Border Patrol Agent Salutes Camera at NH Internal Oppressive Checkpoint
On Friday, several Forkfest 2018 attendees drove an hour South of Roger’s Campground to I-93 around Woodstock, NH – the site of the repeating temporary internal Border Patrol immigration checkpoints. Based on activist reports, the checkpoint appeared to have been operating that day from noon until 7pm. As is typical of these checkpoints, they were stopping every car to ask occupants if they are “US Citizens“. They also had a dog they were walking up and down the line of waiting cars.
As it turns out, a car full of people with video cameras wasn’t welcome in their secondary screening area. After one agent orders me to pull into their secondary screening for refusing to answer questions, his commanding officer intervenes before I can even cross over a single lane of traffic, and even apologizes for not wasting more of our time with their invasive screening! In hindsight, I should have told him to apologize to all the cars without camera-toting occupants for wasting everyone’s time with their oppressive police state checkpoint. Here’s the ridiculous video:
No one in the car was planning to answer the agents’ questions, given one has a right to remain silent (that the US Supreme Court has now required be invoked in police encounters). Obedience to tyrants only encourages them. Besides, as someone who believes in liberty, I don’t believe in government borders. Peaceful people should be allowed to enter a free country. Of course, we all know by now the United States is not a free country, and in fact has been dropping on the various international freedom rankings.
A few weeks ago in Keene there was a standoff in West Keene to which dozens of cops and state police responded. They brought out the BEARCAT, MRAP, a bomb robot, all kinds of cruisers and trucks, and apparently every state cop from all over – in full camouflage, plus Keene police and Cheshire Sheriffs.
To their credit, the cops didn’t hurt the man in the home this time, but they didn’t need to respond like this. This is a scary level of police militarization and very dangerous to liberty.
Think this was the first time something like this has happened in Keene? Think again. In 2012 police had a similarly ridiculous response to an even less-threatening domestic incident in West Keene where a man stormed off into the woods while armed. Oh and don’t forget the lockdown of part of Downtown prior to that in 2010 over an abandoned backpack full of beer. More recently, who could forget the ridiculous response to the Pumpkinfest Riots the police created in the first place by raiding peaceful day parties.
How many spankings in their own courts must the governments of New Hampshire endure before they finally learn their lesson? Three years ago, Weare police settled for over $57,000 to then-Free State Project president Carla Gericke for arresting her for recording them on the side of the road.
Now Manchester police are shelling out $275,000 to Alfredo Valentin who was arrested for recording the police on his smartphone inside his own home during a drug raid. Police were raiding Valentin’s home searching for evidence against another man, Christopher Chapman. Though police already had Chapman in custody from an earlier arrest, they went ahead with a full swat raid against Valentin’s house, including, “firing incendiary devices through the property’s windows, kicking in the doors, and entering the property SWAT-style with semi-automatic weapons—damaging property, terrifying the two women who were still in the house, and creating an unjustifiable risk of accidental death or injury”. This according to the one million dollar lawsuit against Manchester brought by the excellent NH Civil Liberties Union.
Darryl W Perry and Ian Freeman at the 2017 ACLU 1st Amendment Awards Dinner
NHCLU head attorney Gilles Bissonnette worked with attorney Richard Lehmann on the case. In a press release published at IndepthNH.org, the NHCLU’s Bissonnette said, “This settlement recognizes that the right of citizens to observe and record the police is a critical check on the use of power and force by law enforcement…The police need to understand that individuals who are recording their work without interference have a constitutional right to do so, and it is not cause for their arrest.”
Major thanks to the NHCLU for their excellent work holding Manchester police accountable. Too bad its taxpayers who have to foot the bill instead of the terrible, oppressive officers themselves.
NH’s Top Newspaper Regularly Features Libertarian Activists
I’ve long stated that libertarians in New Hampshire are making a bigger impact than anywhere else. That’s because we’ve concentrated our efforts here as part of an ongoing NH Freedom Migration, and turns out – concentrating activists in one geographic area actually works! Besides the haters who target our activists, you can also tell we’re effective because the media not only writes about our activism regularly, but also reaches out for comment on other issues that don’t even directly involve us.
This happens here because libertarians in New Hampshire are a relevant political force and we cannot be ignored, like happens to libertarians in other states.
Today, I had the honor of being included in two different newspaper articles, in two different newspapers.
“Apparently the chief (Suokko) and town council just can’t let go of the insane war on drugs and just have to keep pushing to extract more money and obedience from peaceful cannabis users who are our neighbors, co-workers, and friends,”
It’s truly an honor to be attacked. They say you don’t take flak unless you’re over the target. No one should be surprised that there will be vehement opposition when libertarians actually start making an impact as we have done here in New Hampshire. Most libertarians don’t understand what it’s like to be hated, because outside of New Hampshire, the libertarian movement is little more than a sideshow. They have near-zero impact with their political campaigns, and that’s about all they do besides argue on the internet.
Prominent Haters’ Home Foreclosed, Sold Under $48k
Here in the Shire, libertarian activists regularly get mainstream media coverage in newsprint, on TV and radio. Here we matter, despite the online trolls who spend their precious time trying to convince us we don’t. Of course, the fact that they spend such inordinate time on us is evidence against their own claims.
Every now and then a hater will get out from behind their computer monitor and actually make a real life appearance. Sometimes they are memorable and hilarious, like the time Sam Dodson was assaulted by a former coffee-shop owner wielding a coffee cup (both have long since left NH). Sometimes they are threatening and violent. However, very rarely are their efforts sustained for any meaningful amount of time. Every hate group that has risen has also fallen away, however one couple really stood out above all the other haters, Matthew and Jennifer Schmidt. (more…)
Only five DJVCS posters exist – one will be raffled at the screening!
Recently Derrick J Freeman announced a special five-year anniversary screening of his documentary film, “Derrick J’s Victimless Crime Spree” to take place in Portsmouth this Sunday 9/17 at 7pm at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre. Admission is free, first come, first seated. Refreshments will be available for cash, bitcoin, or DASH. If you’re new to Victimless Crime Spree, it’s a feature length, 90min documentary that was originally recorded and edited in Keene, NH (with a little footage from Derrick’s previous home of Philadelphia). Here’s how Derrick has described the movie from his perspective today which he included this on the facebook event for Sunday’s screening:
Victimless Crime Spree is the story of Derrick J, a lovable rebel on a mission to achieve freedom and independence from government. He moves from Philadelphia to New Hampshire for the Free State Project and almost immediately finds himself behind bars. Despite his friendliness to the cops and government bureaucrats, they keep putting him in cages. Inspirational, intelligent and fearless; this documentary demonstrates the will and perseverance of civil disobedience activists that risk their liberty for hope of a better world. If you don’t already, this movie will leave you questioning your relationship with “authority.”
After the screening, we’ll have a Q&A with Derrick J and also do a raffle for one of only five existing original theatrical release posters from the movie’s theatrical premiere in Keene back in September of 2012.
Since its release, the movie has racked up more than 175,000 views on YouTube, sold hundreds of DVDs, and received plenty of positive reviews and ratings, with an 8.6/10 on IMDB and 4.3 stars on Amazon! Those aren’t the only measures of the movie’s success, however. It’s also accomplished helping turn libertarians on to the NH Freedom Migration and multiple people have cited it as their reason for moving to New Hampshire. It’s also introduced new people to the ideas of liberty. I really couldn’t be more proud of what Derrick and editor Beau Davis created and am honored to be the film’s executive producer.