In a recent article in the Union Leader, the NHCLU called out the Concord NH Police department’s request for a Lenco Bearcat; The controversial and costly federal tax dollar paid acquisition of a large military style vehicle that police departments across the country are buying up, even when the citizens of the towns receiving them overwhelmingly don’t need them and don’t want them. The state of New Hampshire already has at least two. One of which is in Keene NH, where it might end up being used maybe a number of times but with only two murders since 1999 in this sleepy little college town, there really was no justification for its purchase. The other is Manchester, NH. Where I’ve never seen it actually deployed. (And wouldn’t have even known Manchester had one had I not been told.) The Bearcat costs a quarter of a million dollars, and while it is slated to be paid for initially in federal dollars, the training, maintenance, fuel, and operation are going to cost the local taxpayers quite a bit for a piece of equipment we do not have any real necessity for.
Now Concord NH wants one, and they are citing that Occupy New Hampshire (an organization known for litter pick-ups, and too-polite political bird dogging) provides them with “Daily Challenges” in their justification for receiving it. A statement that is absolutely false and absurd.
Occupy New Hampshire, as an organization has not been functioning since July of 2012, and there has not been a notable Occupy gathering since April of 2013, and that was at UNH Durham, and Portsmouth, NH. Hardly able to provide any type of “Challenge” to the Concord PD, and if Occupy is providing them with daily challenges since our last event on April 28th, then I think they have different problems. The last time the Concord Police Department had ANY interaction with occupiers was during the New Hampshire Primary, when they made one arrest of a UNH Student and occupier for trespassing during the Republican Primary debate, of which they met no resistance and the arrested occupier went peacefully in sync with the active non-violent civil disobedience policy Occupy New Hampshire championed.
The request also named the Free State Project, and Sovereign Citizens, as well as Occupy New Hampshire as justification for needing the Bearcat, after a statement about Concord NH’s threat of terrorism being a domestic one, which paints the picture that these organizations are actively engaged in terrorism or terrorist activities. A statement that is absolutely FALSE. Occupy New Hampshire has a statement of non-violence, the Free State project has a non-aggression principle, and Sovereign Citizens are just not something you even hear about around here except for the occasional nuts who don’t want to pay taxes and barricade themselves in their homes.
Thanks to the allegations of the Concord PD, that the Occupy movement in New Hampshire provides them with “daily challenges,” we will be having our FIRST General Assembly since July of 2012 in Veterans Park in Manchester on Friday, August 9th at 7:00PM. We will meet to discuss a response to the militarization of our sleepy little state, and the ever increasing NSA surveillance state. We will then decide if we want to continue to have regular meetings to work against this intrusions in our daily lives from the Federal Government and the state agents who are so threatened by the peaceful citizens of our great State of New Hampshire. This meeting will be open to the public, and we will have time for horizontal stack so everyone will get an opportunity to speak. Please come down, and bring your friends, family, and other citizens who are concerned with the more aggressive and unnecessary changes that are happening to law enforcement. We also invite a representative from the Concord PD to explain exactly WHY they have mentioned us in their request, and to cite evidence of these “Daily Challenges” that justify them purchasing a large piece of military furniture.