As the New Hampshire Freedom Migration continues into 2019, the liberty movement needs a better way of communicating than facebook. Many still cling to facebook for reasons like, “that’s where everyone is”. Besides the fact that is demonstrably not true, the fact is facebook has made it increasingly difficult to actually reach people without getting your credit card and actually buying reach to the people who you already thought were connected to you or who “like” your pages.
Welcome to New Hampshire!
The good news is there are multiple platforms on which people both inside and outside the Shire are meeting online that are much more useful than facebook. Of course, the more people use them, the more useful they become, so consider this your invitation. Facebook has thrown so many features into its platform (then purposely crippled their usefulness), it will require multiple other, better venues to replace it. Here are the key activist-related aspects of facebook and superior alternatives to replace each of them that are already excellent, effective, and free:
- Facebook Groups – They were never better than forums but used prolifically, “because people are on facebook”. Forums have always been better at organization. Forums can have subforums and posts can be easily moderated and moved between subforums, whereas on facebook the groups are completely separate and no cross-moderation is even possible. Worse, the search function on facebook groups is garbage. However, older forum software feels clunky today, but newer ones like the “Discourse” software that runs the Shire Forum are snappy and user-friendly – it’s a very modern forum experience and people have been loving it. New people planning to move to New Hampshire are coming there every month and posting their introductions – they want to meet you! Please visit and sign up here. You can even use existing logins from other sites like google and github to easily create your account.
Activists are leaving Facebook, for good reason.
- Facebook Messenger – This still one of the least-crippled aspects of facebook. They couldn’t really take away your ability to directly message people, so that’s still useful. However, it’s also centrally managed by the mega corporate monster of facebook, is unencrypted, and they’re more than happy to turn all of your chats over to law enforcement. Activists in New Hampshire’s western region of Keene have been using Telegram instead for direct and group communications. Telegram is super-useful and has been adopted and continually used here for years to help organize various activities. Similarly, encrypted texting app Signal is widely used for one-on-one communications across New Hampshire.
There’s also the New Hampshire room on the LRN.FM Discord server, perhaps the most active libertarian Discord server.
- Facebook Pages – The original idea behind facebook pages was to allow your fans to connect with your brand or organization. You’d create a page and people who “liked” the page would get updates from the page in their feeds. Over time this system seemed to get less effective. Now you are lucky if a fraction of one percent of the people who like your page will see your posts. Of course, Facebook will happily charge you to reach your full number of likes – something you originally got for free. To replace facebook pages I recommend the much more effective and decentralized Mastodon platform. You can easily create a Mastodon account on the server of your choice. There are thousands of servers from which to choose, but many libertarians are posting on the Liberdon server. Here’s what the Free Keene page looks like on Liberdon. Or, if you know what you’re doing, you can just start your own server. Because it’s decentralized and federated, you can still connect your server to most of the other servers out there, unless they don’t want you or you don’t want them connected to you.
Liberdon is the Libertarian/Voluntarist Server running Mastodon
- Facebook Events – Yet another crippled feature that once was useful for making people aware of events. Now it’s rare people will see event invitations on facebook in the first place. Frequently events are held where despite being on facebook hardly anyone who attends will say they saw it there. Telegram has been much more effective at communicating events, especially when tied into a Telegram bot that links a Google Calendar so whenever an event is coming up, the bot posts the event details in the relevant chat room for the activists as a handy reminder.
By no means is that an exhaustive list of alternatives to replace facebook and do what facebook once did, and better than facebook. There are many other useful platforms, but these have been working well for us so far. Be part of the solution and join us on the alternatives. Start with the Shire Forum. It’s free and an effective way to communicate with people both inside and outside of New Hampshire.
Last summer marked the beginning of the decentralized, friendly competition to the longtime centrally-organized Porcupine Freedom Festival. Some people called it Somaliafest, others called it Shirefest, still others came up with other names. What it ended up being was a couple dozen liberty-loving people camping with each other, a couple of great parties (one including Will Coley as the DJ), and a nationally syndicated talk radio show recording in the campground.
