– an on-going series of interviews with our Liaison Leaders.
While the FSP is looking for activists who support liberty for all, we can find libertarians in many different communities of ignterest, each with its own priorities and reasons for valuing freedom. It makes sense for some members of these communities to interface with their own, since they are more likely to empathize and speak the same language, figuratively speaking. This has been going on informally since the FSP's inception, but we are formalizing it a little.
Below is a list of interest groups and people assigned as liaisons. The list is not exhaustive, and the people are not exclusive. We ask that the liaisons make efforts to reach out to their communities, and we ask that anyone else doing so keep the liaisons informed, so as to coordinate activities.
Feel free to suggest additional interest groups, especially if you are willing to volunteer as a liaison yourself, if you believe that connecting with them will help further the FSP mission. Please send any feedback to the Coordinator: Wade Bartlett.
Also, you can visit the Interest Group Liaisons discussion board in the FSP Forum.
For Immediate Release
February 13, 2009
New Hampshire Once Again Shows the Way to Freedom
CONCORD -- As it has done in the past, New Hampshire is once again leading a pack of states in taking a stand against intrusive government.
For Immediate Release
January 4, 2008
PORCUPINES TALK DRUGS, ACTIVISM, IMMIGRATION AND REAL MONEY
Nashua, NH - The first day of presentations for the 2008
Liberty Forum covered the broad themes of the War on Drugs, citizen
activism, school choice, immigration and real money. "All these topics are
important for moving liberty forward, which is the overall theme of the
forum", said Forum organizer Chris Lawless.
Over the afternoon, attendees had the choice of presentations, covering
drugs, activism and immigration. The session on the War on Drugs was led
by Peter Christ, former undercover narcotics officer, who highlighted the
origins in the government policy and what it has done to policing in
America. In short, it has made everything worse.
Those interested in citizen activism at the federal level could hear Bob
Schulz of We The People, which currently has a writ in front of the U.S.
Supreme Court being heard today to hear a case to validate the right to
petition for redress of grievances against the government; the Court will
issue its decision on Monday morning. The writ was filed after all prior
petitions concerning the income tax, the Iraq war, the Patriot Act and the
Federal Reserve were ignored by the federal government.
For more local activism, Don Gorman, former state legislator and political
director of the NH Liberty Alliance, gave a stirring appeal for people to
move here and how they can become effective activists right away. Carla
Howell of the Center for Small Government, discussed the ballot initiative
in Massachusetts to eliminate the state income tax and what effect that
could have on the rest of the country.
The panel on Education Choice covered homeschooling, private schools and
public school choice. Gardner Goldsmith discussed the history of
immigration laws and the repeated arguments of the 1800's being used
today against foreign workers. He outlined his federalist position to let
the states handle immigration rather than the federal government, since it
has no constitutional authority to do so.
Rounding out the day was a session on the NH real estate and job market,
which is a primary interest to the many would-be movers. Artist Peter
Bagge of Reason Magazine related many funny stories of his journalistic
A full exhibitors' hall featured many local citizens groups, a job
placement agency, political parties, presidential campaigns and even
The keynote dinner featured Bernard von NotHaus, founder of the Liberty
Dollar. He spoke about sound money, and how "we cannot gave good
government without good money". He pointed out that the last time the
global economy collapsed was the fall of Rome, which resulted in 1000
years of no liberty and no money, and how we are headed for a similar
disaster if we do not take control of our money. "We are Americans. It is
our duty to fix it" he said, stirring the crowd to applause.
NotHaus also announced that the Liberty Dollar is still in business with a
new 2008 minting featuring an MSRP and a private barter currency marker.
He said a $1 silver liberty from 1999 recently sold for $700 on eBay,
showing the huge demand for an appreciating currency in contrast to the
depreciating federal reserve note.
The Liberty Forum continues until Sunday at the Crowne Plaza in Nashua.
Full details are at http://www.freestateproject.org/libertyforum
Free State Project in New Orleans:
The 2007 International Drug Policy Reform Conference
by Matt Simon
Nearly 1,200 individuals converged on the French Quarter of New Orleans for the International Drug Policy Reform Conference, Dec. 5-8. The event, sponsored by the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) and 5 co-host organizations (the ACLU, the Harm Reduction Coalition, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), and Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), was a tremendously positive experience for drug policy reformers. Phillip Allen and I operated a booth on behalf of the Free State Project and the New Hampshire Coalition for Common Sense Marijuana Policy (NH Common Sense).
