I thought it worth sharing some of Gaillard’s efforts as I think it’s good to laugh at the aggressors, as that leaves no room for peddled fear-tactics to find purchase.
That enables one to be more open to the idea that self-government is preferable to external government, and that it’s more realistic that a community free from violence will come not from the top-down provision of policing, which demands that a certain group of people have the “legal” right to initiate force, but from the bottom-up, when we each police ourselves and each other.
I certainly don’t believe a stranger operating on stolen money and claimed double standards can provide justice. For more on that angle check-out http://CopBlock.org/Library
Last night I had an interaction with Josh English and Mike Goodchild, Keene police department employees who acted in opposite of the mission they claim to uphold.
The mission of the Keene Police Department is to protect life and property and to maintain order within the City while assuring fair and respectful treatment of everyone.
Just after 10pm I spied some flashing blue lights on West Street in Keene. As I neared the scene – one Keene cruiser with the license plate G0244 and an Explorer stopped along the curb facing east – I opened Bambuser to start streaming live content, and, just in case, I made more accessible my handheld marine band radio – used to communicate with others in the area who may have their ears on.
I expected the road pirate activity to pass uneventfully. Yet the interaction had with English and Goodchild was less than satisfactory. From the former, I received threats. From the latter, I was treated as if I didn’t exist. It’s clear neither fit the “respectful” demeanor claimed in their mission.
Quick and dirty breakdown of exchange seen in video
0:00 I positioned myself at the front of the scene to be visible to all present and to be better positioned to create an objective record of the incident
0:44 woman visible
1:40 identification given
3:08 why I choose to film the police
4:00 second Keene police employee arrives at scene
4:39 contact attempted with second Keene police employee
4:54 second Keene police employee refuses to respond, even to share his name/badge
5:05 second Keene police employee identified as [Mike] Goodchild
5:30 Goodchiild asked thoughts about filming – remains mute
5:50 Goodchild asked if actions align with mission [in case you're curious, the tenants put-forth by Keene police include "professionalism, objectivity, loyalty, integrity, courtesy, enthusiasm"]
6:15 first Keene police employee returns to woman in Explorer
6:40 second individual on scene filming police [Garret Ean]
7:00 road pirate activity, initiated by the first Keene police employee, concludes
7:09 first Keene police employee asked “Can I get your name and badge number sir?”
7:18 first Keene police employee exits his vehicle and approaches while verbalizing “Step away from my car, you’re antagonizing my dog, that’s a criminal action”
8:11 first Keene police employee asked again for his name
8:15 first Keene police employee again exits vehicle and says “If you step in front of my car again I will arrest you”
8:30 first Keene police employee identified as [Josh] English
8:38 English and Goodchild drive away from scene
8:47 I remind English and Goodchild that “This isn’t what Keene is supposed to be about!”
9:00 recap of exchange had with Ean
Keene Police Department
400 Marlboro Street
Keene, NH 03431
Phone: (603) 357-9813
Josh English – Keene police employee who initiated the traffic stop, and who twice threatened to kidnap/cage
Mike Goodchild – Keene police employee who arrived at traffic stop later, and who remained non-conversational
This post hosts resources related to the topic of snitches.
The perverse incentives inherent in today’s policing causes unintended consequences. When no real victim exists, the claimed providers of “justice” hire others – informants – to target those engaged in actions said to be “illegal” though without victim.
Rats! Your guide to protecting yourself against snitches, informers, informants, agents provocateurs, narcs, finks, and similar vermin”
by Claire Wolfe
Rats! is a free e-book written that aims to share info on how you can safeguard yourself from folks who have ulterior motives (often because they subsist on a salary or payoff of stolen money).
Lesley Collier – Keene Police employee who levied ransom
Pete Eyre – Tahoe owner who allegedly victimized the “state of New Hampshire”
Ed Burke – man wearing black robe in legalland
Jim Cemorelis – Keene police employee and prosecutor
Jean Kilham – Keene police employee and prosecutor
On March 23rd, 2013, after hanging with some friends at the Keene Activist Center, I decided to roll out.
Unbeknownst to me, about 100′ feet away Lesley Collier, an employee of Keene police department, was at that time placing a ransom note on my Tahoe.
When I saw it, my initial thought was the adage: “answer fools with silence”
So, I didn’t read the ransom note. It remained untouched, under my windshield wiper, for a couple days as I drove around town.
But, after talking with some friends, I decided to address it, simply because I recognized it as a death threat.
I stopped by the headquarters of the Keene police outfit.
There I saw a box where many unthinkingly pay ransoms they receive from Collier and his colleagues, which only perpetuates and sets the stage for more such “legal” shakedowns.
I instead communicated that I was not going to fund their criminal outfit. I was told to appear in legalland on May 1st.
I’m now told to return on August 19th.
Do you believe this process is about justice? If not, then as best you can, stop granting it allegiance. Why not act according to your own conscience rather than to text on paper conflated as law.
Essentially what I’m doing is damage control. If I had ignored the ransom the amount demanded would increase. Next would be more frequent, and different methods of contact. Eventually, some active with the same criminal organization may claim to be “justified” as they attempt to kidnap and cage my person. If I resisted, they might initiate lethal force and claim “immunity”.
