Keene Crackdown at Pumpkin Fest

420 rally at City Hall during Pumpkin fest

Six individuals were arrested by police this afternoon at Pumpkin Fest.  The daily 420 event was moved to the area directly in front of City Hall due to the massive pumpkin display at Central Square.  Rich Paul of Keene took to the megaphone in front a large crowd and at the proper time lit a pipe presumably containing marijuana, a plant.  Police quickly surrounded Mr. Paul and placed him under arrest.  Noah Wood and Evan Pierce were also seen lighting up and were arrested as well.

Three other individuals were also arrested at city hall, when asked about the charge officers indicated that they did not know why they were arresting the three.  A witness reportedly saw one of the individuals attempt to enter the city hall building prompting police to arrest him.  It is unknown at this time exactly what happened.  Ryan Maddox, Dan Steward and Yadra, all from the Keene area.

Latest update:  Rich Paul, Noah Wood and Dan Steward have been released; Ryan Maddox, Evan Pierce and Yadra are reported to be at the Cheshire County Correctional Facility.

October issue of the Free Keene Press

Click here for the .pdf with pictures

Keene, the Peaceful Civil-Disobedience Apex

James B Schlessinger Jr.
October 5th, 2009

Words on paper are not stopping activists and locals from living like free people in Keene, New Hampshire.  Whether it is marijuana consumption on the Commons or a young woman going topless on Main Street, Keene has become the place to challenge unjust, immoral, and simply foolish laws.  This has naturally rankled many state and local civil servants.  The Keene City Council voted against sending a resolution to the state house begging for marijuana decriminalization legislation–instead individuals on the council were encouraged to send a personal message.  The Keene Police Department has shown both professionalism in its dealings with the 420 events and violence though Police Prosecutor Sergeant Eliezer Rivera.

April 13, 2009, was the day that David Ridley, of Grafton, was to be arraigned for videotaping in the second-floor lobby of the Keene City Hall.  Sam Dodson was arrested on that date, while videotaping there; his charges changed several times over the following months.


Good times at 4:20 in Keene Commons

The announced cannabis smoking event went as planned with no intervention from the state.  As many as a hundred people showed up at Central Square in Keene to live as free men and women.  Many cameras and cigarettes were seen in hands of an upbeat crowd of people.  The smell of marijuana wafted in the air for a few moments here and there as I passed through the throng.

In between fits of laughter and cheering, people were heard pointing out the Keene Police cruisers circling the center.  Officers did not step upon the center but instead stayed on the street and were seen talking with activists and locals; no arrests were made or summons handed out.  Reporters were on hand from both the Union Leader and the Keene Sentinel as well as a video crew from the Obscured Truth Network.

This event is scheduled to take place everyday at 4:20pm.

Senator Shaheen not liking public response

By James B Schlessinger Jr

August 07, 2009

Public discussions about health care reform have soured amid protests.  Senator Jeanne Shaheen has had three such events affected by large numbers of individuals who voiced disapproval with the current legislation in Washington D.C.  Sen. Shaheen put out a press release yesterday calling the protests a “disgrace” and insisting that good people had their “rights trampled on.”  The Senator’s press release also states, “Protesters were present at office hours held today in Grafton and yesterday in Hampstead.”

“These are not town hall meetings but rather office hours that we host in Town Halls across the state in order to make our caseworkers available to New Hampshire citizens who need help,” said Shaheen.  After visiting Sen. Shaheen’s website most of the “office hours” are listed as “Town Hall” lending the impression that they are meetings to be held in a public place.

This was not the case in Keene today as Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s constituents gathered on the second floor of the City Hall for a chance to speak with Keene City Councilor Pamela Slack, Ward 2, who was there on behalf of the Senator.  The individuals were taken in for one on one conversations with Councilor Slack who would not allow any cameras into the room.


Patrick Shields found guilty, fine suspended on good behavior

At Keene District court today Patrick Shields, a resident of Keene, was put on trial by the State for charges stemming from the April 13th Court Lobby incident.  At the start of the trial Patrick was informed that the Disorderly Conduct charge was being dropped leaving only the Resisting Arrest charge on the docket.

The trial was very similar to the two held on Monday, July 27 where David Krouse and Nick Ryder faced charges of Disorderly Conduct from the same incident. Police Prosecutor Eli Rivera provided the State’s Testimony, repeating the same statements heard Monday.  Mr. Shields’ argument focused on the fact that Officer Rivera, the arresting officer per the summons, had no physical contact with Mr. Shields and because of this there was nothing to resist as far as a physical arrest.

Patrick also testified that his thought process at the time, given the situation, provided him with one moral option.  He chose to attain a purely passive state and not interact with the Officers.

Judge Edward Burke first congratulated Mr. Shields on his preparation for the trial and then found him guilty.  The punishment handed down was a $1000 fine – suspended.  Should Patrick be convicted of a Class B or greater misdemeanor or a felony within the next year he will have to pay the fine or serve roughly 20 days in jail.

August issue of the Free Keene Press

The Current issue of the Free Keene Press

In this issue:

Hope for the Chapel

A local chapel asks for help and the community responds loudly.

Keene Court Drama

3 local activists have trials at the Keene District Court.

Blog Brief

Announcing the Keene Police Scanner Feed!
Celebrating One Year of Continuous, Successful FIJA Outreach


Coming changes to the Keene Free Press include expanding the number of pages and coverage.  I am looking at opening up the paper to local reporters and photographers.  My idea at the beginning was to establish a more “open source” media resource allowing individuals in the liberty community and community-at-large a voice.  So send me an email at press@ freekeene. com .  I am also looking for people who would be willing to take assignments.