Carla Gericke's blog

Forbes: FSP is "Hotbed of Libertarian Activism in the Country"

Kashmir Hill of Forbes covers the Free State Project: "When I speak to [Cody] Wilson months later by phone, he compares the Free State Project in New Hampshire with Silicon Valley; both places have libertarian-leaning techies trying to make disruptive technologies popular. 'Silicon Valley is more capitalized and less about practical liberty than the Free State community, which has a better stake in the freedom at the heart of these technologies,' he says. 'It’s the hotbed of libertarian activism in the country.'” Read the whole article here.

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Weare Settles Lawsuit for $57,500

From the Union Leader: MANCHESTER — The town of Weare has agreed a $57,500 settlement in a lawsuit filed by a woman who said her First Amendment rights were violated when she was arrested for video recording police during a traffic stop.

Carla Gericke, president of New Hampshire’s Free State Project, was arrested in March 2010 and initially charged with illegal wire tapping. Although the charge was dropped, Gericke filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the town, police department and arresting officers, saying her arrest was retaliatory.

“I’m thrilled the case is settled,” Gericke said in an email Friday. “It was a long road, but the payoff is that we now have binding precedent affirming the First Amendment to record police traffic stops. I also am cautiously optimistic that the settlement will cause law enforcement to be more hesitant to arrest videographers exercising their rights. I think we’ve already seen positive change come out of this case in that regard.” Read more...

Photo credit: http://www.experiencedcriminallawyers.com/

Powerful Rebuke to Cops, Says Reason

Reason's senior editor, Jacob Sullum covers FSP President Carla Gericke's Appeals Court win. "Three years ago, in Glik v. Cunniffe, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit upheld a man's First Amendment right to record an arrest on Boston Common. Last week, in Gericke v. Weare, the court upheld a woman's First Amendment right to record a traffic stop in Weare, New Hampshire. The combination of these two decisions is a powerful rebuke to cops who continue to harass people with bogus wiretapping charges when they dare to capture images or sound of police encounters on their cellphones. Read more...

Russia Today also weighed in with an article titled "Americans have First Amendment right to film police, US appeals court rules."

FSP President Wins Case: Right to Film at Traffic Stops Established

From the Union Leader: Individuals have a right to film police during traffic stops, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday in a 2010 case filed by Free State Project President Carla Gericke against Weare police.

Even so, police may impose limits on the public's right to film when circumstances justify them, Judge Kermit V. Lipez ruled. Such situations include the need to maintain safety and control, particularly during traffic stops, which can be "especially fraught with danger to police officers."

"It was clearly established at the time of the stop that the First Amendment right to film police carrying out their duties in public, including a traffic stop, remains unfettered if no reasonable restriction is imposed or in place," Lipez wrote in his 21-page decision. The ruling upheld a Concord federal court decision that denied Weare police officers' claim that they were entitled to "qualified immunity'' in charging Gericke with illegal wiretapping during the March 24, 2010, traffic stop. Read more...

Aeon Magazine: A Libertarian Utopia

"This is the thing, ultimately, that seems to bring people to the Free State Project. They become libertarians because they hate taxes, or fear a police state, or distrust collusion between the state and corporate power. But they move to New Hampshire because they want, more than any of these things, to build something new together."

Read Livia Gershon's full take on the Free State Project at Aeon Magazine.

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