And for what? Collier’s ransom note said that I disobeyed an alleged ban on parking on public streets overnight during the winter. I certainly don’t grant authority to Collier and the rules he cites simply because its claimed. The removal of snow wasn’t an issue on the night in question. There was no victim despite Jean Kilham communicating otherwise in her response to my motion to dismiss.
The defendant alleged there was no victim.
The state objects.
As we each conclude that we shouldn’t apologize for actions that harmed no one, that we don’t owe a debt to make some fictitious entity whole, the sooner we live free of individuals claiming the right to initiate force.
We’ll see what happens. If the threat levied isn’t dropped I expect to sit half a day or a day in a cage. Hopefully it gets some folks to think. At least I know I’m being true to my conscience.
On March 4th we announced The Checkpoint Contest, which solicited content that best demystifies checkpoints and educates others about their rights should they encounter one themselves.
When the deadline passed on April 8th we had received nine entries, which were judged by Terry Bressi (on behalf of Checkpoint USA), Ian Freeman (on behalf of Liberty Radio Network) and myself (on behalf of Cop Block). We all agreed – Gavin Seim’s submission best addressed the contest criteria. For his efforts, Seim will be sent the Veho Muvi Gumball 3000 HD videocamera.
Al entries received are posted below, in order of the average rank earned by the judges.
Seven of the nine entries received involved a video submission. Those videos are included on the Checkpoint Contest 2013 playlist below, which begins with “The Checkpoint Contest in One Minute” video:
#1 with an average ranking of 1.00
Input from the judges:
Terry: My top choice
Ian: Epic family standing up for freedom! Who says you can’t take a risk with kids?! Dude jumps right in and takes control of the situation. Hilarious facial and verbal response from the first agent. He didn’t get personal against the guard like my previous choice for winner. Points off for being for border checkpoints. Still the best video. Props for advocating risk-taking at the end.
Pete: Excellent video. Framed the situation before reaching the checkpoint, made it clear through calm, confident conversation that he wasn’t going to unthinkingly comply, made it clear to viewers the importance to stand-up now against claimed right transgressions. Having the family along was a bonus.
I am traveling the US with my family on a three month road trip (http://bit.ly/Wu2Gq0). I value your freedom and mine and I’ve had enough of the tyranny – Maybe I’ll run for Congress next year. I’m not joking, I am fed up.
We must stand for freedom, else we WILL lose it. More about this stop on our blog as well as alternate video sources… http://bit.ly/122V8O5
The 4th amendment of the US Constitution protects us from stops like this. While the Supreme Court ignored the Constitution in regards to these checkpoints (see United States v. Martinez-Fuerte) that does not mean we have to comply and certainly does not mean they can detain us without cause.
Interestingly the courts acknowledged that this was an infringement on Constitutional freedom, but decided that the benefits outweighed the infringement. In my option this was tant amount to treason as they admitted that this was a violation bit allowed it anyways.
“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety” – Benjamin Franklin.
YES, we can say NO to tyranny. I refuse to answer questions from federal agents when I am being stopped without cause. Border Patrol Checkpoint. Guns for hire on HWY 70 E, near Alamogordo New Mexico.
Free nations don’t have arbitrary check points.
Note that after submitting the video above, Seim shared the text below – feel free to run with it if you’re so-inclined:
Checkpoint Run: Peaceful protest in defense of freedom.
The idea is to stand for freedom. All over the Southwest are suspicionless checkpoints run by the Department of Homeland Security and the Border Patrol that that stop and detain free citizens as they travel public roads. Vehicles are forced to stop and questions are presented about citizenship status and destinations and the like.
These are not border crossings, but in;and checkpoint that are placed within 100 miles of the US border. Those that refuse to answer questions are often let go after being detained for a short time. Others have been subjected to arrest and even assault by Border patrol agents.
These checkpoint violate the 4th amendment of the constitution.
The premise of this peaceful protest is not that our borders should not be protected, but that that American freedom must be equally protected. Border protection should happen at borders, not at inland check pings that illegally detain citizens in Nazi style checkpoints.
The protest involves a convoy of participant vehicles. Each driver participating in the convoy will be aware of the plan and messages will be sent out as texts by convoy leaders. The goal is for a convoy to contain 100-2000 vehicles.
Convoys will approach the checkpoint at legal speeds, but will refuse to stop, passing through the checkpoint without being stopped. Cars will not stop or engage in aggressive behavior.
In the event that roadblocks are setup by the DHS or aggressive force is used to stop vehicles, the convoy will avoid violence. In such a case vehicles will arrive and pull up 4-6 abreast across the road in question, following by the next vehicles which will do the same and created a road block themselves. Protestors will stay in vehicles, but refuse to move, blocking the entire road until they are allowed to pass through the checkpoint without being stopped. This act should prevent an outbreak of violence, smashing roadblocks etc.
The event will be filmed and an official video made to promote the idea that Americans can travel freely on their roads without being stopped for no reason.
#2 with an average ranking of 3.66
Input from the judges:
Terry: An example of successfully exercising one’s rights while being seized. Went over the top with some aspects of the video that could serve to turn folks off more than inspire, specifically his comment regarding the agent’s appearance.
Ian: Good video – good audio, good questions to bureaucrats and even turns it around on them! I also share Pete’s concern with Todd getting personal with the agent’s appearance – he had the high ground until that point.