Five-Hour Rave at Forkfest 2017
This year, New Hampshire’s decentralized liberty camping event is back, once again to be held Jun 14th-18th (the five days prior to Porcfest). However, the talk radio shows on LRN.FM have been calling this year’s event Forkfest, a name created by Liberty Lobbyist Darryl W Perry.
Why Forkfest? It’s an embracing of the idea of “forking” or when a movement (cryptocurrency, political, religious, or whatever) has a split, usually when some perceived impasse among a growing group is reached. It’s something that has happened in New Hampshire’s freedom migration over the last fifteen years on multiple occasions. Such schisms are natural with large numbers of people, which most libertarians don’t have if they are outside of New Hampshire, so libertarians aren’t used to it. Given the ever-increasing number of liberty activists moving to NH, they were inevitable.
Unlike Porcfest, which is a great festival in its own right, Forkfest differs in that there is no organizer, no board of directors, and no one in charge. That means that everyone attending must decide how to self-organize. Throw a party, perform music, put on speeches, sell food or merchandise, whatever happens to be your inspiration! Or, if you just want to take it easy and camp around the company of other libertarians, voluntarists, and liberty-minded anarchists, no problem! Just lock down your camping, RV site, or Motel Room at Roger’s Campground for June 14th-18th and enjoy. There are no tickets to Forkfest.
Ernest Hancock and Will Coley Broadcasting from Forkfest 2017
If you’d like to plan something for attendees to do, see what else is being planned (there’s at least one party, athletic events, and a marriage already scheduled as of this writing), or just connect with other Forkfest attendees, visit the Forkfest forum (part of the Shire Forum). Also, you’ll find links to Forkfest chat rooms and an event to which you can RSVP on the unofficial Forkfest website at Forkfest.party.
In 2010, dozens of libertarians, voluntaryists, and anarchists attending the Porcupine Freedom Festival put their signatures on the original Shire Society Declaration. The Declaration, since signed thousands of times online and in real life by people from across the globe, is a personal declaration of independence from the horrible idea of “the state”. You can read and sign the Shire Society Declaration here and for more history on its creation, see here.
Ron Paul Signs the Shire Society Declaration
Since the original two hemp paper Declarations quickly filled up with signatures, the artist who did the calligraphy, the Muslim Agorist aka Davi Barker created a bunch of smaller hemp paper replicas. Former Keene activist El Stone brought one of them to the Nexus conference in Colorado in late September 2017, where libertarian presidential candidate and all-around-hero to liberty Ron Paul was slated to speak.
According to witness and photographer Derrick Slopey, it all happened fast as Ron exited the stage. Stone was able to get his attention, unfurled the Declaration and asked if he’d sign it. Ron said, “Sure, I agree with all of this” and added his signature.
Derrick Slopey and Ron Paul at the Nexus Conference
The copy of the Declaration was the same Declaration that others at the conference had been signing, including Roger Ver aka “Bitcoin Jesus”. However, you can’t see any other signatures in the photos below besides Ron Paul’s as Stone is super-protective of the privacy of the signers on his declaration.
Kudos to Ron Paul for the amazing endorsement! Also thanks to Stone for being the one to ask him and Derrick for the photos. When we created it, I don’t think anyone imagined Ron Paul would join the Shire Society. What an awesome surprise and amazing validation for the Shire Society Declaration!
Many Shire Society members are moving to New Hampshire to concentrate libertarian action in one spot. You can connect with others already here and those planning to move on the Shire Forum.
Here are pics of Ron’s signature on the document: (more…)
Cop Block Badge and Outreach Flier
This post was originally made on CopBlock.org. I’m posting it here as well, as who knows what’s going to happen with that site:
Hi, I’m Ian Freeman. I’m one of the original Cop Blockers, which is why I possess badge number five. I’ve been a longtime Cop Blocker, financial supporter and occasional blogger here. Both of Cop Block’s founders, Pete Eyre and Ademo Freeman have lived with me in my home and they are great friends with whom I’ve had some amazing times.
