FSP News - February 2011
FSP News - February 2011
Hats off to Pete Eyre, Ademo Freeman, and New Hampshire ActivistsBy Stephanie Murphy
Pete was in court on an unusually cold morning in Keene, NH to support his friends — two other activists were facing some spurious “trespassing” charges which stemmed from walking around the Cheshire County Jail with signs to support yet another unjustly jailed activist. Pete was sitting quietly in the courtroom before the judge had even entered. A bailiff approached Pete and told him to remove the hat he was wearing. Pete began to ask questions, but he didn’t have time to say much before three men tackled and handcuffed him. Pete did not resist, but was subjected to some very heavy handed treatment nonetheless — all for sitting quietly and peacefully in court while wearing a hat.
Pete was jailed for four days when he initially did not identify himself after the arrest. Here’s a video of what happened.
This news release has more details, but it sums up the situation pretty well: “When a gesture of respect becomes mandatory, it becomes an act of submission.”
Unfortunately, Pete’s business partner Ademo Freeman (Adam Mueller) was jailed for 60 days for speaking out in court during Pete’s arraignment. Ademo is currently still in jail in Keene, NH. You can write to him via Mail To Jail, or visit Copblock.org/freeAdemo to get involved in helping him out.
The response to these two men’s arrests from the liberty community has been incredibly supportive. Multiple activists obtained video of both Pete’s arrest and Ademo’s arrests. The videos were posted online immediately. FreePete.org was launched almost instantly after Pete’s arrest, FSP friendly attorneys quickly stepped up to help on the legal front, and activists waged a PR campaign in support of the two men (including an AP press release and a ). So many people called the Cheshire County Jail and courthouse on the day of Pete’s arrest that their phone lines were shut down!
If you’re excited by the response of New Hampshire liberty activists to these unjust arrests, you may want to consider moving up your plans to get to New Hampshire! If you’re inspired to stand up to tyrannical judges, come to New Hampshire, STAT! If you can’t move right away, how about a visit to the 2011 Porcupine Freedom Festival? But here’s a fair warning: you’ll be so impressed by the community here that you won’t want to leave!
On the Doffing of HatsBy Mike Ruff
I know that folks have come to believe that the removal of hats in a courtroom is merely a gesture of respect. And chances are, that's all most folks mean when they do it. This is, however, not the origin of the practice, nor is it the reason it is practiced and enforced in courts today.
The origin is as an act of submission. The act of removing one's hat is an attempt to make oneself seem smaller than the person to whom one is rendering the gesture. There are a number of other gestures based on the same intent, for example, bowing. The military salute is derived from the act of touching the cap, which was itself derived from the act of tipping the cap, which was derived from removal of the hat to demonstrate submission.
These gestures of submission were often seen in societies in which there were strong and well-defined class divisions. Although the more dramatic of these gestures has largely disappeared from these societies, an astute observer can still see the signs of these divisions today – in the tone of voice, forms of address, and more subtle body language.
Despite America having been (supposedly) established as a "classless" society, and despite the US Constitution forbidding titles of nobility (Article 1, section 9), the government has, especially in court, granted the form without the name. Judges require that, in addition to the powers granted them by the government, the general populace must grant them the gestures of submission formerly rendered to Feudal Lords; i.e. standing when they enter the room, removal of hats, addressing them as "Your Honor," etc. They wear robes which owe their origin to the robes worn by Feudal Lords, and sit in a raised position and have barriers to prevent the "regular folks" from approaching beyond the accepted distance. And, should a member of the general populace refuse to grant them these gestures of submission, the judge will order his enforcers to clap the individual in irons and imprison them for "Contempt of Court" (the latter day term for "lese majeste").
Does anyone really believe that this farce is necessary to maintain order and decorum in a courtroom? Does anyone really believe that this sort of thing furthers the causes of Truth and Justice? Does anyone truly believe that this sort of thing is proper in a society that is supposed to be based on Equality Before the Law?
Personally, I have always found people who demand these gestures of submission, and depend on them to prop up their authority, to be sad little people who do little to deserve respect, let alone submission. Salutes in the military are generally reserved for officers who are "REMFs" (Rear-Echelon Mother...). Real officers, those who've led men in combat, know that a salute is really a "sniper check" – that is, it lets a distant sniper know who the officer is, which makes it more likely he'll be killed. REAL officers earn the respect of their men, and gain not submission, but recognition of authority and skill.
I've been a mediator for over 8 years. I have engaged in the resolution of more disputes than I can remember. And never have I had to resort to any such cheap tricks or tactics to shore up my authority or keep order. In fact, such tricks would prove counter-productive to the process, and would serve only to undermine my position. And I would put my record up against that of any judge, to compare the level of satisfaction, truth, and justice achieved by our actions.
Now, I've been in court a number of times over the years. I have rendered the same respect I do anyone. And I know that to many, the removal of a hat in court seems like a petty issue to start a fight over. Many folks will say: "Hey, it's just a hat! Just take the damned thing off and get through the proceedings as easily as possible!"
But it's not just a hat. It's a principle. Or rather, it is the visible sign of a principle: On the one hand, the individual says "I am an individual, free and equal before the law." On the other, the judge says (by his actions): "You are below me, and will submit to me. Submission is more important than the Law, Truth, or Justice. There is no Equality – you are subservient to me, and you will demonstrate to all that you know your place, or you will be forced into captivity until such time as you submit or until I demonstrate my ‘mercy’ and allow you your freedom."