Pete: Solid back-and-forth. Dude was calm, asked good questions (poised questions he was asked to those who asked), successful, encouraged viewer to stand-up. I didn’t care for the one statement when the driver told the person with a badge that he didn’t look like an “American citizen.”
#3 with an average ranking of 4.33
Input from the judges:
Terry: Thomas Kempton: Great video/satire, little to no content related to individual rights, state of the law, resources to use, etc.
Ian: creative, a little slow, funny, doesn’t really educate about rights
Pete: Well put-together. Paints dystopian scenario – could benefit from transferring opposition to what was shown to a call to action at end.
#4 (tie) with an average ranking of 4.66
Input from the judges:
Terry: A good general resource and a great example of how one geographic region (Northern Washington State) completely shutdown BP checkpoints in their area using a combination of individual rights and the political process to draw attention to the problem.
Ian: too bored to finish – just lots of links
Pete: Thorough overview and shows impact had by folks speaking-out. Tension and between “state law” and “federal law” underscores arbitrariness. Some solutions advocated (“Take Action!”) on site pointed-to is inside the system. A summary of lessons-learned could have been a nice wrap-up.
Terry: While parts of the video were silly, it was a good example of the use of technology at checkpoints to assist folks with exercising their rights as they see fit.
Ian: great video quality, interesting with the changing appearance, doesn’t really educate about rights
Pete: Creative. Funny. Intro and a few other scenes too long. Lots of footage – angles, scenes, etc., so clear time was put-into entry.
#4 (tie) with an average ranking of 4.66
Input from the judges:
Terry: Good activism & a good example of the inherent hypocrisy of checkpoints but weak on the state of the law and individual rights at checkpoints.
Ian: used copblock logo, entertaining, stood up for his rights, but ultimately doesn’t address checkpoints, got me to subscribe to his channel 8
Pete: Excellent process showing objective, content collection process, effectively handing of police interactions, double-standards. Liked the idea of a pointing-out double-standards. However, not focused on checkpoints specifically.
Citizen SEATBELT Checkpoint…Buckle Up LEO’s!
I wanted to enter the checkpoint content contest and make my mark by doing something original and radical. I decided to set up a citizen seatbelt checkpoint of my own, on the cops. The Florida Highway Patrol has issued tens of thousands of seatbelt tickets since the revenue Whores in Tallahassee decided to pass the so called Tori Slosberg and Kate Marchetti Safety Belt Law on June 30th 2009.Of course the politicians sold the bill as a public safety initiative. They even named the bill in memory of two teens (Marchetti and Slosberg) killed in separate traffic accidents while not wearing their seatbelts.
Of course any body with any sense knows what the seatbelt law is all about……FOLLOW THE MONEY! Also we all know the double standards of LEO’s who do not wear seatbelts themselves yet issue thousands of tickets to citizens not wearing them. I wanted to document this double standard on video so I headed down to FHP Troop G’s headquarters in Jacksonville Florida to catch Troopers not buckeling up!
I also documented Saint Johns County Florida Deputies not wearing their seatbelts.
I had fun shooting these videos and I hope to inspire others to do the same!
Thanks and God Bless,
Darryl W. Perry
#7 with an average ranking of 5.66
Input from the judges:
Terry: Decent video but similar to Thomas Kempton’s entry, little to no content regarding rights, legal analysis, etc.
Ian: entertaining but not educative
Pete: Funny – proved a point about the ridiculous nature of having to prove something to someone else just because it’s claimed, but didn’t offer proactive steps to erode that claimed authority. That said, laughing can really lessen the fear on which this flawed structure exists.
#8 with an average ranking of 8.00
Input from the judges:
Terry: Incorrect legal analysis regarding the lawful authority of agents at checkpoints.
Ian: Addresses checkpoints, don’t care for the answers he gives
Pete: Great to see a text-based how-to attempted but the information communicated encourages some actions I personally would not recommend (ie answering the questions posed by the person wearing a badge). The overview of liberty section was good to see though I’d personally use another word than “capitalist” and would put-forth that other mindsets between that, communist and fascist exist.
(Users of this material are fully responsible for the results. I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice.)
It’s a simple thing to handle internal border patrol check points, however speaking truth to power can be scary.
SCOTUS held that BP officers have the power to stop you, inquire about your citizenship, and detain you until they determine your citizenship.
That does not mean you are required to respond however a certain response may position you favorably for the encounter and subsequent legal proceedings. Please verify the following with your legal council.
Whatever question the BP (your adversary) initially asks you, respond with “I’m a United states citizen, and I’d like to go on my way now. Am I free to go?”
Theory behind the response:
“I’m a united states citizen,”
By declaring your correct citizenship you satisfy the pretense for the stop and establish your power to invoke the law.
“I’d like to go on my way now, am I free to go.”
You are erasing the pretense that this could be a voluntary encounter, and the officer must formally detain you for the stop to continue.
BP: “Howdy sir, is this your car?”
You: “I’m a united states citizen, and I’d like to go on my way now. Am I free to go?”
If further requests for information are made, simply state your citizenship, invoke the appropriate right, (I don’t consent to searches, I don’t consent to seizures, I don’t wish to answer that question, I would like an attorney, etc…) and ask to go on your way.
BP: “Please pop your trunk for me.”