I was alarmed this Summer when Ademo announced that he was putting CopBlock.org up for sale. I wasn’t surprised that he wanted out. Ademo has seen his share of burnout and has suffered greatly in his quest to hold police accountable. Ademo was a trailblazer in police accountability activism and deserves as much of a break as he wants. He’s currently describing himself as a “happily retired activist” and he should be. Our world is better off because Cop Block is in it.
What surprised me about his request to sell the site was the fact that Ademo felt he had to resort to a sale at all. Where were all the Cop Blockers who should have stepped up to take the reins? Ademo had asked the primary contributors to the site about taking over lead roles. Apparently no one stepped up, so Ademo decided to auction the site. When I found this out, I asked around and sure enough, while some people were willing to help, no one wanted to lead. (more…)
Last year at the Porcupine Freedom Festival, Will Coley of Muslims 4 Liberty threw and was the DJ for what people have said was the best party at Porcfest 2016. This year, Will again performed at Roger’s Campground as an electronic music DJ and played for five straight hours, two hours of which was beyond the campground’s “quiet time” of 11pm! However, Will’s party was not held during Porcfest 2017 – it happened during the new decentralized festival(s) that are taking place before Porcfest happens.
Five-Hour Rave at Somaliafest & Shirefest 2017
Depending on who you asked, the people on the campground from Friday June 16th through Tuesday the 20th were either attending Somaliafest or Shirefest. Other festivals sprung up over the weekend as Shire Dude proclaimed that the rule of Shirefest is that every attendee has to have their own fest. Some people were having fun with this idea, and it really encompasses the decentralized nature of these friendly competitors of the longtime king of Summer camping freedom festivals, Porcfest.
Please note, this article is not intended to be an attack against the people who have run Porcfest over the years. They did their best in a largely thankless role to make the various Porcfests successful. I’m writing this to assess the question of whether centralizing Porcfest harmed the event and introduce the competition, which are not centralized.
Despite generally philosophizing about the benefits of decentralization, some libertarians have embraced centralization in the process of creating the liberty movement’s largest and most successful camping freedom festival. Depending on what needs to be done, centralization can provide some benefits. However, there are costs involved. Some would argue the centralization of Porcfest’s organization led to its decline. Let’s look closer at what happened. First, for those of you newer to the ongoing New Hampshire Freedom Migration, a little history: (more…)
One week ago, Johnathon Dunker made the announcement on the Free Talk Live forum that he’s kicking off a 1,500 mile bike ride from Florida to New Hampshire! He says he’s moving to NH as part of the Shire Society, and his destination is Keene (after he visits the Porcupine Freedom Festival).
Johnathon Dunker stops for a selfie at the VA border.
Dunker has been riding upwards of 100 miles per day for over a week, starting in Sebastian, FL. As of this writing, he’s currently in Virginia. He is part of an ongoing migration of liberty-minded activists who are picking up their lives and moving to be near other libertarians and voluntarists so we can have a greater impact on one state. (It’s already working!)
Longtime readers of this blog will remember when Will Buchanan (now known as Will Anderson) moved to New Hampshire for the Free State Project by walking across the country from Oregon. Like the most hardcore activists, Will’s still here, working with the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance in the state house.
Dunker, while not following in Anderson’s exact footsteps is definitely making his move to the Shire with the same spirit. Not many people make a big deal out of their move. This is the first such spectacle in nearly a decade, and it’s awesome! Dunker has been calling in to Free Talk Live over the last week with updates, in addition to posting a bunch of photos and GPS tracking maps to his blog at DunkerBike.com. He’s also been interacting with people on his discussion thread on the Shire Forum. (more…)