Tag Archives: Chris Cantwell

Liberatarians Shown Once Again to be a White Boy Bigot Club

h/t susanthebruce

Two police brutality surveillance and reporting groups have officially distanced themselves from the libertarian-based Cop Block.  Reported by the Austin based Peaceful Streets Project, the groups say that they find the bigotry and overwhelming white male privilege among Cop Block leadership to be problematic and unresolvable.

In particular, as quoted below and in the statements from WeCopWatch and Anti-Media, key players in the New Hampshire libertarian, Free State Project group are named, in particular the founder of Cop Block Adam Mueller of Manchester (aka Ademo Freeman) and Chris Cantwell who moved to Keene to be a part of the Free Keene libertarian commune in Keene, New Hampshire.

Adam Mueller came to New Hampshire sometime around 2010 and started Cop Block, as a fellow from the Koch Brothers funded anarchy-capitalist training school, The Institute for Humane Studies based at George Mason University.  With Koch money in hand, Adam founded a group to harass Manchester’s city police, in particular with a juvenile incident of “chalking” the city police department building and putting up a stink when arrested.  His arrest for resisting arrest called attention to the anarcho-capitalist call to annihilate the “police state” and also made Mueller a small-time folk hero.  For awhile he had a web page with his letters from the Valley Street Jail posted by friends to further his martyrdom. [Editor’s Note: anyone can search the internet for more information, we prefer to not promote their pages here]

Cop Block attracted a lot of press and negative attention in Manchester during 2010 from their antics.  Many Manchester residents and the police department who have worked hard to undo years of bad relations between the police and the Manchester community had mixed feelings about Cop Block and its bent on pushing libertarian ideology and not confronting deeper social issues.  The disassociation of the Cop Block group was inevitable as the foundation of the libertarian ideology is one based on the denial of systemic oppression of any sort.  Libertarians believe that one’s failures in life or society can only be explained by one’s own personal failures.  Therefore libertarians consistently claim that the calling out of racism, sexism or other bigotries has no root in reality.  Libertarians only recognize “state based” oppression.  They target their critique most sharply on institutions founded to address social oppression and systemic inequality claiming that this in and of itself causes oppression and thus should be deconstructed.

Naturally the outcome of such a worldview would be that an organization such Cop Block would eventually be called out to be a fraud on its face.  Cop Block and its founding member with Koch Brothers financial support, has demonstrated the key weaknesses within anarcho-capitalism and libertarianism in that they believe the only really oppressed groups are white males whose hegemony of the existing social system is being challenged by “special interest groups”.  Thus its no wonder that as the article below describes, Cop Block supporters and founders would be silent on the core issues of police brutality; systemic racism and classism.  Its also no wonder that Cop Block founders and supporters would promote and display open and shameless contempt against women and non-white peoples.

This distancing shows a real developing maturity and growth among cop-watch groups across the country and also their committment to fighting the systemic social problems that cause police brutality and increased militarization.

WeCopwatch and Anti-Media distance themselves from Cop Block

Cop Block is a largely libertarian police accountability organization that was an initial supporter of the Peaceful Streets Project. From the beginning, many members of Cop Block (especially Pete Eyre) supported the Peaceful Streets Project. Their initial support was very helpful in allowing us to spread awareness of our efforts to take on police abuse, corruption, crime, and misconduct in Austin and in select other cities. However, in the past few years both the Peaceful Streets Project and Cop Block have changed in some pretty remarkable ways.

First, the Peaceful Streets Project was started with a vision of helping to bring about a society free of state-sponsored institutionalized violence. Never were we about making friends with the police, nor were we very concerned about non-state violence. Although some of the lead organizers wanted to, as an organization we deliberately shied away from many of the social factors that help feed aggressive and violent policing, as well as the social factors that helped feed violence in the streets. In particular, we avoided issues of race and gender. Our willingness to stand up to the police state while ignoring racism and misogyny allowed many unsavory people to rally around us. Many of those people; who were eager to focus on DUI checkpoints, marijuana laws, and SWAT raids; surprised us when they inexplicably but vigorously rallied behind white people who killed unarmed black people. This became most obvious in their rabid support of George Zimmerman who killed Trayvon Martin in 2012.

By 2013, Antonio Buehler began to acknowledge more and more what co-founders Harold Gray, John Bush, and especially Kaja Tretjak had been concerned about when it came to non-state forms of oppression. Buehler used his position of relative influence to begin speaking out about issues of race and gender, and soon found that many of the followers of Peaceful Streets Project were attacking him. Many supporters encouraged him to disregard these issues in order to keep harmony among police accountability activists, but Buehler had come to recognize that opposition to only state oppression, and not the social oppression that helps fuel the ability of the state to harm people, was a fool’s errand. The police are a problem only to the extent that the structures and hierarchies in our society allow them to be.