You: “I’m a united states citizen and I don’t consent to searches. I’d like to go on my way now, am i free to go?”
Remember they have the guns but you have the law and the camera!
You are dealing with a para-military force who’s members rationalize their 80k salaries by believing they are saving the world from…you.
They have the power to lie to you and harm you with impunity. Make sure to object to all of their orders but ultimately obey them – Comply but don’t consent. Otherwise they’ll have no problem tazing, beating, or ending you.
By declaring your citizenship and invoking the law on camera, you may have the strongest position available.
As an aside:
Some helpful responses I’ve used to combat their rhetorical banter/ fishing expedition questions:
BP: “What do you have to hide?”
You: “My right to privacy.”
BP: “Where did you come from?”
You: “Within the united states.”
BP: “Where are you going?”
You: “Within the united states.”
BP: “Who do you work for?”
You: “I don’t work for you.”
BP: “Your behavior is highly suspicious. I stop people all day and none of them do this…”
You: “Invoking my constitutional rights is suspicious?.. If I’m the only one, then that makes me extraordinary, one-of-a-kind, or remarkable, not suspicious”
The Logical Proof for Rightful Individual Liberty: by Michael Chavez
The primary law that naturally governs the behavior of all individuals in all societies is: do not harm another.
Society is an association of individuals where one exchanges or combines one’s resources with another in order to fulfill each one’s desires.
All behavior that directly and proximately harms another is naturally forbidden by society.
All behavior that does not directly and proximately harm another is naturally permitted by society.
The only moral use of violence is to defend against those who initiate harm against another.
The rightful liberty of the individual is unobstructed action according to the individual’s will…limited only by the direct and proximate harming of another.
Thought, inspiration and innovations come only to the individual.
The individual is the only means by which hidden potential can be made real; by which the unmanifest is made manifest.
Totally unique in one’s ability to take in, prioritize and process information, each individual is irreplaceable.
The individual is responsible for his actions because it is his will alone that animates him.
The individual is able to evaluate the affects his behavior will have on his interests faster and with greater accuracy than any outside entity.
Groups are composed of individuals in communication with one another, each building upon one another’s individual attainments.
A voluntary society is one where every association and exchange occurs on a voluntary basis.
Once an individual is stolen from, killed, repressed or otherwise silenced, his contribution through exchange and charity is lost, and a precedent is set for other individuals to be likewise harmed.
While the individual has this critical importance, he is only one, making him easy prey for institutionalized robbers and slavers to steal his essence.
The one attribute which distinguishes government from any individual or organization found in society is that government asserts the power to harm with impunity. It is sustained by society’s belief that this power is legitimate and beneficial.
Governmental power is the undelegated power to harm others with impunity.
Government is not exercising delegated authority when it moves against individuals who are not harming others, because no individual which composes society or government possesses such authority.
Governmental power is not derived from consent because any power derived from consent is extinguished when consent is withdrawn.
Government is the prevailing militant entity that occupies society in order to control and extract society’s wealth.
Government confiscates property from unwilling individuals and is not obligated to provide any services in return.
Government is not law, services, or infrastructure. Government merely pays for these things with confiscated wealth in order to garner dependence, obedience, and loyalty.
Governments compete and cooperate with each other for resources, and they consider societies to be a resource.
Government charters corporations and clothes them with limited liability protection (which is a degree of the government’s ability to harm with impunity.)
Government argues the free market is too strict and therefor it must shield companies from liability and legalize harm so the economy can operate smoothly and innovations can be brought to society.
Licensing and regulations are designed to increase the market share for those who can/will comply by harming those who are unable/unwilling to comply (both buyer and seller).
When a capitalist uses government power he ceases to be a capitalist and becomes either a fascist or a communist.
A Free Society Has The Strictest Regulations Because All Who Initiate Harm Are Fully Liable.
A free people do not have a group of rulers; they have a judicial system which they may use to settle disputes in an orderly and civilized manner.
We, as individuals, have an interest in forever limiting the harm all organizations may cause.
The most practical solution is to zero out the demand for governmental power by innovating real-world alternatives.
The least practical solution is to restrict all governments by constitution to the primary law:
1. All individuals and groups including all branches of all governments are forever forbidden from initiating violence or otherwise harming another by any means.
2. The only moral and lawful use of violence is to defend against individuals, groups and governments who violate the above.
3. There are no exceptions to one and two.
#9 with an average ranking of 8.33
Input from the judges:
Terry: Incorrect legal analysis of the lawful authority of agents at checkpoints and the scope of the 100 air-mile “Constitution Free Zone”
Ian: link to old, inaccurate story
Pete: Overview of inland checkpoint placement and rationale cited. Not too optimistic of a tone – more accepting than working to delegitimize or educate on proactive steps. Five years old.
