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By Carla Gericke*
The mission? Protect the peaceful people of New Hampshire from the Thin Blue Revenue Seeking Line. How? More than 30 liberty loving locals, Free Staters and others alike, spent Friday night, July 25, 2014, warning motorists in Manchester of a suspicionless "sobriety" checkpoint. New Hampshire boasts many quaint laws, including one that requires police departments to announce the date, time and place of DUI checkpoints.
Around 10 p.m. on this balmy summer evening, activists started lining up along Elm Street, the main thoroughfare from downtown. From our vantage point, the single-direction suspicionless checkpoint was tucked behind an incline, hidden from view to approaching motorists. A coincidence? As someone who has only been fined for speeding on a downhill, I think not.
August 2, 2014
Venue: Aaron Day’s house
Meeting called to order at 9:30am
Present: Aaron, Carla, Sharon, Varrin, Seamas, Jody
Varrin chaired in Rich’s absence.
1. Board structure / Fundraising
2. Board / strategic
4. 2014 Budget
5. Spending policy
6. Event proposal
PORTSMOUTH - On July 25th, Mike Vine, co-organizer of the Free State Project's PorcFest X, announced on Facebook that the Freecoast is getting its first liberty space this fall, expected to open Sept 1. I spoke with Vine about the new venue, dubbed the Praxeum.
SLN: Who's behind this venture?
Vine: A few partners, all in the Freecoast liberty community, put up the financing to get it rolling. We have a lot of space and hope to make it financially sustainable long term. For now, the partners view it as a combination space for us to do our projects and as a way to give back to the liberty community.
SLN: What's your vision for the venue?
Vine: My vision is to have a flexible use space for liberty-oriented people. It can serve as a co-working space for freelancers. It can be a classroom... a space for private events... a hangout for the local liberty community.
Bitcoin, the increasingly popular peer-to-peer, stateless cryptocurrency, has been embraced by New Hampshire political candidates. In May, the Federal Election Commission made Bitcoin a legal form of currency for campaign contributions. Since then, New Hampshire liberty candidates have wasted no time adopting its use in their fundraising.
According to a recent article on SYS-CON, about a dozen New Hampshire state senate candidates have begun to use PayStand to accept online campaign contributions. PayStand is a next generation online payment solution which accepts Bitcoin as well as traditional forms of payment. Among the New Hampshire senate candidates accepting Bitcoin are Eileen Landies, Chair of the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance, who is currently running for NH Senate District 20.
In 1787, when asked about his opinion of the Philadelphia constitutional proceedings happening in secret, Patrick Henry famously replied, “I smell a rat!” Henry opposed the proposed Constitution because he feared it would centralize power in a strong national government. This put Henry at odds with the Federalists, who viewed the existing Articles of Confederation as an insufficient yoke to bind the several states into “a more perfect union.” But Henry was not alone in his opposition. Many throughout the newly independent states shared his fears. Collectively, they came to be known as Antifederalists, and New Hampshire had a strong contingent.
"New Hampshire is a natural stamping-ground for freedom-lovers. It has low taxes, lean bureaucracy and some of the loosest gun laws in America. Grown-ups can ride around without seat-belts or motorcycle helmets. The right to rebel when public liberty is 'manifestly endangered' is enshrined in the state constitution." Read more at The Economist... Photo credit: Vanessa Vine
FSP Board Meeting PorcFest 6/26/14 Meeting started at 10:10am
Attending: Carla, Seamas, Aaron, Sharon, Varrin, Rich (on phone), Jason Sorens (invited)
Agenda: 1. President’s report 2. Sponsor relations 3. BoD/Sharon’s proposal 4. State of PorcFest
President’s report In addition to her regular reports of what’s been done, Carla will also include gaps and things that were expected to be done but are not yet completed or need more resources. There was a request to have more structure in this report, including who is in charge of different tasks.
Sponsor relations 1. In addition to general event sponsors, a Mission Partner ("MP") category has been created to recognize long-term supporters. Mission Partners will have explicit sponsorship agreements so that terms do not have to be renegotiated for each event as is currently the case. 2. There will be levels with associated perks, going from $10,000 and down. It will be on the web site. 3. Jason Osborne proposed a plan to Carla for a FTL MP contract. Séamas will discuss the contract progress with Mark Edgington.
LANCASTER – Today is day five of PorcFest, the Free State Project‘s premier annual event designed to showcase the liberty community in New Hampshire. This year’s event is the largest yet, featuring four tents plus the pavilion at Roger’s Campground holding a nonstop array of lectures, panel discussions, hands-on workshops, live music and after-hours parties.
Here’s just a small sampling of the over 100 scheduled events (these are ones I’ve attended myself!)...
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.
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/
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."
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...
FSP Board Meeting 4/28/14 Phone meeting Attending: Carla, Rich, Varrin, Jody, Seamas, Sharon, Aaron
- President's Report
- Events: PorcFest update; LF14 Wrap up
- Policies & Procedures
- 2014 Budget
- 501c3 Status
President’s report, sent by email prior to the meeting: PorcFest: Current sales: 604 adult, 106 kids, 55 Agora Valley sites filled, less than 20 AV sites left. Bimonthly newsletter “PorcFest Prickler” will begin this week, edited by Sandy Pierre.
Theme: DIY with focus less on “speakers,” and more on DIY/ community building.
Program: Patrick Byrne from Overstock.com is Saturday night keynote. In discussion with others for Friday night keynote. Lots of good class submissions. Great children’s events lined up, being spearheaded by Melanie & Richard Gibson, with a $1,000 donation from an attendee. Cook-off is very popular, so added Brunchfest--need more people to cook & buy tickets. Daily gun safety classes to be taught by Tony Lekas, SAS, and Shaolin Rifleworks. Private security to be provided by Church of the Sword.