I know it seems like a silly hill to choose upon which to die, but this has become a religious belief to me. I am the moral equal of any man, and I will not submit arbitrarily to anyone. And no government has the authority to change that. They may well have the ability to enforce their will on me – through the use of superior numbers and armed force; but never will they have the moral authority to do so.Mike Ruff and Stephanie Murphy are both FSP First 1000 early movers. Ruff is an agorist and professional mediator and moved to New Hampshire in 2006. Murphy is an author, liberty activist, and medical student who moved to New Hampshire in 2006.
Lights of Liberty
Attention liberty advocates! Just one week remains to nominate people (including yourself) for The Advocates' annual Lights of Liberty Award! You qualify if in 2010 you did ANY COMBINATION of three of these activities:
- Had a letter mentioning the word "libertarian" printed in a newspaper or magazine
- Participated for two hours or more in one day at an Operation Politically Homeless (OPH) booth
- Delivered a speech using the word "libertarian" to a non-libertarian audience
Hey libertarian Drupal/PHP developers! The FSP is the last best hope for liberty in our lifetime, but is the FSP web site not living up to its full potential? Do you have an itch to scratch? The FSP needs drupalistas. Help make the FSP web site the buzzing hub of a virtual movement. If you are familiar with the CMS Drupal, join the FSP IT team. Contact Edi at: firstname.lastname@example.org
New FSP News feature
This month’s FSP News introduces two new sections. The Website of the Month is a website or blog about liberty activism in NH, NH in general or a website that at least has an unpaid FSP ad on it. The Facebook Page of the Month is a Facebook page or group that is about liberty activism in NH or NH in general. If you would like to suggest a Website of the Month or a Facebook Page of the Month, please post your suggestion to the relate thread on the FSP Forum. As with everything in the FSP News, the sites selected for either monthly section are not necessarily endorsed or even supported by either the FSP or FSP participants.
Website of the Month: Free Keene
Free Keene is a compressive blog that includes a forum, calendar of events, 101 Reasons to Move to Keene, audio files and much more. If you have ever thought about visiting Keene, this is the blog for you.
Facebook Page of the Month: Free State Project
What better way to start off this feature than with the FSP facebook page? The page is active with all type of information you are missing out on if you haven’t liked it on FB yet. So go ahead and log onto FB right now, if you aren’t already logged in, and like the FSP.
Why are we so drawn to "the new"? Take me, for example, a new product shows up in the FSP Store and I go bonkers. Look! FSP Logo Cling Decals, they're awesome! Check out the way they stick, totally cool! Besides the fact that they are totally awesome and cool, should I care more about them because they're new? Am I some human magpie, only attracted to the newest coruscating baubles? Why do I get excited about something that's "New and Improved", especially when it can't be one if it's another? What of our old friends, like that wristwatch that belonged to our grandfather or our favorite pair of tattered sneakers or other item of clothing? There is a grain of truth in the 'guy joke' that says we like to hang on to them as long as there are at least two underwear molecules holding them together. So let's try not to be so distracted by the au courant. Sure, the flashy, shimmering copper rounds and new stock of FSP Logo Cling Decals are great, but what about the trusted standards? How many of us have worn out, bent and twisted Pocket Constitutions? Maybe we should honor that venerable document and replace the tear-stained copy that's been wrung in our hands for years. For those that think even the Constitution isn't the way to go, how about a "Live Free or Spaz sticker? Even the magnets hold a host of ideas. The outdated "What Color..." can still spark a lively conversation when noticed on the company refrigerator. And the "Don't Tread on Me" is a classic known the world over. So take a look at the old and the new at the Free State Project Store, whether you buy to help support the cause financially or buy to advertise and spread the news of Freedom in Our Lifetime to the oppressed, regulated, and looted whether next door or around the globe, I'm sure you'll find something worthwhile.
The Free State Project is an effort to recruit 20,000 liberty-loving people to move to New Hampshire. We are looking for neighborly, productive, tolerant folks from all walks of life, of all ages, creeds, and colors who agree to the political philosophy expressed in our Statement of Intent, that government exists at most to protect people's rights, and should neither provide for people nor punish them for activities that interfere with no one else. freestateproject.org
In New Hampshire
Free State Blogs
What's happening in New Hampshire with the Free State Project? Free State Blogs attempts to answer that question.
Check the NH Calendars
The NH Underground Calendar lists liberty-oriented New Hampshire events. The NH Liberty Calendar also tracks NH events. Check the calendars before a visit or a move - you are welcome to attend NH events!
FSP News Thanks & Statistics
FSP Participants - here are some quick links:
- If you've moved to NH or otherwise changed your info, please update your contact info or send a message to Moved@FreeStateProject.org to let us know.
- Check out NH housing and other community & logistical information at NH Info
Are you ready to join the FSP, move to New Hampshire and work with us towards Liberty in Our Lifetime? Join here!
The Free State Project (FSP) is an effort to recruit 20,000 pro-liberty activists to move to New Hampshire, where they will exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of life, liberty and property. The work of creating and sustaining such a society in New Hampshire is the job of residents, including project participants, not the Free State Project itself.
The FSP does not endorse any specific changes to government or strategies to achieve them. The FSP does not take positions on issues, candidates, legislation, places to move within New Hampshire, tactics or methods of action. The one stipulation the FSP does make is that people who promote violence, racial hatred, or bigotry are not welcome.
Reporting by the FSP on participant activity or NH events on the website, in the newsletter, or in any other place does not represent support or endorsement and may not portray the diversity of opinions and activities that exists among participants.