Free State Project Early Mover: William Kostric
William Kostric moved to New Hampshire from Arizona for the Free State Project in June 2008, just a few days before the annual Porcupine Freedom Festival (aka PorcFest). He currently lives in Manchester, NH.
The Quill: FSP activism & community center in Manchester, NH
In 2010, as the number of Free State Project early movers grew in Manchester and beyond, Kostric saw a need for a larger, member-supported private meeting space and community center where people could get together to promote activism and discuss libertarian/voluntaryist ideas. Kostric originally opened The Quill along with fellow FSP mover Ofer Nave, though they’ve recently restructured the club as a fraternal organization with a seven-member Board of Directors.
Here are just a few of the great things members can find at The Quill:
- Charitable fundraisers for organizations such as Shire Sharing, which helps feed more than 500 families in need around Thanksgiving.
- Monthly FSP New Movers Parties, featuring a large potluck to welcome the most recent movers to New Hampshire, and a weekly FSP “Doers” meeting, where volunteers work on FSP projects like developing social media memes, sending out new signer packets, and event planning.
- Meeting spaces for activism coordination, sign making, Liberty Forum / PorcFest planning, and educational presentations.
- A free library of books, movies, and other items available to borrow, along with an impressive selection of pro-liberty pamphlets for personal reading and/or distribution.
- Family movie screenings, “Artsy Fartsy” nights, karaoke, dancing, homeschooling meetings, investor group meetups, and more…
- Plus: The Quill is home to New Hampshire’s first Bitcoin ATM!
Open carry at Barack Obama event & other activism
In addition to opening and helping manage The Quill, William Kostric has become quite involved in several types of political activism.
He attracted a lot of media attention while exercising his 2nd Amendment rights and open carrying a 9mm handgun outside of a Portsmouth, NH town hall meeting on healthcare hosted by Barack Obama in 2009.
Kostric also held a protest sign which read, “It is time to water the tree of liberty!”, referencing the Thomas Jefferson quote: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
He was pestered by the Secret Service and Portsmouth police, despite being within his legal rights and was ultimately threatened with arrest for trespassing when the government thugs couldn’t actually pin any real charges on him and had to instead wanted to rely on intimidation and force. Luckily, a pastor at a nearby church was watching the situation and offered to let Kostric exercise his rights freely on the church’s private property.
Kostric appeared on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews after the nonviolent protest, and Chris Matthews asked him repeatedly why he came to the presidential event with a pistol strapped to his leg. “That’s not even a relevant question,” Kostric shrugged. “The question is, ‘Why don’t people bear arms these days?’”
Kostric has also volunteered to help get other pro-liberty activists win elections to the NH State House of Representatives and other political offices. He’s also testified at the State House in support of bills that expand personal liberties, such as HB 1531—also known as the “Victimless Crime Bill”—which would have created an affirmative defense to any felony or misdemeanor if there was no victim of the crime.
The 2012 bill, though voted “inexpedient to legislate” by the majority, was co-sponsored by three Free State Project movers who were State Reps at the time: George Lambert, Mark Warden, and Andrew Manuse.
“There’s definitely been times in history where there have been migrations: political, economic, religious, or otherwise, but it’s usually a group of people moving together. There haven’t been many times when people came from a bunch of different places, migrating to one place. In this case, what’s really connecting people is not religion or culture, so much as just a philosophy of liberty, and it’s pretty amazing to watch.” —FSP early mover William Kostric
CopBlock and the right to film/record police
William Kostric has been especially supportive of the right to videotape police officers and other public officials; he was unlawfully arrested along with former Free State Project president Carla Gericke in Weare, NH in 2010. From this event, Gericke won a landmark First Circuit Court of Appeals case affirming the 1st Amendment right to film police encounters, while also removing the potential for police to claim qualified immunity as a defense for violating this right. Kostric went on to testify at the NH State House of Representatives in 2011 for House Bill 145—”permitting the audio and video recording of a law enforcement officer while in the course of his or her official duties.”
“What’s happening right now is there are lawsuits being filed against several police stations around the state, so in my opinion, the purpose of this modification [House Bill 145] is to inform the police of what they may not do, which is arrest someone for videotaping in public, and thereby save the taxpayers money. Because we already can [record them], we already do, we’re gonna continue to do it, and they’re gonna get sued every time they arrest us.” —FSP early mover William Kostric
Testimony videos courtesy of Free State Project participant & 2015 New Hampshire Liberty Alliance Activist of the Year: Bill Alleman of AdventuresInTheFreeState.com!