The police were called to a political rally in Keene, New Hampshire after someone allegedly reported to the police that someone (not a part of the
rally) was filling up a large water container at a public water fountain. The police arrived to investigate and were perhaps too late for the water
fountain user, but did see a woman there drinking a beer while outside. This was across the street from an official "outdoor beer drinking zone". The
woman refused to enter the beer drinking zone to drink her (alleged) beer, and was arrested as a result. This made the crowd there so upset that four
people who attended the rally stood in front of the police car to block the arrest. They succeeded in doing so for about 45 seconds before they were
All four were offered a plea deal. Three of them accepted a plea deal and received zero days in jail. One of them, Ian Freeman, insisted on going to
trial because "his friend was being wrongfully arrested and he had a right to stop it from happening". Ian Freeman's trial for standing in front of a
police car was delayed by about a year despite a speedy trial being defined in New Hampshire as six months. At the speedy trial hearing, the judge
stated that since it was not his fault the trial was taking too long, that was just too bad and the trial would proceed.
So after a year, Ian Freeman finally stood trial and was declared guilty by a jury. The judge sentenced him to one year in prison, and "generously" to
allow him to serve only 60 to 90 days "for now" and "maybe more later"(on a suspended sentence). Ian Freeman was not allowed the chance to appeal to a
higher court and was imprisoned immediately, despite two very obvious grounds for appeal (no speedy trial and a brutal sentence) which the judge knew
about very well. So three of the four received zero(0) days in jail, but one was sentenced to 360 days without option to appeal before he would be out
of jail any way.
To object to this inconsistency in punishment (three getting zero days and then one getting 360 days), Ian's supporters arranged for a Habeas Corpus
hearing. That happened (or maybe did not) yesterday. About that time, the courtroom doors were locked and the public was denied access to the hearing.
About twenty people showed up to try and attend the hearing but were denied access. During the proceeding (according to Ian's legal representative),
Ian Freeman's legal council was lead to believe they would be allowed to represent him. However, when Mark Stevens arrived yesterday morning to
represent him, he was denied the ability to represent him on the basis that he supposedly didn't have his paperwork in order, meaning Ian Freeman was
forced to represent him self. Since it the proceeding was locked out, it isn't really even known yet if a hearing actually took place.
One of the first things that happened before the hearing started yesterday was that a local blogger with a news website arrived to cover the event.
Jason Talley arrived with a camera and proceeded to the courtroom lobby. He was asked to stop filming, and he refused to do so because he believed the
law was on his side. The police disagreed. He was arrested, then "roughed up" outside the courtroom according to an eye witness, and taken away to
jail. You are not allowed to have a camera in courtroom lobbies in New Hampshire according to many judges (though you are according to other state
One of the first things the police usually tell us when you're under arrest is that "You have the right to remain silent.". But they are just
kidding... you don't. What Jason Talley of Talley.TV did differently yesterday morning was decide to exercise his right to remain silent after being
told he was allowed to do that. So, when they asked him his name in jail, he did not tell them his name. He remained silent. Across the USA, that is a
"crime" worthy of up to life in jail. This threat goes on in every jail and every courtroom in America.
Obviously there are circumstances where you'd want to keep someone in jail if they are in danger of escaping their punishment for the alleged crime.
However, when you're in jail after not stating your name for longer than the maximum sentence for the crime itself, like staying six months in jail
for a crime that doesn't even normally get a jail sentence (like videotaping a courtroom lobby), that is nothing more than punishing someone for
exercising their freedom of speech, and that is what seems to happen every single time someone in the US actually chooses to exercise their right to
That is exactly what has been happening in the USA and specifically New Hampshire where activists regularly exercise their rights for no other reason
than to grow them stronger. Last year one of the activists, Sam Dodson, spent over a month in jail. Why? He didn't give his name after he was arrested
for having a camera in a courtroom lobby. He finally was released over a month later after he did state his name, although they had already learned it
(along with his address) shortly after his arrest. As expected, he was never punished for his videotaping, proving that the reason he was in prison
was simply that he would not utter his name, even though they already knew his name! Yesterday morning, Jason Talley did the same thing. He brought a
camera into a New Hampshire courtroom lobby, was also arrested for that crime, and "roughed up" according to an eye witness on the street. Now he will
also be in jail for potentially forever since in the US judges can convict you of contempt of court without a trial, and not stating your name is
considered contempt of court. They can then bring you back into court from jail, ask you your name at the end of six months, and then send you back
another six months.
I find it refreshing that there are people, most notably in the Free State Project in New Hampshire, who are willing to exercise their rights and
force the system to make public just how bad the system really is here in the US. New Hampshire is actually the most free state in the USA which goes
to show you the level of injustice that goes on. While it sounds like the Free State Project members are getting pummelled into submission in New
Hampshire the real story is that they are actually making serious inroads to an actual restoration of a large number of rights in New Hampshire that
have unfortunately been totally and completely destroyed piece by piece over the life of the USA.
Source 1: traffic.libsyn.com...
Source 2: www.freetalklive.com...
Source 3: freekeene.com...
(@ 16:07 Prosecution objecting to speedy trial because 'it wasn't their fault')
edit on 24-9-2011 by seachange because: Improved source list
edit on 24-9-2011 by seachange because: edited out
edit on 24-9-2011 by seachange because: added 3rd source