Roadblocks Belong in Banana Republics, Not New Hampshire

Last weekend, Border Patrol hosted its first “Papers Please” roadblock in New Hampshire in the past five years. It was positioned just south of where the NH Cannabis Freedom Festival was taking place. And guess what? According to the Union Leader, more people were arrested for drug possession than for their immigration status.

When I learned of this, I wrote the following on my private Facebook page:

This is not cool, NH, not cool at all. So much wrong with this I don’t really know where to start. First, a reminder that once you allow rights to be eroded, it’s mighty hard to put them back in the can… which is why so many liberty activists push so hard on issues. Second, during this I-93 roadblock–ROADBLOCKS, WHAT ARE WE, A BANANA REPUBLIC?–more people were arrested for drugs than for their immigration status, and since Border Patrol apparently doesn’t have to comply with the Constitution, that means they get to search everyone without probable cause. Think about that: You are no longer free to travel on the roads of New Hampshire without the threat of being stopped and searched FOR NO REASON OTHER THAN TRAVELING ON THAT ROAD. I, for one, will record everything if caught up in this, and will sue, sue, sue!

Yesterday, eternal gadfly blogger Susan the Bruce wrote a solid civil liberties piece about the roadblock, the history of the erosion of civil liberties in the US, and the supposed silence from the Shire’s liberty community. Instead of simply focussing on the issues at hand (the growing militarization, the illegal checkpoints, states’ rights, etc.), she can’t help but call us names like “fauxbertarians,” and the “freedumb crowd.” She specifically calls out Free Staters, saying:

Not a word from the allegedly liberty loving Free Staters. The folks who do the wailin’ about gummint encroachment on our lives are strangely silent when it comes to “show us your papers” stops. Their interest in gummint interference extends to deregulation and tax cuts. Actual violations of privacy and civil liberties don’t interest them in the slightest.

Fighting for “deregulation and tax cuts,” Free Staters protest 2016 West Side Lockdown. Photo credit Levi Dunn.

 

 

 

 

Since I know she knows I won a landmark 1st Amendment case affirming the right to film police encounters (something that positively affects the rights of more than thirteen million residents of the 1st Circuit, and something that will come in handy when activists confront and film these Border Patrol stops), this is a little rich. I have also blogged here at Shire Liberty News about illegal suspicionless checkpoints I have attended, oh-so-subtly entitled “4th Amendment Dead Ahead.” Every Free Stater I know is deeply concerned about privacy and civil liberties. Edward Snowden spoke in depth about these issues at Liberty Forum, for crying out loud! As Free Keene blogger Ian Freeman points out in his response to Susan:

So, Susan is wrong claiming libertarians aren’t concerned with this issue. It’s libertarians from NH who FOUNDED Cop Block. Libertarians are the reason the Manchester checkpoints have basically been neutered over the last few years. Carla Gericke has even won a court precedent-setting case against the police for oppressing her right to record a police encounter. My co-host on my talk show, Free Talk Live, Mark Edge even made a video of his refusal to consent to a Border Patrol checkpoint during a visit to Texas. I made a short documentary about five liberty-lovers attempting to cross the border with various forms of ID at Derby Line, VT that includes an encounter with US Border Patrol where we assert our right to record and back them down.

What Susan is really doing, from the safety of her keyboard, is asking us “freedumb fauxbertarians” to go do her dirty work for her, just as we have been doing for the past decade. She gets to sit at home calling us names while we get arrested and caged and face the wrath of the “gummint,” while she just criticizes us. See, in the Bruce’s world, we’re damned when we do and we’re damned when we don’t.

I don’t give a damn, though, because in my heart, I know my actions, and those of my friends and neighbors, are set true towards liberty, regardless of who is running the DC Reality TV Show. Where was the outrage when these roadblocks were taking place under Obama? I lived in the Upper Valley at that time, and when I learned of one close enough to possibly reach, I personally drove out to it–it was gone by the time I got there, but so much for not caring.

As I stated in my Facebook post, “I, for one, will record everything if caught up in this, and will sue, sue, sue!” I ask everyone reading this to do the same. Yes, Susan, even YOU.

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