Keene “Sanctuary City” Resolution Hearing – Full Video

On Thursday evening, a very large crowd turned out to speak to the city council’s FOP committee on a proposed resolution to make Keene a “sanctuary city”. I’m happy to say that not a single police state xenophobe spoke during the hearing. Every speaker was pro-immigrant. Here’s video of the entire hearing:

Earlier this year, Cheshire County Sheriff Eli Rivera made headlines by announcing his policy to not assist the federal government with immigration enforcement activities targeting peaceful migrants. That made Cheshire county into NH’s only “sanctuary county”.

Now, the City of Keene is considering a resolution proposed by Keene Immigration and Refugee Partnership that would encourage Keene police only to assist federal agents in apprehending allegedly violent suspects or have an outstanding warrant.

The resolution is well-intended and everyone in the packed council chambers supported it, but it doesn’t go far enough. First, it allows for Keene police to assist the federal immigration enforcement if they merely have a warrant, which aren’t hard for police to get with rubber-stamp courts. Second, the city’s new manager, Elizabeth Dragon, is claiming the city government can’t tell police what to do, per some state statute. That’s not exactly the whole truth, since the council is able to pass certain ordinances that the police are directed to enforce. While they may not legally be able to tell a police chief what not to enforce, they certainly have the ability to have the city manager fire anti-immigrant police, don’t they? Perhaps there are union protections in place to make that difficult, I don’t know.

MALIC Center Imam Will Coley Speaks to the Committee

MALIC Center Imam Will Coley Speaks to the Committee

According to the Keene Sentinel, new Keene police chief Steven Russo has not specifically commented on the resolution’s proposals, though the group behind the proposal, KIRP, has said they’ve had a positive meeting with him.

At Thursday evening’s FOP meeting, after 100% support from the speakers there and many rounds of applause for those who spoke, the councilors on the committee voted 5-0 to give more time to the issue, specifically asking city staff to meet with KIRP and finalize the language of the proposed resolution.

Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest on this developing story. For more media coverage of the meeting, check out the Sentinel’s story by reporter Paul Cuno-Booth.

Also, don’t miss Will Coley’s moving speech – here’s a direct link that will jump you straight to that part of the over hour long video.

Interfaith Group Turning Trashed Home into NH’s First Full-Time Mosque – Donations NOW MATCHED!

Multiple full truckloads of garbage and junk were removed this week, totaling hundreds of dollars in dump fees.

Multiple full truckloads of garbage and junk were removed this week, totaling several hundred dollars in dump fees.

It’s been a crazy week, but major progress has been made turning a house that was trashed by its previous “libertarian” tenants into NH’s first full-time mosque. The Masjid al Latiff and Interfaith Community Center (MALIC Center) is Will Coley‘s vision that is becoming a reality, thanks to an interfaith group of people who have over the last week been removing junk, cleaning up a unspeakably disgusting mess, repairing damage to the home, painting, removing trees, and more. Whether Muslim, Christian, Panentheist, or even agnostic or atheist, it’s been awesome to see that the MALIC Center is already creating an interfaith community despite not having officially opened its doors.

When Will, who will be the future mosque’s Imam and caretaker, approached the Shire Free Church about property availability in Keene for a mosque, I’d have been excited about just that opportunity to help him with that idea, but his vision was much bigger than that. In addition to its full-time mosque function, as an interfaith community center, the MALIC Center will also be usable by other smaller area religions looking for a house of worship, like the Quakers. Plus, Will plans to operate a homeless warming center in the colder months.

As the Shire Free Church is an interfaith peace church, the MALIC Center vision dovetails perfectly with the mission of the Church. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to assist with this by both donating the property in question on behalf of the Church and helping clean it up. Thankfully we don’t have to do it all alone, as it’s a big job. We’ve had multiple libertarian community members from across the state come to help us including a mayoral candidate in Keene, Bob Call who joined us early on to help haul out the initial junk and trash, and Libertarian candidate for governor in NH for 2018, Jilletta Jarvis who today was helping scrub the floors.

The interfaith cleanup crew has included Christians working alongside Muslims, and others!

The interfaith cleanup crew has included Christians working alongside Muslims, and others!

We’ve made great progress, as the video below documents, but one of the challenges beyond the cleanup effort itself has been fundraising. Will and his family have raised nearly 50% of their $11,000 goal at crowdfunding site LaunchGood.com and have made the move on faith despite not having reached their goal.

In order to assist further, the Shire Free Church is going to match donations from now until the $11,000 goal is reached! The fundraiser as of now has $5,256 raised by 93 contributors. Only six days remain. If you donate $10, the Church will double it to $20. If you donate $50, the Church will double that to $100, and so on. Please take a moment and give here at Launchgood. (Bitcoin and Litecoin donation QR codes are on the Launchgood page too!)

Here’s a megavideo compilation of the several facebook livestreams Will has done from the Center over the last week via his personal profile and the MALIC Center page:

Political Prisoner Christopher Cantwell: Exclusive Interview From Jail Cell

Pre-Racism Chris Cantwell talks about Bitcoin to attendees at the 2014 Cheshire Fair

For background on who Keene resident and white nationalist Christopher Cantwell was before his turn toward racism, please see my previous article, “The Curious Case of Christopher Cantwell” here. You may have heard that he was recently denied bail after being initially granted it by a different Albemarle county Virginia judge, regarding alleged pepper spraying of people at a violent protest involving despicable white nationalists and also-despicable “anti-fascists” aka “antifa”.

