Press Releases


Entries in Civil Disobedience (80)


FreeKeeneNews - NH ACLU Takes Side of Keene Chalkers in Letter to City Council 

NH ACLU Head Attorney Speaks In Favor of Chalking

Proposed ban on chalk violates long-held free speech court precedent.  The head attorney of the NH ACLU, Gilles Bissonnette,  has weighed in on the proposed chalking ban for downtown Keene.  In a two-page testimony sent to the Keene city council, Bissonnette lays out how the proposed ban runs afoul of long-held free speech principals, citing multiple supreme court cases:

“fundamental to the continuing vitality of our democracy, for ‘time out of mind, [sidewalks] have been used for purposes of assembly, communicating thoughts between citizens, and discussing public questions.’”

“[a]s a general matter, we have indicated that in public debate our own citizens must tolerate insulting, and even outrageous, speech in order to provide adequate breathing space to the freedoms protected by the First Amendment.”

Bissonnette also encourages police to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of violence and says that the city should be encouraging free expression rather than suppressing it.  It’s an excellent legal opinion and the city council should read it carefully before they screw up and pass an unconstitutional suppression of free speech.  Stay tuned to Free Keene for the latest on the ridiculous-to-the-max War on Chalk.

Feel free to get in touch with me if you have questions or would like to interview an activist,
Ian Freeman

FreeKeeneNews - Photos of Central Square Attacker Posted, Seeking ID 


Man Hospitalized After Being Pushed into Central Sq. Fountain

Free Keene blogger asks for help identifying the attacker. Early last evening in Central Square, a troubling act of violence occurred when a local man, Matthew Oldershaw, known to many as ‘Yankee’, was shoved into the granite fountain and sustained head trauma. This occurred while Yankee was conversing near the fountain with business owner Dorrie O’Meara. An unknown man wearing a blue t-shirt and a Boston Red Sox baseball cap was identified by witnesses in shaky footage from the scene as the aggressor. The man remained on the square several minutes after the attack, associating with another man wearing a bandana under a backwards cap who threatened those holding cameras and claimed ‘gang affiliations’. Yankee was taken away on a stretcher and has since been moved to a hospital outside of Keene for additional treatment. Four KPD units responded, and left the scene without making any arrests. Images of the man have been published by Keene Peaceful Streets. Do you know who this man is, photographed smiling as he walks away after sending another person to the emergency room? What is additionally a sad reflection on society in Keene is the indifference displayed by some bystanders to a seriously injured person laying wounded in front of them. Some people can be seen casually pouring water on nearby chalkings at the same time that friends of the injured person are sobbing for someone to call an ambulance.

More pictures of the attacker are here.

Today’s unfortunate violence comes less than a day following a violent assault involving multiple people the night prior which fortunately left no one injured, but resulted in the theft of one person’s keys, camera, and cell phone. Video of that incident was shared last evening by Keene Peaceful Streets. More complete reports on these incidents are being assembled as footage sourced from various witnesses are uploaded.

Feel free to get in touch with me if you have questions or would like to interview an activist,
Ian Freeman

FreeKeeneNews - Weare PD Loses Federal Case Against Free State Project President 

Officers violated 1st Amendment rights of FSP president.
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US Appeals Court Rules Against Weare Police in Wiretapping Case

Free State Project President Carla Gericke's suit is allowed to move ahead - officers involved have no "qualified immunity". 

After multiple court decisions favoring Keene liberty activists, the wins just keep coming, now with the US Court of Appeals (1st Circuit) ruling in favor of Free State Project president Carla Gericke in her case against multiple Weare police officers, the Weare PD, and the Town of Weare.

The case dates back to 2010 where Carla was arrested for recording a traffic stop in Weare (home of notoriously corrupt police who have arrested other activists for the same). Police dropped the charges against Carla before trial, which included a “wiretapping” charge. Carla, with the help of liberty attorney Seth Hipple, sued in federal district court. Her suit alleged the Weare police violated her rights, particularly those ostensibly protected by the 1st amendment to the US constitution. Weare PD motioned the district court for “summary judgement” based on claimed “qualified immunity” protecting the officers from liability. The district court denied them qualified immunity, so Weare’s attorneys filed an “interlocutory appeal” to challenge the district court’s decision.