“Who will govern the governors? There is only one force in the nation that can be depended upon to keep the government pure and the governors honest, and that is the people themselves. They alone, if well informed, are capable of preventing the corruption of power, and of restoring the nation to its rightful course if it should go astray. They alone are the safest depository of the ultimate powers of government”
- Thomas Jefferson
As you may or may not be aware, the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution contains an exception to the unreasonable search and seizure laws. It allows invasive searches at border checkpoints that wouldn’t be allowed anywhere else. It’s always been that way…but here comes the scary part: federal statute 8 CFR 287.1 (a)(1-3) defines the border zone as actually encompassing an area within 100 miles inland of the actual border, with the possibility of extending it further under certain circumstances. This zone has become known as the “Constitution-Free Zone”
Ok, you’re thinking, “100 miles, that’s not that bad… the US is a big country, we have plenty of space, right?” Wrong. That 100 mile extension puts nine of the top 10 largest metropolitan areas completely inside the Constitution-Free Zone. More than that, 12 states are completely within the zone: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. In California, 99.73% of all residents are living in the Constitution-Free Zone; more than that, 2/3rds of all US citizens are living in the zone, and at any time they can be deprived of their Constitutional rights.
What this means for you
The border patrol or Homeland Security can set up random checkpoints anywhere within this Constitution-Free Zone and ask drivers for their passports and paperwork, and search their cars without consent. And there is no law stopping them. How this slipped past the mainstream media, I will never know. But this is, quite possibly, the worst affront to the liberties of US citizens that anyone alive today has yet seen.
The ACLU has been collecting reports of these random “border” checkpoints, and it’s pretty scary. I’ve posted a video at the bottom of this page with information from some actual victims of assault from these checkpoints.
The law is already in place, so this isn’t a matter of calling your representative and asking that they not vote for it. It’s already there. And if we have learned anything from the history of government, it’s that they will constantly push for greater power. This 100 miles inland is only the start, they’ll push for 100% inland, and the Constitution will be meaningless, and no one will care. After reading most of the comments left on our recent article about your rights during a traffic stop, I fear that most people will willingly give up their rights at these checkpoints. It’s a sad state of affairs when the once land of the free and home of the brave has become a nation of fear, with citizens who enthusiastically give up their liberty for a false sense of security.
This country needs to grow a set of balls again. There are too many people who berate the few who question authority. There is too much apathy in the face of aggressive authority. There has to come a time where you say “This is not acceptable”. If not now, then when? At what point do you stop blindly allowing your own government to invade your life? Suspicionless searches of your car at random checkpoints? Constitution-Free zones? That is NOT what America is about. There must be some point that you will say “Stop, I will no longer comply”. If you don’t decide now, you’ll keep adapting and keep saying it’s alright, and keep playing along as things get worse. Draw your personal line now, because we’re heading in a very bad direction, and before you know it, that line may pass you by.
Cheshire Superior Court
12 Court Street
Keene, NH 03431
Oh yeah, Kim Kossick – the person helping Rich Paul, has bested John Webb – the person levying threats against Rich Paul, in every encounter they’ve yet had in legal land.
[updates are added to the bottom of this post]
Rich Paul, targeted for political associations, faces 81-years in a cage for victimless actions
by Pete Eyre
April 10, 2013
Phil Christiana, who works at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has for years been looking for an “in” into the growing liberty community based in New Hampshire (due in part to the Free State Project).
Last year, Richie Dupont, after being arrested selling heroin, agreed to work with Christiana as a confidential informant. Dupont engaged in deals with Rich Paul, an activist who had spearheaded the 420 Celebrations in Keene, which brought-about de facto legalization for those who chose to consume a plant in public, as noted in a Cannabis Culture feature article.
Jury nullification outreach to those sitting on Rich Paul’s case was done on April 8th
Paul admits to being involved in several sales of several ounces of marijuana and one sale of a compound that’s legal (which those doing the charging initially said was LSD). As he correctly points-out his actions caused no victim. Yet thanks to the failed war on some substances, Paul found himself threatened with 81-years in a cage.
Christinia asked Paul to wear a wire into the Keene Activist Center, where others known to advocate for a peaceful community without the institutionalized violence of a coercive monopoly known as “the state” gather to brainstorm and socialize. Rather than comply, Paul acted on his principles and not only didn’t wear a wire, but made public his situation.
Paul’s jury trial begins next Tuesday, April 16th. Let’s work together to help Rich and in doing so, help erode the failed war on (some) substances.
How You Can Help Rich Paul:
Join the resurrected 420 Celebrations happening daily at 4:20pm in Keene’s Central Square
Attend Rich Paul’s trial, April 16th-17th (and possibly later) at Cheshire County Superior Court in Keene, NH
Donate via PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org
Donate via Bitcoin: 1H6jt6w2PGQQ7ZcdngmSggQTAc5dF7sLwt
Share this post or any related content with those in your sphere.
Activist, entrapped; blackmailed by FBI! Fights back! Part 1
My name is Rich Paul. Last year, on May 31st, I was arrested by the Keene Police department. I was transported to the police station, where I expected to be booked for some crime. But I was not booked. Instead, I was taken to Special Agent Philip Christiana, who attempted to blackmail me. I was threatened with 81 years in prison, for delivery of marijuana and delivery of a substance purported to be LSD. I had, indeed, delivered marijuana as alleged, but had not purported anything to be LSD. The told me I had only one chance to save myself from them … that was to go on selling marijuana, but at the same time to spy on my friends at the Keene Activist Center, a political association of which I am a member.