Chris recently received more than fifteen minutes of infamy when VICE news did a documentary about the hate-fueled protests a few weeks ago in Charlottesville, VA. Video of him spraying pepper spray in the middle of a fight between the protestors quickly surfaced and VA police issued multiple felony warrants for his arrest and he ultimately turned himself in. Despite having a history of attending court and no criminal history of violence on his record, Chris was denied bail, with the judge in the appeal actually citing his free speech, offensive as it is, as a reason for the denial! Judge Cheryl Higgins said, according to a paraphrase by Daily Progress:

while he may be a “shock jock,” his comments following the rally should not be ignored and “tend to show a certain level of approval of the violence that was used.

Chris Cantwell's Fourth Try at An Attorney, Elmer Woodard

Chris Cantwell’s Fourth Try at An Attorney, Elmer Woodard

She then stripped him of the $25,000 bond option that another judge earlier in the same day had granted. This after an hours-long bail appeal hearing where Cantwell’s bizarre attorney actually had him take the stand to testify – generally considered to be a terrible legal strategy this early in a case. According to the Daily Beast, Cantwell’s attorney is Elmer Woodard:

who appeared in court wearing an early-1800s-style red waistcoat with gold buttons, bowtie, white muttonchop whiskers, black velcro shoes, and a a 1910s-style straw boater hat. Cantwell said Woodard was his fourth choice for legal counsel after three other lawyers declined to take his case.

Inept attorney aside, Cantwell’s racism and his violent rhetoric, while despicable and deplorable, is not reason to deny bail. Unfortunately, far too many people, even supposed libertarians who should know better, are applauding his political imprisonment. I caution you to remember the famous poem from the World War II era’s German pastor Martin Niemoller:

Chris in Simpler Times, Acting as Security for the Hallowkeene Dance Party in 2014.

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.

Whether Chris shot pepper spray aggressively or in self-defense remains to be seen. He’s supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. To keep him in pre-trial detention harms his ability to prepare his defense and anyone who cares about a fair justice system should be outraged.

You can hear him tell his side of the story in this recent episode of Free Talk Live from this Saturday where we had him on live from his jail cell in Albemarle County, VA. It starts at about 44:29 in to the show:

NH Blogger Rails Against Border Patrol Checkpoints, Calls Out Libertarians

Border Patrol Agents

Border Patrol Agents Bothering Innocent Motorists

NH blogger Susan the Bruce has written an excellent post excoriating the police state and its invasive internal Border Patrol checkpoints, one of which was set up this weekend just south, curiously, of the NH Cannabis Freedom Festival. Sure enough, more people were arrested for drug possession at the checkpoint than were arrested for immigration, according to the article at the Union Leader.

In her blog, Susan writes:

NH was one of the states that fought hard against REAL ID. That opposition was in character with the “live free or die” philosophy we’re supposed to be famous for embracing. It was in character with our reputation as a libertarian leaning state.

Somewhere along the way we stopped fighting REAL ID and meekly submitted. Sixteen years of indoctrination – a combination of fear based agitprop and training to submit to authority, changed our tune from Just Say No to We Have to do this for National Security. REAL ID means that the state maintains a database of information on people, including Social Security numbers and photos.

She’s right. This year in the state house the supposed privacy nut state rep, Neil Kurk, capitulated after years of holding firm against REAL ID, and endorsed the state’s partial embracing of the federal ID standards. One who wishes to acquire a non-REAL ID-compliant card can still get one, but according to someone I know who visited the DMV this week, the DMV bureaucrats are pushing the new REAL ID version.

NH Internal Border Patrol Checkpoint

NH Internal Border Patrol Checkpoint

I recommend reading Susan’s whole post, it’s well-done and there’s very little she says that I can disagree with. Until the end, that is. She says in the final paragraph:

There hasn’t been a peep out of the liberty and freedumb crowd about this. Not a word from the allegedly liberty loving Free Staters. The folks who do the wailin’ about gummint encroachment on our lives are strangely silent when it comes to “show us your papers” stops. Their interest in gummint interference extends to deregulation and tax cuts. Actual violations of privacy and civil liberties don’t interest them in the slightest.

I may not be a “Free Stater”, but I love liberty and am friends with many of them. I have seen plenty of liberty people upset about these checkpoints and they have posted their outrage online… on facebook. Which means no one hears it except those connected to the person on facebook – such posts only hit the libertarian echo chamber. Sadly, most of the people who are here are not bloggers like Susan and me. They are just as outraged as she, but fail to communicate it effectively to a wider audience. (more…)

State Rep from Keene, NH Promises Full Body Wax if $50,000 Raised for Hurricane Victims

State Representative Joseph Stallcop, for Keene's Ward One

State Rep Joseph Stallcop will wax all body hair if his fundraiser reaches its goal.

Earlier this year, New Hampshire state representative Joseph Stallcop of Keene became the second sitting state rep to flip to the Libertarian party, and the first democrat to do so nationwide in two decades. Now, representative Stallcop has announced a fundraiser for the victims of the hurricane in Texas:

Obviously anyone can donate to the Red Cross anytime, but Stallcop’s fundraiser will be benefiting the Red Cross with a twist. If his fundraiser reaches its goal, he’ll be stripping down for a full body waxing – ouch! Plus, he’ll receive the waxing on video to prove it. He explains in his fundraiser that he’s a huge Rocky Horror Picture Show fan and generally dresses up each October, but this year he’ll go all the way and add a full body waxing (except his head & eyebrows) to his Rocky costume if the fundraiser makes it before Halloween.

Also, in case you were concerned, your donation goes straight to the Red Cross via fundraising site Crowdrise, not to Stallcop. He’s just putting his own body hair on the line to encourage you to contribute. I just threw in $25 on behalf of the Shire Free Church. Please contribute here.