Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Robin Hoods....sort of

So, these kids in Keene, NH are going to have to face (at least) civil charges.

For harassing meter persons in the course of their meter duties.

Excerpt from the story: Members of the group place cards under windshield wipers that read, "Your meter expired; however, we saved you from the king's tariffs, Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Please consider paying it forward," and includes an address where donations can be sent

An interesting question:  can citizens legally follow law officers and taunt them?  Repeatedly?  To such an extent that the law officers quit, or become ill from the stress?

(Problem:  It's not clear those things will actually happen.  But, suppose, for the sake of argument, that that is what is happening.  It makes the case a more interesting problem.)

I guess I lean towards "no."  This is a protest, yes, I see that.  But are they seriously protesting fees for parking on city streets?  Here is the Keene city parking web site.

A video, from local Boston CBS station.    Call me a cynic, but my suspicion is that this is what is going on.

1.  Some of the RH's have in fact been aggressive and loud.  And it is quite possible that there has been overt "surveillance," as alleged by the meter guy who says the RH's were watching his family. 
2.  The city is "losing" a lot of money.  In fact, the city is losing enough that it has trouble justifying paying the meter persons.
3.  #2 is motivating the city to trump up charges based on #1, to try to harass and intimidate the RH's through the legal system, using lawyers and scare tactics.
4.  In short, and as usual, the state is actually doing something that if private citizens did it would be illegal.  The cute thing about this is example is that the state is actually accusing the private citizens of doing just. that. thing.  The state constantly conducts surveillance, harasses people, takes pictures of public gatherings, and makes threats.  The difference is that the state is not a bunch of skinny teenagers.  The state has guns.
5.  The state's job is not to protect "us," whatever that means.  The state's job is to protect the state.  I expect that the state will do its job.

Nod to Jeremy B.


G Wolf said...

The Free Keene group has been making mischief and performing civil disobedience for years now. See for example here or here.

They're basically anarcho-capitalists and claim they are being activists. But they never (NEVER) act to pursue rectification when they're wrongfully arrested or things like that. They just like complaining about it.

I basically stopped taking them seriously a few years ago. Heck, they like to pretend the USA doesn't even exist and is only in the minds of others.

codeandculture said...

Life imitates Encyclopedia Brown