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Individual sovereignty is a concept that formed the bedrock of Common Law traditions extending back to the Magna Carta. Its essence is self-ownership, and its antithesis is subservience and slavery. The idea is axiomatic. Some have even called it self-evident. There are few expressions, however, that encapsulate the sentiment's thrust better than the well-worn saying “a man's home is his castle.” And perhaps it was the latter that spurred a handful of New Hampsirites to erect homes that have taken the castle concept from the cognitive realm to the weighty domain of stone masonry.
Copied below is the speech Free State Project president, Carla Gericke, gave before a packed room at the Concord City Council meeting on August 12. 2013. More than 200 individuals showed up to testify against Concord receiving a BEARCAT attack vehicle. Due to the large number of people who wanted to speak, speeches were limited to one minute, but several people yielded their time to allow Carla to finish her testimony, which ended up running about 6 minutes to the Chief of Police, John Duval's thirty. She added some off-the-cuff comments in rebuttal to Duval's testimony that do not appear in the script below. The Council, in a 8-4 vote, decided to table the matter until September. Stay tuned for more details.
We, the people, are not the enemy. Free Staters--productive people moving to New Hampshire because of the shared values with our neighbors of small government and more personal responsibility--are not terrorists. We do not pose “daily challenges” to the City of Concord--in fact, I volunteer for Concord Reads at the Concord public library!
"’The Free State movement and Occupy New Hampshire have no history of violence, so it's very unclear why any police department would need to use an armored vehicle when addressing these groups," says Devon Chaffee, executive director of the NHCLU. ‘But we all agree that we want the police and we want our communities to be safe, and what this conversation is about is really what type of equipment and tactics are most appropriate to achieve that goal.
Dear Mayor Bouley,
As a concerned resident of New Hampshire, I am writing today about assertions I’ve heard that only Concord residents will have the right to speak at the City Council’s BEARCAT hearing on Monday, August 12, 2013.
In a Concord Monitor article, you said: “I clearly appreciate everyone’s input, but I always will put the interest of the Concord residents first, and I have not heard from many Concord residents.”
There are several reasons why more than just Concord residents should be heard, and should have standing to testify on whether it is a good idea to get another Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack vehicle in one of the safest communities in America.
In a grant application for $258,024 in federal funds from the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) to receive a Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack vehicle ("BEARCAT"), the City of Concord and its police department claimed: "The State of New Hampshire’s experience with terrorism slants primarily towards the domestic type. We are fortunate that our State has not been victimized from a mass casualty event from an international terrorism strike however on the domestic front, the threat is real and here. Groups such as the Sovereign Citizens, Free Staters and Occupy New Hampshire are active and present daily challenges. Outside of officially organized groups, several homegrown clusters that are anti-government and pose problems for law enforcement agencies."
The police chief in Concord, N.H., is backing away from claims that Occupiers and libertarians pose a domestic terror threat as justification for the city needing an armored vehicle to protect citizens. In an application to the Department of Homeland Security seeking more than $250,000 to purchase an armored vehicle, the city specified Occupy New Hampshire and the Free State Project, a libertarian group, as potential threats, Mother Jones, a left-wing magazine, first reported. Read more
The Free State Project needs YOUR help!
The City of Concord and its police department has defamed the FSP in an DHS grant application for a $258,024 Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack vehicle: “The State of New Hampshire’s experience with terrorism slants primarily towards the domestic type. . . . the threat is real and here. Groups such as the . . . Free Staters . . . are active and present daily challenges.”
On August 2, 2013, Concord Chief of Police John Duval wrote an email response to the Free State Project President, Carla Gericke's Open Letter sent to him and city officials Tom Aspell and Brian LeBrun via email (and hard copy).
I respectfully refer you to the article in today’s Concord Monitor about our request for the rescue vehicle. I believe my comments in the paper clarify the intent of the wording of the grant.
When Mother Jones, Occupy, the ACLU, and the Free State Project are all equally concerned about the militarization of the police and the secret designation of peaceful groups as "domestic terrorists," you know we are winning.
"After the public release of a document where he suggested that Occupiers and libertarians pose a domestic terror threat to Concord, New Hampshire, the city's police chief has backed away from the claim. In an application to the Department of Homeland Security seeking more than $250,000 to purchase an armored police vehicle, the capital city of New Hampshire specified the local branch of the Occupy movement and the Free State Project, an effort to recruit 'liberty-loving people' to relocate to the Granite State, as potential sources of terrorist action." Read more at Mother Jones.