Things came to a head later in 2013 when Bush called out a homophobic facebook post, and then Buehler called out some racist and sexist facebook posts. This brought out vicious attacks from many who were at the intersection of some or all of the following groups: Cop Block, anarchocapitalists, Men’s Rights Movement, and Neoconfederates. One semi-popular libertarian blogger named Christopher Cantwell led the charge against the “White Knight,” “Social Justice Warriors” who dared to take offense at overt forms of bigotry. Soon, Buehler had hundreds of racist and sexist people attacking him for taking a stand against racism and sexism. Buehler responded by disassociating with everyone who was willing to associate with Cantwell, and this included Cop Block founder Ademo Freeman and many other members of Cop Block. Buehler was also forced to sever ties with people who had set up Peaceful Street Project facebook pages in various parts of the country.

Since then, the Peaceful Streets Project has gone to great lengths to acknowledge how bigotry helps fuel oppression, and how we (as a largely white male group) can use our privilege to help undermine that oppression. We have sought out other groups that better reflect the populations being most abused by police (such as the Austin Justice Coalition) so that we can ally with them and support them in the struggle. Further, we are much more proactive in calling out bigoted behavior within our group, as we recognize that wonderful contributors had left the Peaceful Streets Project in the early years because it had previously been an unsafe space for them.

Cop Block, however, seems to be going in the opposite direction. Instead of calling out bigotry in the ranks, they have tended to ignore it. While Cop Block claims that as a decentralized organization they cannot control the actions of their members, they do allow unilateral decisions if those decisions are made by the founder, Freeman. Further, while they claim they cannot do much of anything about the bigots in their ranks, as libertarians and anarchists they know very well the power of ostracism. Instead of ostracizing the bigots, they choose to embrace bigots such as Cantwell. And while they may try to claim that they don’t concern themselves with social oppression, and only state oppression, many members of Cop Block became silent when it came to the killings of Michael Brown and Freddie Gray, and they instead focused all of their outrage on people who rioted or looted in response to police executing unarmed people.

In recent days it has come to our attention that Ademo Freeman has gone completely off the rails. There is plenty of information circulating on the web about some extraordinarily disgusting behavior that has personally harmed individuals who did not seek to harm him, that we will not rehash here. WeCopwatch and Anti-Media, both of who were collaborating with Cop Block, have publicly distanced themselves from the organization. We commend them for doing so. Fighting the police state and holding police accountable cannot be done if we don’t hold each other accountable, first. We hope that other groups will do the same, and that the many decent people in Cop Block will push the bigots out of the organization.

At Peaceful Streets Project we are less concerned about what happens on the internet than we are what happens in the street. We look forward to continuing to engage in direct action tactics that will help change the culture of society. We look forward to continuing to partner with organizations who want to end the police state – and who are willing to be smart enough to strike out against all forms of oppression that stand in the way.

And yes, we also distance ourselves from Cop Block.

WeCopwatch statement: http://wecopwatch.org/wecopwatch-cuts-ties-with-copblock-org/
Anti-Media statement: http://theantimedia.org/behind-our-decision-to-leave-cop-block/

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Colbert Reveals the Keene “Difference Makers” for What they Are: “Huge Douchebags”

These children are free from the tyranny of Big Government.

These children are free from the tyranny of Big Government. Their early life experiences will probably lead them to positions of great wealth and entrepreneurship.

And apparently the extremist wing of the Free State Project adherents don’t get the joke.  Chris Cantwell, the most recent immigrant to Ian Freeman’s Keene commune (a duplex in the city of Keene) posted last night on his personal blog about his appearance on the show.  Not surprisingly he seems completely unaware that the entire Colbert show consists of satire.  Amazing really considering how they like to think of themselves as masters of the art of propaganda.  One would think that a master of propaganda and messaging and self described masters of the stealth attack using media would know when the jaundiced eye turns on them.

The intro does a wonderful job of making the obvious tie-in between the far right extremist establishment Republicans and the basis of the libertarian ideology; they both make hyperbolic statements about “tyranny”.  Although the origins of the tyranny assumption may vary slightly;  its not lost on most who bother to notice that the evangelical far right and the Tea Party crowd especially felt tyranny sneaking up when a black man took a position of leadership over the country.  The Free Keeners, the more radical end of the Free State Project adherents and capitalist libertarians in general tend more to see all civil infrastructure,  including that in place to protect human rights and safety to be tyranny against capital.

