BEARCAT Testimony Isn't All Warm and Fuzzy
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. TESTIMONY: 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! We are here today in great numbers to raise our voices to protest the manufactured, false, misleading, fraudulent AND SECRET claims made by Thomas Aspell, the city manager, and John Duval, the chief of police in the federal grant application for Concord’s Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack vehicle. As president of the Free State Project, I have publicly called for a retraction and amendment of the Department of Homeland Security grant. I also asked for a list of “daily challenges” presented by Free Staters. Lastly, I requested a public letter of apology for the defamation of 14,600+ Free State Project participants. None of these requests have been met, although Chief Duval has since backpedaled in public statements, saying we do not present a “domestic terrorist threat.” Guess there’s nothing like getting caught in a lie, right? I gave the City ample opportunity to do the right thing. They chose to do nothing. Which means I will file a complaint--in addition to those that have already been filed by individual participants--with the DHS’s Office of the Inspector General for fraud and political profiling, and hereby publicly call for the firing of the people involved. When ordinary people make misleading statements on government forms, there are severe consequences, including the possibility of imprisonment. State officials should be held to an even higher standard. Equally alarming is the fact that the chief of police of the state’s capital admitted on NHPR that he needs an attack vehicle to quell free speech at the State House. You don’t have to agree with our pro-freedom, pro-peace, pro-personal responsibility and limited government ideas to see the irony of what is unfolding here today. The role of the government, YOU, is to protect the people you allegedly serve: US. That the government--YOU--want to bring an attack vehicle to the debate is not only a gross abuse of power, it is unconstitutional, and immoral. You have a binding duty to be open, accessible, accountable and responsive to the people you “serve.” You have been none of these things. You have a choice right now. YOU, as an INDIVIDUAL, can do the right thing for the greater community of New Hampshire, and vote to NOT accept this attack vehicle into one of the safest and most peaceful communities in the country. I hope you will serve us well.