By William R. Toler
For the past several days, there has been tension brewing in New Hampshire (and across the “liberty movement”) for the Free State Project board’s decision to excommunicate activist Chris Cantwell. The board has removed him from the “list of participants” and he is not welcome at any future FSP-sponsored events, including PorcFest.
The controversy stems from an op-ed piece Cantwell wrote concerning the acquisition of a Bearcat assault vehicle by the Concord, NH police to combat, among other groups, Free Staters.
In part, Cantwell wrote:
They see this injustice, they want it to stop, and so they are coming together to make a stand against it. The only problem is, now that they have come together, they have absolutely no idea what to do, because their vision of a peaceful evolution to a voluntary society is being shattered on an almost daily basis by government violence. That violence is all too sure to escalate, as the government agents of New Hampshire and elsewhere acquire more advanced and sophisticated technology to oppress these peaceful activists, and the population in general.
So what to do? It’s a terribly unpopular thing to say, but the answer, at some point, is to kill government agents. The government agents know that, and that’s why they want a tank.
Several weeks earlier, while sitting in for the caged Adam Kokesh on Adam VS The Man, Cantwell posted a video with a similar sentiment, basically putting into long, rant form a simple quote by John F. Kennedy: “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
The FSP board accused Cantwell of promoting violence. And while at first glance it may seem that he is throwing the non-aggression principle out the window (as I mistakenly did the first time I saw the above video), he really isn’t.
The NAP allows for the use of force in self-defense and the defense of others. Government agents routinely initiate force and agression against peaceful people.
Now, the FSP is discussing taking action with Larken Rose, who has expressed similar rhetoric with his piece “When Should You Shoot a Cop?”
I was first exposed to the Sovereign “movement” while working on an independent film in 2002, which sadly was never finished. 10 years later, I began meeting libertarian anarchists and noticed like-minded views between the two groups. Ironically both “movements” (along with the Occupy “movement”) were the listed reasons for Concord’s necessity for a tank.
Both groups believe in self-ownership and natural rights. Both groups believe that government permission (licenses, permits, etc.) are unnecessary and antithetical to a free society.
Sovereign “Citizens” are considered extremely dangerous because of an 2010 incident in Arkansas where two individuals shot and killed a pair of West Memphis police employees.
Here is a propaganda piece on “Sovereign Citizens” put out by the Southern Poverty Law Center featuring Jim Cavanaugh, head of the BATFE during the Waco massacre.
Listening to Cantwell on Peace News Now in the wee hours of Wednesday morning got me thinking: could this situation be considered justifiable homicide?
(Chris, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong on this.)
This was a “routine” traffic stop. I have not been able to find any reason for the stop besides the fact that the vehicle had Ohio plates and the officer was “running drug interdiction.” So, right off the bat, the suspects’ freedom of movement was violated for no apparent reason.
Let’s change the scenario slightly. Had the suspects not been armed, there is a very high probability they would have been agressed against, kidnapped and caged for not providing government-approved and issued documentation. Then they would have been extorted to be released, ordered to attend a kangaroo court and likely caged and/or extorted from again.
Maybe they should’ve used the Bush defense and claimed it was a pre-emptive strike.
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