Lauren Carario started it, putting coins in the parking meters of autos in danger of being ticketed in around 2007 or 2008. It was not an all the time thing, but something she did because she thought it was wrong to fine people for parking on the streets for which they pay. The people are the government, after all. No one asked them if they wanted to fine themselves.
Sometimes from small impulses large things grow. Feeding the meters has continued by others following her example, on and off, since Lauren's first impulse. About a month ago, things heated up.
In the last two weeks the peaceful Evolution of Robin Hood has captured national, and international, attention as Keene filed a law suit against activists, naming, among others Graham Colson.
In response, Graham and others went down to the City Hall to talk to City Attorney Tom Mullins, who refused to hold a discussion on camera, ignoring the public's right to know.
The City of Keene, say Graham and his fellow activists, can make no case anyone was harmed, the central claim in the law suit they filed. The City of Keene, the victim named, is not a person, but a corporation, a fiction used to, supposedly, serve the people of Keene, who are the government.
There is no victim and no crime.
In fact, feeding coins into the parking meters is not even a victimless crime. But doing so denied those who 'manage' services for the town of 23,395 a stream of income on which they have come to depend. As such, the Keene Robin Hooders, are a problem for them.
The Robin Hooders, who also identify themselves as The Shire Society, calling for Peace, Love and Liberty, are also affiliated with the Free State Project, which drew many to New Hampshire starting over ten years ago. These freedom seekers, arriving from all across the country, decided it was 'freer' in New Hampshire, but now are looking for ways to finish the job.
Victimless crime or not, the powers-that-be, sequestered at Keene City Hall, are determined to prosecute their case against several of the activists, including Kare Aga, Ian Bernard AKA Freeman, James Cleaveland, Graham Colson, Garret Ean, and Peter Eyre. Along with putting coins in the parking meters the activists are charged with harassing city employees. The documents can be viewed HERE
Legally, the City Attorney, Tom Mullins and City Manager, John MacLean, are on thin ice. The group claims to have hundreds of hours of film prove no one was harassed. Since they expected a reaction would be elicited from City Hall, this is most likely true. Tom Mullins and John MacLean, who the Keene Robin Hooders also referred to as “Prince John,” most likely are depending on being able to intimidate the activists into inactivity.
This does not appear to be a likely outcome. The folk of the Shire are peaceful, but determined to make their point.
Indications are that attorneys are contacting them, in response to a signal opportunity for publicity to take on the self-appointed Castle of Keene, confiscated from the people by stealth. In this modern remake of the original Robin Hood story no one is waiting to be rescued from the devious behavior of Prince John.
The real government of Keene, the people, are doing it themselves using the truth and transparency.
To date, no one about to receive a parking ticket has complained. Donations are flowing in at a gratifying rate, both from local residents and elsewhere.