Free State Project — 2015 Year in Review
“The Free State Project is an agreement among 20,000 pro-liberty activists to move to New Hampshire, where they will exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of life, liberty, and property.”
The Free State Project was founded in July 2001 by Jason Sorens, then a Ph.D student at Yale University. The idea was to get people who highly value individual liberties to pledge to move to New Hampshire within five years of the Free State Project reaching 20,000 signers.
This historic 20,000 signer goal, which will “Trigger The Move”—alerting signatories that the five-year clock is finally ticking—will be met in February 2016, nearly 15 years after the original essay proposing the Free State Project was penned.
It’s worth noting that many FSP signers didn’t want to wait that long; nearly 2,000 Free State Project participants are already in New Hampshire, standing up for what they believe in. And many of these FSP Early Movers are extremely active in the community and they’re able to have a large impact. For example: FSP Movers represent approximately 0.15% of the total New Hampshire population, yet comprise nearly 5% of the NH House of Representatives, with 18 elected Free Staters currently serving terms. Imagine how much we impact we can have with 20,000+ FSP movers here!
Check out the video above to get a glimpse at just some of what Free State Project movers accomplished in 2015! Media mentions and articles about FSP movers that are referenced in the video can be found below. And stay tuned, because 2016 looks even more promising! We’re Triggering The Move!
Uber Driver Ignores Portsmouth Law
[SeacoastOnline.com] FSP early mover Christopher David protests Portsmouth, NH transportation ordinance by continuing to drive unregulated as “an act of civil disobedience.”
Sword-fighting libertarian church appears before Supreme Court for tax exemption case
[Concord Monitor] “By taking the case to the Supreme Court, the libertarian activists and Free State Project members who comprise church leadership brought themselves to the fore of a trend in the state. At least three newly created churches with Free State Project ties have sought tax exemption in varied court cases in 2014 and 2015.”
Lebanon Library Resumes Support of Anonymous Web Browser Tor
[nhpr] A New Hampshire library was the first in the nation to allow anonymous internet browsing through a Tor relay, but the Department of Homeland Security sent them a request to take it down, with unfounded claims that using Tor would allow terrorist activity, etc… fearmongering at its finest! Local NH activists and FSP movers wrote in letters of support to the library and successfully got the Tor node turned back on. A sampling of the protest signs on display: “NH Tor DHS a New One,” “1984 Was Not Supposed To Be An Instruction Manual,” and “DHS Out of NH!”
NH Supreme Court tosses Keene complaint against Robin Hoods but keeps case alive
[Union Leader] “In sum, the decision is a victory for First Amendment rights. The Court recognized that government actors cannot sue citizens for alleged torts in an attempt to suppress legal, but unpopular, speech in public places.” —New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union legal director Gilles Bissonnette
NH Ends Prohibition of Narcan, the Heroin Overdose-Reversal Drug
[Free Keene] FSP mover & NH State Rep. Amanda Bouldin passes life-saving legislation: “Narcan is a trade name for Naloxone which can be administered to counter the effects of an opioid overdose – saving lives. Until now, Narcan could only be possessed legally by EMS and police. Now anyone who acts with ‘good faith and reasonable care’ may store or administer the life-saving drug to a person in overdose with no criminal or civil liability. It’s a major change that will likely result in saving the lives of multiple heroin and other opiate addicts in New Hampshire.”
On State House steps, pot smoked in protest
[Concord Monitor] At 4:20 p.m. on April 20, activists smoked pot on the steps of the New Hampshire State House for the sixth year in a row to protest the unjust and harmful laws that criminalize marijuana possession and cultivation. FSP mover Rich Paul—organizer of the peaceful protest—sparked off the festivities, announcing through his megaphone: “We smoke these in remembrance of lost liberties, and in hope for a day when the people do not fear the government, because the government fears the people.”
Welcome to the Freest Place on Earth
[Maxim] “PorcFest is an eight-day party for 1,500 people who don’t want the government in their faces. It’s a recruiting tool for the Free State Project, an effort to get thousands of libertarians to move to New Hampshire. It’s also a kind of model of a radically free society, a place where Republican business owners who hate taxes mix with gutter punks who like doing drugs and cussing out cops.”
Thanksgiving in action, as Shire Sharing goes mobile with meals
[Manchester Ink Link] FSP mover & NH State Representative Amanda Bouldin started a charity called Shire Sharing, which delivers free Thanksgiving meals to hundreds of families in need across New Hampshire.
Croydon School Board Prepared For School Choice Court Battle With State
[nhpr] The New Hampshire attorney general’s office has asked the town of Croydon, NH’s school board to stop using taxpayer money to send a group of students to a private school, which the state says is illegal. Board chair (and FSP mover!) Jody Underwood says there are no plans to stop the practice, which she argues is allowed under state law.
Edward Snowden to appear via video link at New Hampshire convention
[ABC News] Former CIA intelligence officer and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who famously leaked information about illegal government surveillance in 2013, is speaking during the Free State Project’s 9th Annual NH Liberty Forum—via live video stream from Russia, where he has stayed in political exile since June 2013.
Free State Project Reaches 90% of Target, Eclipses 18,000 Signers
[PanAm Post] “Early movers have purchased about $40 million in New Hampshire real estate, and many have brought businesses and jobs with them. Moreover, FSP early movers have advocated for the approval of a medical-cannabis law, shown civil disobedience in the form of illegally driving for Uber, and won landmark court cases that affirm the right to film police encounters.”