Photo by: Mr. T in DC.
Free State Project President demands apology for claims that group is associated with domestic terrorist threats. City Manager Thomas Aspell named three organizations in his application for federal funding for a $258,024 Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack (BEARCAT) vehicle: Occupy New Hampshire, the Free State Project and “Sovereign Citizens”, saying the groups present “active and daily challenges.” Read the full Press Release
The Concord NH Police Department has made false and misleading statements in the above cited grant application for $258,024 in federal funds from the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) to receive a Lenco Bearcat armored vehicle, hereinafter the “Tank.”
The DHS grant application states: “The State of New Hampshire’s experience with terrorism slants primarily towards the domestic type. We are fortunate that our State has not been victimized from a mass casualty event from an international terrorism strike however on the domestic front, the threat is real and here. Groups such as the Sovereign Citizens, Free Staters and Occupy New Hampshire are active and present daily challenges. Outside of officially organized groups, several homegrown clusters that are anti-government and pose problems for law enforcement agencies.”
On Friday, July 26, 2013, Ben Swann launched his Truth In Media campaign, choosing New Hampshire as his first stop. FSP President, Carla Gericke, was invited to speak. Copied below is her speech.
"WAR IS PEACE," "FREEDOM IS SLAVERY," "IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH."
Most of you will recognize these slogans from George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. You have also probably heard the joke that 1984 was not supposed to be an instruction manual, but with its dystopian themes of perpetual war, nationalism, surveillance, and censorship being implemented day by day, play by play in our own backyards, you have to wonder whether the government got the memo.
Online sensation Amanda BillyRock signs the Statement of Intent, showcasing the new, easy-to-use Free State Project website. Amanda will be joining thousands of other liberty lovers in New Hampshire soon. What are YOU waiting for? Join us for your best chance at Liberty in Our Lifetime.
"Look for a new wave of mini brewpubs to open in New Hampshire soon! On July 24, 2013, Governor Hassan signed HB 253 into law. The bill removes the 4 ounce restriction on over the counter sales by nanobreweries, provided that the brewery also prepares and serves meals." For more on the bill...
A number of individual Free State Project Participants were involved in helping to get this bill written, passed, and signed into law. This is just one example of the many types of liberty activism that individuals choose to take part in after they move to New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project.
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.
New Hampshire finally joins the rest of New England in legalizing the use of marijuana for therapeutic purposes. Governor Maggie Hassan signed HB573, legalizing cannabis for therapeutic purposes on Tuesday, July 23, 2013. You can read more about it here.
If you are interested in the history of attempts made by activists over the past several years to legalize medical marijuana/push forward decriminalization, watch the documentary Libertopia, which is now available for free viewing on Youtube. From their website: "Libertopia is a time capsule of the Free State Project from 2008 - 2009. It follows three members of the Free State Project...
New Hampshire is different. While the geography of the state is fantastic - soaring mountains, countless rivers and lakes, expansive forests, and a picturesque coastline, the natural features aren’t the source of its uniqueness. The character of the people is what sets New Hampshire apart.
New Hampshirites are known for their fierce independence, encapsulated in the oft-quoted state motto: “Live Free or Die.” The motto isn’t a floating abstraction either. Article 10 of the state constitution’s Bill of Rights, described as the “Right of Revolution,” adds some legal teeth to it by declaring:
Welcome to the Free State Project’s new website! It has been a long time coming, and I hope you are impressed by what our small team accomplished. The mission of the FSP is to attract 20,000 participants to move to New Hampshire to pursue more Liberty in Our Lifetime. The website is geared towards showcasing all the advantages New Hampshire has to offer: its culture of rugged individualism and personal responsibility, low taxes, a safe environment, natural beauty and clean air, diverse seasons and geography, good neighbors--face it, there is a reason New Hampshire is consistently rated the “most livable” state.
Ultimately, signing up for the FSP and moving to New Hampshire means you are joining a community. A voluntary community of like-minded people, one you choose to associate with in a place that may well be the world’s “best kept secret.” They say you can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends. With the FSP, you can do even more than that, you can choose to make a principled commitment to freedom and liberty, with your family, and with your new friends.
Free State Project
June 21, 2013
Present: Varrin, Carla, Jody
Phone: Rich, Steve, Sharon