Slight difference only in that the libertarian anarch0-capitalists deserve credit for being honest; they just hate government because they are selfish, greedy psychopaths.  Having a humane and peaceful society requires some sacrifice on everyone’s part, but elitist capitalists tend to have a problem with this and why not? If they don’t need government services they figure, why should they pay taxes for others to have them (you and me that is)? When we work for two cents an hour, they win.  What happens to you is your own business.

Tea Partiers on the other hand,  like to cloak their greed and selfishness in language that pulls on old class divisions, racism and other hatreds.  In the end though, they all push the same agenda; pulling our civilization back a few hundred years so the people get the chance to start the struggle for justice all over again, but this time in a far more controlled and closely watched global environment.

The fact is that those who follow the libertarian agenda of global capitalists but aren’t global capitalists really need to have something to hold onto.  Afterall, you have to have something loose in your head to believe that removing all protections for workers, protections against discrimination, protections against industrial pollution, protections for consumers and so much more would mean that “liberty” would blossom for us all. Most of us can understand that the number who’d enjoy such liberty in such anarchy would be small and probably wouldn’t be us common folks.

So when the far-right libertarians such as the Free State Project followers rear up their ugly heads and commit their antics to the public eye, the temptation to mock their foolishness cannot be overlooked.  Here for your entertainment we have the Colbert report giving a pretty good picture of the bravery and hard work of the “Free Keeners”, none of whom work but support themselves on pixie dust and the generosity of a local trust funder whilst harassing city employees just trying to do their job.

Before you, our intrepid readers venture onto watching this highly entertaining well executed segment, we’d like to draw attention to some note worthy quotes.  Most notable was Chris Cantwell stating what’s obvious to everyone; that open carry is a form of intimidation and a direct effort to suppress speech.  At about 4:12 Cantwell states, “I find that when I carry a gun people are very unlikely to hit me.”  They are also very unlikely to speak up and call you a jerk or even say that your ideas are wrong.  Ironic for people who profess to be all about free speech isn’t it?

This really is a rare confession of the bullying mindset that proffers among the gun-nut crowd.  They do see themselves as armed vigilantes for what they see as right.  In fact Stephen Clark of Portsmouth Patch also highlighted the gun factor among the Free Staters and their antipathy for anything agreed upon by the collective people, including elections and their right to use “force” to turn the tide their way.   Please help yourself here:  Opinion: William Kostric and Me

Also, before we move onto the video, note one other quote from Garett Ean right after Cantwell, who says, “You cannot be free from an idea so there cannot be freedom from Free Keene for people who just live here.”

In other words, all the tax paying, community participating people in Keene who live, work and raise their families there, you “just live here” according to Garett.  Possibly Garett could tell us all exactly what he’s doing in Keene if not in fact just living there in the purest sense of the phrase because as far as anyone has ever been able to tell and actually in accordance with the Free Keene and Free State Project ideology and practice, most of the Free Keeners don’t work and if they do, they do not pay taxes.  So much for the evils of the “nanny state”;  it seems that Keene has become the unfortunate nanny for this bizarre cult of Koch Brothers style libetarianism.

http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/videos/dvppp6/difference-makers—the-free-keene-squad

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Cop Killing With Cantwell

Our esteemed susanthebruce blog just posted a great analysis of Chris Cantwell, an individual of some controversy within the Free State Project, mostly because he takes the Non-Aggression Principle to its logical end and well, that makes some Free Staters a little uncomfortable.  The Free Staters like to say Cantwell was banned from the Free State Project but as the photos below illustrate and as Susanthebruce points out, that just doesn’t appear to be the case or they’ve changed their minds.

Anyway, more of Susan’s excellent points on Cantwell below:

Cop Killing With Cantwell

This is Chris Cantwell. This is his Halloween costume, worn at a recent Free State Project convention in Keene.

He moved to NH as part of the Free State Project, the armed band of miscreants that are moving, en masse, to colonize NH, take over and dismantle our state government, then threaten secession.

Cantwell wants to kill cops. Well, not really – he wants to “inspire” other people into killing cops.

Read the rest here: Cop Killing With Cantwell

Cantwell on "media" panel.

Cantwell on “media” panel, Keenevention 2014.

 

Cantwell with Ian “Freeman” (formerly Bernard) at 2013 Keenevention.

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