One of the worst parts of being a drug policy activist is meeting people who say, for example, "marijuana should be legal, but it will never happen... never happen... never happen." To those of us who know that it will happen, sooner or later, depending on how effectively we work towards that end, encountering this defeatist attitude from like-minded individuals is nothing short of demoralizing. This conference was the perfect antidote to that, the equivalent of a tent revival for prohibition policy activists.
One highlight of the conference was an appearance by Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Yes, this guy is the UN's "Drug Czar," and he surprised a lot of people by accepting DPA Executive Director Ethan Nadelmann's invitation to speak at the conference. Although Costa opposes most significant reforms, he approached the event with a sense of humor and a willingness to engage opponents of global Drug Prohibition. "This level of discourse with a representative of a global policy-setting agency was affirmation that drug policy reform has truly become a mature movement," Nadelmann wrote.
Costa humorously asked: "Is there some common ground between those who insist on a world free of drugs, and those who propose a world of free drugs? By the time this session is over, I hope we will all be able to answer in the affirmative." Of course, the reaction to Costa's remarks was mixed at best, but the experience was unforgettable. (Here's a transcript.)
Not only did Phillip and I learn a lot from individuals across the world and across the drug policy reform spectrum, we also got to tell a lot of people about the wonderful things we are doing in New Hampshire. We distributed over 900 copies of the "Anti-Prohibitionist Candidate Report Card" produced by NH Common Sense for its SendTheRightMessage.com campaign, which has capitalized on PR/educational opportunities presented by New Hampshire's "First in the Nation" primary. These report cards were very well-received, and they were a great way for us to start conversations about New Hampshire politics. We also promoted the New Hampshire Liberty Forum (where Nadelmann and LEAP's Peter Christ will be speaking), and we handed out lots of FSP schwag: bookmarks, stickers, brochures, etc.
When I moved to New Hampshire almost two years ago, there was next to nothing going on with drug policy reform in the state. NH Common Sense was founded to fill that void last January, and thanks to this conference, we were able to generate a lot of enthusiasm for the future of drug policy reform in New Hampshire. We met at least two individuals who are already signed FSP participants, and they were happy to see and hear about what's already going on in the "Live Free or Die" state. We also met a lot of people, especially young people, who unfortunately have been conditioned to oppose economic freedom, but we managed to have some very productive (and hopefully instructive) exchanges with those individuals as well!
And like they say in all the old church newsletters, "A good time was had by all." It was, after all, the French Quarter. Many thanks to the Free State Project for helping make this trip possible.
Creating and Enjoying Drug Freedom in the Free State
Activist of the Month Septemeber, 2004
Please join me in congratulating Dan McGuire, Jacqueline Passey, Eric
Hartford, Bob Lowe, Emily Sandblade, and Ethan Pooley. These fine
activists have been named September Activist of the Month for their outreach
efforts at the Seattle Hempfest. Their endeavor informed many hundreds of
liberty lovers about the Free State Project. Thank you all for your initiative
and hard work. You are stellar examples for the rest of us.
Following is Dan McGuire's Hempfest account:
It was a lot of work, but we handed out close to 1000 flyers at the Seattle
Hempfest last weekend. Many thanks to those porcupines who came to help: Eric
Hartford, Bob Lowe, Jacqueline Passey and Emily Sandblade. A number of LP
members were also there handing out our literature (and theirs), notably Don,
Ruth and Scott. Finally, very special thanks to Ethan Pooley who put some late
nights working on our signs and banner. The banner, with its bright orange
background of fall leaves, really stood out and got us noticed.
This was an interesting experience for me, as I had never worked a crowd
like that before. Especially for live-and-let-live types like us, it feels
awkward to make that first step and impose on someone who didn't seek contact.
However, politics is something that can't be done in a vacuum. We need other
people, not just for our membership, but to believe in the principles of
liberty and to vote and act accordingly.
Hempfest provided an opportunity to meet a LOT of people. There were many
times when the flow in front of our booth was so heavy that by the time I had
handed out a flyer and separated the next one from the top of the stack, ten
people had gone by. We learned how to get flyers into people's hands. You
need eye contact, a smile and to extend the flyer towards them at right moment.
Scott and Eric had success using a leading statement, like "Are you in favor of
legalization?", but I just liked a simple, "How are you?"
It's nice having a variety of literature to hand out. Besides our own
tri-fold and two-sided full page drug legalization flyer, we also had some
business cards, stickers (popular with high schoolers), the smallest political
quiz, a clever bright green marijuana-related handout that Jacqueline made and
a variety of other LP literature. Bright colors are good and small sizes are
good. They cost less to produce and people are more likely to accept them.
There were a few special moments. Like the time someone refused to take a
flyer, then four steps later turned around and said, "Oh are you libertarians?
I'll take one."
Activist of the Month