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.
Harrington then got up in Waid’s face and demanded ID to which Waid declined, correctly stating he has no obligation to provide the angry cop with ID. Harrington then arrested Waid, and charged him with the police’s favorite catch-all of “disorderly conduct”. I caught the entire thing on video, which you can see here. The “disorderly conduct” charge was a “Class A”, which carries up to a year of jail time. Later in the mail, the police sent an additional “violation” for crossing the street outside of a crosswalk.
Now, two years later, the people calling themselves the “City of Manchester” have cut a check to Waid for $15,000 of taxpayers’ money for Harrington’s obviously illegal arrest. For the first time since his arrest, the video from Chris’ camera that was confiscated is now available for you to see. I’ve augmented it with a little of my camera’s view for perspective:
After hiring attorney Seth Hipple, both charges against Waid were dropped – further proof the police knew they had no case and the charges were brought as an excuse to harass a police accountability activist and get him away from the DUI checkpoint on the night in question. Waid, through attorney Hipple, sent the City of Manchester a letter with his intention to file a lawsuit against them and Harrington in Federal court. In the letter, Hipple included his proposed lawsuit where he cited federal code title 42 section 1983, deprivation of rights.
Over the last several days the video and story about Keene High’s “school resource officer” Joshua English attacking and tackling a student for allegedly vaping in the school’s bathroom, has gone viral. However, there’s more to the story than cop-attacks-teen, though this incident alone is bad enough. In case you haven’t heard about this incident, according to other students the young man who was viciously attacked by English was vaping in the bathroom and English confronted him. The student heroically refused to identify himself to the armed, intimidating, uniformed man and walked out of the bathroom. Moments later, English bursted out of the bathroom and tackled the peaceful student, subduing him with a shocking level of force.
Thankfully, another brave student pulled out their phone upon hearing a commotion from inside the bathroom and captured the entire tackling on video:
Understandably many are outraged at the officer’s use of force over a simple vaping incident, but that’s not really what caused English to fly into a violent rage. The young victim’s real crime was disobedience. The youth had the gall to act as though he were a free man, walking away from a threatening, potentially violent anti-nicotine nuisance and attempting to go about his day. English has his “authority” to worry about and can’t possibly be seen by others as someone who one could just walk away from without consequence, so he used violence to dominate the young man in front of a crowd of people.
Keene Police have been making headlines nationwide for proclaiming that English was fully within police guidelines for his use of force against the “subject” – yes, that’s actually how they refer to the rest of us non-gang members. Keene police chief Steve Russo exonerated English in a recent release, saying his agent had not violated any department guidelines or state statutes, but Russo said further that English was worried the young man was a potential trespasser, claiming to the Union Leader, “At that point, he didn’t even know he was a student”.
Keene Police Officer Joshua English
Perhaps English needs to have his memory tested. While it would certainly be hard to remember previously seeing one random male in a school with over one thousand students, how could English forget that he’d written the same young man a ticket for “possessing tobacco products” two weeks prior? The student’s father showed the proof of this claim to WHDH-TV in Boston.
While Keene Police are trying to make English look like a hero protecting the school from a potential intruder, the reality is much different. In KPD’s official release, they claim the Keene Police and the school district are, “committed to maintaining the safety and security of the students…which may regrettably include when necessary, the use of force to secure that safety.” There were no allegations the young victim was doing anything violent. He was allegedly vaping in the bathroom. No one was threatened by the young man. The only dangerous, violent threat in Keene High School that day was Keene Police’s Joshua English. Who is he?
Don’t expect the mainstream media to do a modicum of digging about English. Otherwise you might have already discovered English shot a man to death in Keene back in 2010. Free Keene blogger and former police officer Brad Jardis covered the story here when English was found to be within the state’s use-of-force guidelines in the shooting incident. In that case, the man who was shot by English was holding a knife to a woman’s throat, so our blogger Jardis agreed with the shooting as necessary. However, is it really the best decision to assign one of the only officers at KPD who has violently taken another human being’s life the duty of being the high school’s cop? (more…)
Nobody also scored his first mainstream media endorsements for his gubernatorial run. Remillard told Nobody during the interview that Sununu had been in the radio station cluster the same day, but that he wouldn’t interview with The Teddy Show, because they aren’t cool enough. She then said to Nobody, “I think you can take him.”
Nobody tokes at the Concord state house 420 – AP Photo
Immediately after, when speaking of the political class, Nobody declared, “If you’re not a member of George Carlin’s ‘club’, then you’re nobody to them, because they’re the kids who run everything.” McKay then endorsed Nobody, saying, “Alright, you just got my vote for knowing and liking George Carlin”. Nobody then praised Carlin as one of his formative influences.
Moments later, when discussing ending the war on cannabis, McKay said to Nobody, “Jeez, I think I’ve found a candidate here”.
Plus, over the last couple of weeks leading up to the Keene mayoral primary election – where Nobody received 2% of the vote – he received coverage in a variety of places, including overseas. Here’s a rundown of some of the media we spotted:
Mayoral Candidate Nobody and City Council Candidates Ian Freeman and Robert Call toke up at the 420.
In September of 2009, liberty migrants and New Hampshire natives gathered in Keene’s Central Square to commit mass civil disobedience in violation of the state’s prohibition against cannabis. They did this heroic act despite the risk of misdemeanor charges that could have resulted at the time from the simple possession of cannabis.
The 420 rallies were historic and made local, state, national, and international headlines. They started small, with just a handful smoking cannabis in the iconic New Hampshire town common and quickly grew to upwards of 150 participants at their peak. The celebrations of cannabis freedom went on daily and lasted for weeks, despite desperate attempts by Keene police to crack down.
Once the events grew to a crowd, Keene police arrested a couple of the perceived leaders of the event in hopes of intimidating the peaceful tokers into calling it quits and going home, but the police aggression had the opposite effect. Instead of scaring away the protestors, dozens marched down to the Keene police headquarters and smoked cannabis behind the police station and later smoked up inside the lobby!
After that, the police never returned to the daily 420s and they eventually died off due to winter weather setting in. Though the rallies were revived the following Spring, we had clearly won the ground as a demilitarized zone for open cannabis use. It was a beautiful thing. Beginning in 2010, on April 20th the 420 rallies continued as a yearly event at the Concord state house steps and participants even came to include multiple state representatives.
Last weekend, the 420 rally returned to the place where it began – Keene’s Central Square. The founder of the rallies, then known as Rich Paul, now known as Nobody and running a campaign for mayor of Keene had the prior week announced a special rally to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the historic events. Held on Saturday September 28th at 4:20pm, the 10th anniversary rally was attended by locals, liberty migrants, and even included Robert Call and me, who are both candidates for city council in this year’s Keene municipal election.
Here’s a music video I made from footage of the original rallies in 2009, footage from the Concord rallies, and fresh footage and photos from last weekend’s 10th anniversary 420 rally:
In the past decade, we’ve seen some political progress in New Hampshire, including medical cannabis passing in 2012 and decriminalization of less than 3/4ths of an ounce of cannabis and 5 grams of concentrate passed in 2017. However, prohibition is not over and it continues to be a felony to grow or sell cannabis – an amazing plant that has helped countless people.
As long as prohibition exists, expect the 420 rallies and the civil disobedience to continue.