I invoked my right to council, but Christiana said that if I did not relent, that the offer would be withdrawn, and that I would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and that no plea bargains would be offered to me at any time. I wanted to hear what he had to say, so I did relent and waived my right to council. I said that I would not make any kind of deal with him without being represented by council, to protect my interests. I also told him that we would not be negotiating with him, because he did not have the authority to give me immunity, and because law enforcement officers are permitted to lie to suspects, and that I could not trust him for that reason. He responded with a lie … he said that he was not permitted to lie to suspects. This is patently false. He went on to assert that if he perjured himself that he would be fired. This was probably true, but was a half lie … he could not perjure himself in conversation with me, because he was not under oath. Perjury is the crime of telling a lie under oath. I explained this to Christiana, and he reacted as if that information was new to him. At this point I lost all respect for Special Agent Philip Christiana of the FBI.
Rich Paul, at 420 Celebration smoking in memory of lost liberties
Christiana spoke with me about what he intended for me to do. He wanted me to return to the KAC wearing a hidden transmitter, and to lie about the reason for my arrest, and to determine how people reacted, and who questioned my story. This was clearly not the actual intent of the whole operation. He repeatedly told me “You are going to have to do things that you don’t want to do”. I asked him “Like what?”. He said that some of my friends would be selected, and I would be expected to lure them into felonious drug transactions with me, in order that they could be blackmailed in the same way. I told him that if I knew anybody who was making a bomb or planning violence that I would have come to him, rather than waiting for him to come to me. He did not seem to care. He veered from solicitous to aggressive, at one point suggesting that “nobody had to go to prison”, but at another saying that “somebody was going to go to prison, it was all about who”. I answered that it was not about that, it was about right and wrong.
At this point, Christiana started to question me. When he asked the first question, my address, I again invoked my right to council. Christiana repeated that if I invoked my right to council, that I would be going to jail for a long time. I said “OK, we’ll do that, then”. At this point Christiana appeared to end the interview … he had a KPD officer process me to be sent over to the jail. I was fingerprinted and my personal information demanded. Then I was placed in a cell for a short time. Then I was removed, and returned to the interrogation room where I had spoken with Christiana previously. At this point, to my astonishment, he told me that I was going to be released on my own recognizance, and that I could contact a lawyer, but that I was only to ask this lawyer whether an FBI had the power to give immunity. I made non-committal noises that might have sounded like agreement, but I had no intention of limiting my conversation with my attorney when I had obtained one, or to accept legal advice from law enforcement, especially from an agent who had already attempted to mislead me repeatedly. I insisted in getting a business card from Christiana, and he finally agreed, but crossed out the “ip” in his first name and his entire last name, his email address, and other identifying information. I could not believe how amateurish this appeared. I thanked Christiana for leaving his water board at home, and he ushered me out the front door of the police station and told me to start walking, not even waiting for my ride to arrive. I half expected to be shot in the back as I walked away. I breathed a sigh of relief when I reached Marlboro Street.
I was delighted when, a few hundred yards later, my lady’s car rolled into view, and she returned me to the Club.
To be continued …
Coming up: How the blackmailer was exposed, why Rich posted a confession on YouTube, and why he still expects to win the case!
Phillip “Phil” Christiana – an employee of the Federal Bureau of Investigation – has for years been snooping-around the peaceful community in Keene, NH. His interest seems to have stepped-up, having recently solicited activist Rich Paul to wear a wire when visiting the Keene Activity Center.
Visit http://www.copblock.org/?p=16421for a complete overview, including relevant links and pictures, the transcript of this video and an embedded version of the related Crimethinc document “Inside the FBI Entrapment Strategy.”
This is the insane “war on drugs”: The KPD & FBI bust a heroin dealer then promise to set him free in return for helping them bust a cannabis dealer! The story goes deeper – turns out it was all about targeting Rich Paul’s political associates. The FBI’s Phil Christiana was handling the case and tried to get Rich Paul to set up his fellow liberty activists for arrest. Rich refused to turn snitch and is now going to jury trial on Tuesday at 9am at Cheshire “superior” court. In this video from CopBlock‘s Pete Eyre, Rich Admits he sold cannabis and plans to ask the jury to nullify the war on drugs. Rich says, toward the end of the video, “The time has come to end…this war on drugs”.
CANNABIS CULTURE – In a story that seems like a Hollywood screenplay, a political activist is making a stand against laws he feels are unjust. Rich Paul, the founder of the New Hampshire based 4:20 Foundation, is facing four felony charges for selling marijuana.
The trial is set to start on April 16th, 2013 at Cheshire Superior Court in Keene, NH. Paul has admitted to the selling the pot and is going to be seeking jury nullification; the common-law right of juries to acquit a guilty defendant when the law is unjust or misapplied. Add the Federal Bureau of Investigation to the mix and the story gets much more interesting.
Rich Paul participates in a Keene, New Hampshire based political activism club called the Keene Activist Center (KAC). Many members of the KAC have caught the ire of local city officials and law enforcement while performing various acts of civil-disobedience. Paul has organized large marijuana rallies and peaceful protests on Keene city commons. At one of the earliest and largest such events in September of 2009, Paul was arrested for marijuana possession.
On May 31st, 2012 Paul was arrested in Keene, NH by Keene Police. When he arrived at the Keene Police Department he was interviewed by Federal Bureau of Investigation Agent Phillip Christiana, assigned to the joint terrorism task force out of the Manchester, New Hampshire office. Agent Christiana alleged that an informant had made multiple purchases of controlled substances from Paul and indicated that the maximum sentence he would face was 81 years in prison.
