because at the end of the day, what’s the point of having a world set free if all you’re going to do with your freedom is argue on the internet?