Multiple liberty activists responded to the scene after local independent journalist Jared Goodell posted the news that armed police were on Central Square. (Goodell’s personal facebook profile is quickly becoming a go-to destination for breaking news in Keene.) Keene police kept the initial call from the alleged hostage-taker off of their two-way radio system, in what was the beginning of a campaign to preclude the public from actually knowing anything about what was happening in their midst.
All people in the streets knew was the police were hiding behind brick walls, brandishing guns and observing the block of buildings that includes 39 Central Square. To their credit, the Keene police were not preventing people from taking the risk of walking downtown, but they were at the same time not informing anyone about the risk that may have been present.
When asked, multiple pairs of the officers surrounding the building would deny any knowledge of why they were there. Why lie? After I asked three sets of officers what was happening, I finally got the barest minimum of information out of Michael “Pepper” Kopcha. He admitted there may be a situation in the building, but again, gave no information as to what danger may be present.
There are arguments both for and against how they responded, but there’s no good reason to keep people in the dark about what is happening, especially if they want people to believe they are “serving and protecting” them. (more…)
This morning while I was enjoying some breakfast with fellow activists at the Keene State College dining commons, we noticed two men in military olive-green walking quickly across campus. One appeared to have a machine gun. Quickly we learned the school was on lockdown as rumor was that a man had used a gun in a “domestic incident” that happened somewhere off-campus.
Apparently the fact that someone used a gun somewhere in the vicinity of a college is now reason to shut down an entire campus. Perhaps that’s because weapons are banned from on campus, meaning that all law-abiding people are disarmed and would be easy targets for a gun-toting madman, who would not give a damn about the school’s gun restrictions.
New Hampshire is a very safe place because of its relative gun freedom compared to other states. It’s a shame that the good people on campus are not free to defend themselves. The law really needs to change on this matter, to restore the right to self-defense on school property. This police state stuff is getting ridiculous. Don’t the cops understand that this is New Hampshire and people have guns everywhere off campus?
The suspect, known as a local white supremacist scumbag.
Just because some local white supremacist loser fires a gun in a domestic dispute doesn’t mean the campus is in jeopardy. Even if it was in jeopardy, their current safety measures will most certainly result in bloodshed of campus staff, at minimum. Allow me to explain.
So, we finish up our meal and decide to exit the cafeteria, despite people telling us the school bureaucrats were standing at the doors, trying to discourage people from leaving the building. James Cleaveland, Conan, and I all left anyway. One lady got in front of me and pleaded with me to stay in the building. I told her no thanks, that I was fine, and walked out the door. As I was walking across campus, every single glass door to the campus buildings were being “guarded” by campus staff.
Put another way, a madman with a gun could easily slaughter multiple campus staff, who of course are completely unarmed and essentially standing in the open. It’s all security theater. Any determined killer would have no shortage of helpless targets on a college campus. The dining commons itself holds hundreds of students, who would be fish in a barrel if the would-be shooter merely stood outside the East side of the building, which is all-windows.
Given that murder wasn’t the suspect’s intentions (he is accused of firing a gun in the air, not directly at anyone), no one on campus was in danger – this time. Therefore, the cops get to look like heroes for tromping around campus with their weaponry, acting like they’re the thin blue line protecting the defenseless (because of the state’s rules) college students. Had this guy wanted to hurt college students, he’d have come on campus and done that right away, before police were called, and no one would have been able to stop him, unless of course they too were carrying illegally on campus. (more…)
For years, Free Keene has provided the community service of a Keene police scanner feed, which was highly-listened during the Pumpkin Fest riots, with over 300 simultaneous streams being served that night.
Keene and Manchester have long been hotspots for copblocking and especially so in 2014. Manchester has had regular DUI checkpoints that have been blocked by 30-40 activists throughout the Summer. Keene Cop Block has generated huge positive name recognition with their regular know-your-rights outreach & copblocking in the college neighborhood on weekend nights. Learn about what’s happening in the Shire from some of the key activists involved in Keenevention‘s first-ever Cop Block panel. Presented by Cop Block’s Eric Freerock. Panelists included Joël Valenzuela, Centurion, and Christopher Cantwell.
After I got off-the-air from my live Saturday radio program (on which we discussed the initial Pumpkin Fest 2014 riots), I headed back down to the college. At the time, there was a helicopter broadcasting a message to disperse or be arrested. I arrived at the gateway to Keene State College – Winchester St. to witness a huge throng of police marching down the street. I quickly pulled out my camera and began to record:
After walking around the nearest building on campus, in full view of the line of police, activists walked onto campus and right back over to Winchester St. We continued walking west on Winchester and no cops said anything to us there. However, we again went on campus and came back out on Madison St., on the west end of the college. Here there were several police standing around the intersection and one of them told me we couldn’t pass, despite college students walking down Winchester St. immediately behind them. (more…)
Rather than only arresting people who were causing violence and destruction, the police were targeting people crossing arbitrary lines and partying on private property. In this excellent ten-minute video, Alex is right there when cops create all kinds of unnecessary mayhem: (click links below to jump to that part if you are short on time)
They shoot pepperballs at party houses on Winchester St – completely unnecessary – those people were on private property and not in the road. It’s arguable that pepperballs are useful to clear a crowd who won’t leave a street and indeed, blocking streets is one of the reasons the “disorderly conduct” statute exists, but the people at these houses were just enjoying themselves. The use of pepperballs in this situation is just aggressive.
Guy walking down sidewalk is violently arrested by a throng of cops – This guy is literally just walking down the sidewalk. He’s hasn’t threatened anyone and is not blocking the street. The reason he can’t walk down the sidewalk is, well, because the men with guns say so. The reason the cops decide to jump him like he’s strapped with a bomb is, because they can.
It’s behavior like this from police that alienates them from average people. This is why Cop Block is so popular on campus. Here are the students’ sensible responses to the violence that was visited upon them by the police:
“We’re not terrorists. We love America. We just like to drink! Don’t shoot us!”
There’s a reason why the young ladies in the video think that the police are “pieces of shit” because they hurt their peaceful friends – every weekend, not just Pumpkin Fest. If all the police did was arrest people who hurt others or destroy property, it wouldn’t be as big a deal if they cleared some streets with pepperballs, but the adrenaline-hyped cops seem to have a penchant for escalating a situation. There’s more footage showing police attacking people for walking peacefully long after the riots had subsided – I’ll upload that soon enough. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest on the Pumpkin Fest Riots of 2014.