Agent Christiana then offered to make the charges against Rich “go away”. If Rich would agree to wear a wire into the Keene Activist Center, surreptitiously record the other activists, and persuade them to sell drugs to Paul, the charges would disappear. Rich doesn’t recall being asked if anybody at the KAC even sold illegal drugs.
Rich Paul took a heroic stand, rejecting the offer and instead informing his fellow activists of the Agent Christiana’s request. Rather than fleeing the State or the Country, Paul has elected to fight the charges in his own way. Recently, juries have begun to nullify the marijuana law. Doug Darrell, a 59-year-old Rastafarian charged with marijuana cultivation, was acquitted by a jury who felt that the marijuana laws were unjust, despite taking the stand and confessing.
As of 2012, New Hampshire has a unique state statute that explicitly legalizes, “the right of a jury to judge the application of the law in relationship to the facts in controversy.” Paul is looking for a similar result and will be focused on informing the jurors of their right to nullification. Political activism, honor, and courage should not add up to a life sentence.
Paul is available for interview at 603-762-6614 or email@example.com; alternative contact Ian Freeman at 603-513-2449 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Court of Record: Cheshire
Superior Court, Keene, NH
Case Number: 12-cr-131
Here’s how absurd the war on drugs has gotten: firstly, an activist from Keene, New Hampshire, is facing 81 years in prison for dealing marijuana; and secondly, even though he’s admitted on camera that he did sell about a pound of pot to an FBI informant, he’s still fighting the case in court in hopes the jury will acquit him.
The man’s name is Rich Paul, and his ordeal started last May, when he was arrested for selling weed and LSD (he claims he sold a legal chemical compound that wasn’t LSD). Instead of being charged with a crime, he wrote in a Facebook note about the incident and was taken to see an FBI agent named Philip Christiana, who threatened to throw the book at him unless he turned informer on his friends. According to Rich, Phil wanted him to wear a wire into meetings of a local political group he belonged to called the Keene Activist Center, lie to them about his arrest, and encourage them to commit crimes. Rich said no, and shared his story with the public—even going so far as to explain on video that he had been busted after selling ounces of weed to a confidential informant on multiple occasions.
There are several odd things about this trial, which started today. (Follow live updates through this Facebook page.) First, it’s not clear why the FBI, or this particular agent, was so keen, pun intended, to go after the KAC. Although the organization is “liberty-minded” (in other words, not fans of the police or other forms of government), it’s also explicitly nonviolent. Those kind of libertarian/anarchist/whatever-you-want-to-call-it politics are common in New Hampshire—in fact, groups like the Shire Society and the Free State Project encourage people who are tired of being hassled by the Man to move to the state, and the Keene area in particular. Acts of civil disobedience by the KAC and other activists are relatively common; Rich himself organized 4:20 PM “smoke-ins” at Keene’s Central Square to protest drug-prohibition laws.
In an email to me late last night, Rich said that his prosecution is an outlier. “Local law enforcement in Keene has always been extremely respectful, courteous and professional. Many of them, I will not say which, sympathize with us on many of our concerns, though most do not condone civil disobedience,” he wrote.
“The FBI, however, has stumbled around this investigation blindly, not bothering to understand who [the KAC was] from our published works before they made the clumsy attempt to infiltrate us… They may really be concerned that we may be violent, but if they are, they do not understand us. Our nonviolent rhetoric is matched by our actions. The club is not a hive of scum and villainy.”
The other striking thing about the case is that Rich had the opportunity to avoid a court fight without going to prison at all—he was offered a plea deal that would have included no jail time shortly before the trial. He turned it down, however, “both to make a point, and because I do not want to be a felon, because that would interfere with my right to keep and bear and arms,” he told me.
Rich appears lighthearted in a video from last week where he lights up a joint and yells about “hope for a day when people do not fear the government because the government fears the people!” while wearing a Ron Paul T-shirt (no relation). But his activism has some serious, emotional roots—he told me that his inspiration for fighting the war on drugs was his girlfriend, Julie, who died of cancer in 2002 at the age of 31. She didn’t use medical marijuana because it was illegal, but in 2009, Rich started smoking pot, and his life changed for the better. “I found that I started recovering from Julie’s death,” Rich said. “It helped me open up to life again. Something with that much power for good must be available. I started dating for the first time in seven or eight years. I fell in love again. I finally had the life I wanted… and then the hammer fell.”
The thing that Rich is counting on to stop the hammer from falling—and reward him for standing up for his why-can’t-I-sell-some-fucking-pot-to-my-friends principles—isn’t a traditional legal argument. It’s pretty much assumed that Rich did technically break the (unjust) law by selling weed. What he’s banking on is that the jury will “nullify” his case—in other words, they’ll come to the conclusion that the statutes he violated shouldn’t exist in the first place and there’s no reason to send him to jail. That’s not such a far-fetched idea. Although judges and prosecutors throughout the country hate the idea of jurors deciding the law for themselves, it’s technically legal, and a law that came into effect this year allows defense attorneys to inform juries that they can reach a not guilty verdict if they object to the law. A Rastafarian named Doug Darrell had his marijuana charge nullified by a New Hampshire jury last September, so there’s at least a sliver of hope for Rich. Meanwhile, 420 celebrations have started up again in Keene’s Central Square in solidarity with him.