Oh, and guess who is Weare’s attorney in this case? None other than Charles P. Bauer, the very same Charles Bauer who cashed in (and continues to cash in) on the City of Keene’s failed lawsuits against Robin Hood of Keene.

The 1st Circuit US Court of Appeals is the same court from which the Glik decision emanated. Glik is cited multiple times in the 21-page Gericke decision as evidence that the right to record government workers, especially police, is protected by the 1st amendment. The court’s decision makes it clear that the officers do not have “qualified immunity” because they, were they acting as reasonable officers, should have recognized Carla’s right to record the scene.

The appeals court ruled in Carla’s favor and now the case goes back to federal district court to proceed ahead in civil court, with the officers not protected from liability by “qualified immunity”, a protective shield typically given to bureaucrats supposedly to protect them from personal liability from mistaken decisions. Unless the case is settled by the town of Weare or PD, it will proceed. Stay tuned for the latest.

Feel free to get in touch with me if you have questions or would like to interview an activist,
Ian Freeman

FreeKeeneNews - Keene Activists Copblock DEA Raid on Local Head Shop 

Keene Activists Copblock DEA Raid

Yesterday, the DEA raided Phat Stuff, the head shop on Main St. in Keene. This video chronicles four hours of the raid in 17 minutes. In the footage, multiple agents’ faces are revealed, including two masked men and several agents are confronted about their crimes against humanity. As Free Keene blogger Rich Paul puts it in the video, “Keene, New Hampshire doesn’t seem to be afraid anymore. We’re sick of it.”

Reports in national media claim the DEA has raided synthetic drug suppliers in 25 states, but Keene’s Phat Stuff hasn’t sold synthetic drugs since mid-2013. According to the sealed warrant, which you can see here, the agents were taking all smoking devices, as well as sales records from 2011-today.

The approximately dozen agents spent five hours boxing up thousands of dollars in various pipes, water pipes, hookahs, and accessories. After 4pm, they loaded it all in the back of a Uhaul and took off with the loot at approximately 4:20pm.

During the raid, one agent stood out back smoking a cigarette.  I asked him if he found it ironic that he’s smoking a cigarette while he and his fellow thieves are stealing tobacco-smoking devices from the store.

At least two agents had balaclavas on outside the store, but not inside.  The cowardly man exiting the heist vehicle in the picture on the right, a Uhaul truck, will be seen in the videos without his mask on.  Stay tuned for that!

In response to us recording video through the storefront windows which had already been mostly obscured by newspaper and black tarp, agents papered over as much of the remaining viewable area as possible, in desperate attempts to avoid accountability for their craven actions.  Keene police officers Jason Short and Todd Lawrence took turns guarding the front door.

As the agents loaded the getaway vehicle with dozens of DEA-branded cardboard boxes full of thousands of dollars worth of pipes and accessories, an angry group of Keene inhabitants gathered to give the agents a piece of their minds.  The agents were informed that they are not welcome in Keene or NH.

Feel free to get in touch with me if you have questions or would like to interview an activist,
Ian Freeman

Testerman For US Senate - This Has Got To Stop 

CONCORD, NH- This week 12 New Hampshire patriots arrived home from Nevada," announced Karen Testerman, candidate for the U.S. Senate.  "I want to insure that they are welcomed back as patriots, free men, who chose to help a fellow American keep his freedom and livelihood.


"These men committed no crime, broke no laws, caused no damage to property or person, yet the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, labeled them "Domestic Terrorists."  I have called for his apology for making such an defamatory and offensive comment, and will be in Washington on he 15th urging him to do so in person.


"I am asking once more that our sitting Senators, and particularly, Jeanne Shaheen, who is part of Reid's caucus, deliver a public, unconditional statement, denouncing Mr. Reid's remarks. I expect her to issue a personal "welcome home" to each of these men and women, some of whom are prior military.


"Unless we as a people begin to cry our distain for such blatant arrogance and abuse of public office, this sort of abuse will only get worse.  Please join me in this cause. Come to our rally in DC on May 15th.


For information on how to assist the welcoming of our patriots home please contact Jack at (603) 235-2862.