Libertarians and “voluntaryists” of Keene, New Hampshire do this supposedly awesome thing: feeding parking meters with money before enforcement officers can write out tickets.
The issue is that they do it not once in a while but systematically and while delivering harassment to officers.
Keene’s downtown business community can’t possibly approve of the coddling of parking space hogs.
But enforcing some balance of interest and power in a community is NOT a major concern for libertarians who flocked to New Hampshire under the “Free State Project” – “a political migration, founded in 2001, to recruit at least 20,000 libertarians to move to a single low-population state (New Hampshire, selected in 2003) in order to make the state a stronghold for libertarian ideas”.
In its article on the “Free Keene” libertarian movement and parking meter battle, New York Times devotes a good bit of ink to “Ian Freeman” A.K.A. Ian Bernard. I call him a “leader” since he founded a syndicated “liberty minded” radio show and he’s gone to jail for at least 3 days during a protracted battle with the city over whether a free man can leave a couch on his lawn against city ordinance.
He formerly lived in Florida but he may also have spent some time in Wisconsin. See this snippet:
“The gangly Mr. Freeman, born Ian Bernard, drives an auctioned-off police car with Wisconsin plates, hasn’t paid federal taxes for a decade, and has donated his house to the recently established Shire Free Church, which is now seeking tax-exempt status. From this “parsonage,” he broadcasts his nationwide “Free Talk Live” radio show several nights a week.”
Maybe one of my readers can fill us all in on Ian Bernard’s (Ian Freeman’s) Wisconsin era by adding a comment.
Here’s a snippet about the parking meter brigade:
Keene’s two parking officers, both women, are often videotaped by young adults known as “Robin Hooders.” They track the whereabouts of the officers by two-way radio, feed expired meters before $5 tickets can be written, and leave a business card saying that “we saved you from the king’s tariff.”
Welcome to Sherwood Forest, N.H., where these acts of charity have led to some donations and gratitude, but also to sidewalk tensions, harassment allegations and litigation. They are part of a broader effort by about two-dozen activists, most of them from someplace else, to unshackle Keene from the “violent monopoly” of government and its enforcers, including these parking officers who work in weather fair and foul.
Go to the New York Times to read the whole article.
I found this 10 minute video entitled, “Ian and the Couch” in which Ian decides to fight for his right to leave a soggy couch on his lawn in violation of city ordinance.
This mini-documentary features a mandolin soundtrack intended to suggest that Ian is just a plucky principled guy, not some immature annoying megalomaniac.
It’s not easy to watch Ian Freeman/Bernard whinge to the camera but there are moments of redemption for those viewers who endure.
For example, in court he refuses to be seated despite the judge’s order to do so. That’s contempt of court. For his principled stand, Mr. Freeman/Bernard is rewarded with handcuffs, a criminal charge, and jail time.