“Somebody had to stand up and say that this is wrong, and I thought I might well be that guy,” Rich told me. “I took the risk and now we’ll find out whether I bet my life well.”
Ademo Freeman, Pete Eyre, and Garret Ean ambush interview Federal Bureau of Investigations agent Phil Christiana of the joint terrorism task force. Interview commences outside of the Cheshire county superior court during the first day of Rich Paul’s trial for cannabis distribution. Recorded at approx. 4:20pm, Keene, NH.
Christiana has been interested in finding a confidential informant within the Free State Project, having wanted to gather information confidentially from independent videojournalist Dave Ridley a few years prior. He declined to speak at all to Dave Ridley on the record, as well as declining to speak to Pete Eyre on the record. Earlier during the trial, Phil admitted to suggesting that Rich Paul wear a wire to investigate the Keene Activist Center. When further asked, he communicated that he “could not” answer questions about it. April 16 2013
Shortly after, Rich and some friends gathered at nearby Central Square, where he shared some thoughts on the day’s events.
Update: Tuesday, April 16th, 2013
Coverage ab0ut Rich Paul’s first day of trial by Free Talk Live – a nationally-syndicated radio station on over 100 stations, two XM stations and satellite.
After robbing a store at gunpoint and being chased by some area folks who wear badges, Larry Bohannon was shot and killed by police employees of Wahpole and/or Alstead, small towns in southwest New Hampshire, this past Friday.
That incident happened near to my location, as documented in a short video I posted YouTube.com/TheCopBlock about my attempt to learn why a number of vehicles with police decals had sped past my location. At the time, I concluded that the response was due to a bad traffic accident.
While that was true – there was a pickup truck on its side – the cause of the accident only later become evident: the vehicle had been involved in a police chase after its driver, Bohannon, had robbed 75-yo Nancy Staniszewski, who was managing Snow and Lear/Newton Business, an office supply store, a few miles away, across the Connecticut River in Vermont.
After the accident Bohannon was shot dead by a still unnamed shooter(s) for not complying. He allegedly remained in his vehicle for some time – I’ve been told at least 10-mintues but can’t verify.
Michael Delaney*, the New Hampshire “attorney general”, who has controlled the release of related information has not yet weighed-in on the number of shots fired or whether Bohannon fired.
Was Bohannon combative? Did he shoot at those with badges? Did he ditch his gun during the chase? Does any documentation exist to show either?
When I made my way to the scene it was almost 6pm – at least an hour after the gunfire was said to occur. One neighbor has noted that they heard a few shots, then a pause, then a number of shots. We’ll soon see what becomes the “official” story.
What I do know about Bohannon doesn’t bode well. A couple of years ago he was partly responsible for the caging of a Bob Constantine, a friend who grew marijuana on his Grafton, NH property to help treat his pain.
Constantine’s actions had harmed no way, yet Bohannon, his neighbor at the end of a dead-end road, snitched him out to help himself (Bohannon had again found himself under the sites of those in the “criminal justice system” - he’d previously been convicted of kidnapping, an action that does have a victim, again, reinforcing the point that he’s not a character with good integrity).
And Bohanen [sic] denied ever having taking pictures on Bob’s property and sharing them with those who wear badges. Bohanen [sic]was very evasive, replying most often with “I don’t remember” or “I plead the fifth” (referencing text on a piece of paper that some believe is magic). Yet even the man in the robe noted that the he couldn’t “pled the fifth” since it wasn’t applicable since answering Bob’s question “didn’t expose him to criminal liability.” Thanks to Bohanen’s [sic]flip-flops Bob asked him “Are you aware of the penalty for perjury?” which only caused him to squirm even more, at one point even asking to speak to a lawyer.
Pierce’s follow-up of Bohanen [sic]was nothing but distraction. She essentially brought up every piece of evidence (which, except for some seeds in a pill container, was never shown outside it’s evidence packaging) and asked the snitch if they belonged to him. Hopefully the jury wasn’t impressed because I wasn’t. When Bohanen [sic] was dismissed, the bulk of us in the audience stood up and turned around – communicating our appreciation of his actions.
Did the Alstead and/or Walpole police employees who took Bohannon’s life act appropriately? It’s tough to know with the information available.
What I do know is that I can’t personally dig into every police shooting and that I’d much prefer to allocate my scarce resources to helping someone I know to be a good person, rather than someone who has proven to be a kidnapper, snitch, and armed robber.
*Delaney is the same individual who, in May of 2011, said that the four individuals who beat-up Chris Micklovich weren’t to be charged. Those four individuals happened to wear “Manchester Police” badges, which caused myself and a few dozen others to attend a police accountability rally. After a friend chalked on south side of the then-Manchester headquarters, “How many has Manch PD killed?” individuals wearing “Manchester Police” badges, including one involved in the beating of Micklovich, stole cameras and phones (lost mine) and caged eight people calling for accountability. Apparently though, Delaney can’t always set the reality about a situation as a couple of weeks ago a it was announced that a 200,000-FRN settlement was to be given to Micklovich by the “city of Manchester” (aka residents).
Pete Eyre of CopBlock.org and I had the honor of being the Non-Political Activism Panel at Liberty Forum 2013. Hope you find our discussion useful. We cover a lot of activism types and ideas in an hour’s time: