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…)
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…)
The property stolen by the organized gang from a business in downtown Keene in broad daylight on Wednesday, May 7th, 2014, totaled into the tens of thousands of federal reserve notes. And though a couple of the thieves tried to hide their identity with masks, they seemed pretty smug – one even donned a shirt emblazoned with the message “Believe in Heroes.”
Many inhabitants, patrons of the business, and others concerned about the brazen violation of rights, were present and let the criminals know of their disapproval.
This is ultimately about ideas – the individuals captured on film wearing badges of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Keene Police Department outwardly act as if they alone are not culpable for their actions. That they’re “just doing their job.”
That seems more like a defensive mechanism to prevent themselves from actually having a conversation and thinking about the implications of their own involvement. Not just those harmed at that moment – in this case the business owner and employees and those who engaged in consensual interactions, but themselves, as acting to advance inherently conflicting ideas (that justice can come from coercion) will only compound internal contradictions.
Fortunately, the draconian sweep didn’t invoke fear and paralysis into the owner of Phat Stuff, who has since noted “we are going to use this tragedy as motivation to rebuild…bigger and better than it already was”.
I sit here at almost midnight approximately three days after I told myself I’d write something about this ordeal. I’m such a busy person. We got us up at 7am this morning. Our family has been going non-stop today just as we always do. The last few years I’ve been afraid of what would happen when my non compliance came calling. I know that if I’m afraid then I’ve lost. If they control my mind there can be no freedom. The amount of time it takes to earn $63 is much less than the time I must invest to not be afraid of this system. Its much simpler to pay the ransom demanded of me.
At first I was a nervous. As we began the conference I could see Scott was uncomfortable. Scott squirmed in his seat and made ticking sounds with his mouth. I’m sure the greatest tool we currently have for accountability there increased these feelings. Quickly I begin to feel more confident in what I was doing. No reason for me to be nervous. I’m not the one who’s doing anything wrong.
The first 45-seconds of the video Scott barely makes eye contact. Made ticking sounds with his mouth and wiggled in his seat. His body language says he’s uncomfortable. He’s uncomfortable because he knows what he’s doing is wrong. Or at least the limbic part of his brain does. A number of times Scott expresses sympathy towards my situation but admits well that’s how things are. What Scott fails to understand, he’s the enforcer of the aggressive acts against me. Around 4:40 Scott says he doesn’t blame me for not wanting to go to jail. Around 6:15 Scott states how unfortunate the consequences of my disobedience are. If he truly feels their unfortunate then why does he perpetrate them?
An important point I want to make, “we the people” are not free. How free can I be if I can’t travel unencumbered without having a piece of plastic on my person and a sticker on the vehicle I’m driving?
Wish me luck. I do not plan to pay the ransom against me. Each time I must appear I will be doing so under duress.