For the past few weeks, a group of pro-freedom citizens have protested by peacefully gathering across the street from the home of New Hampshire Governor Christopher Sununu. The unofficial group of concerned citizens believes that Governor Sununu has wrongfully violated human rights with his increasingly severe restrictions due to the Coronavirus. Among the recent restrictions are a statewide mask mandate, contact tracing, and the suspension of the opt-out of the COVID vaccine registry. The Republican governor implemented all of these laws by executive order, without any legislation being passed. Sununu has maintained the ‘state of emergency’ for nearly a year and shows no signs of ending it any time in the future.
Chris Sununu, who has quickly gained a reputation as one of most strict Coronavirus lockdown zealots in the US was not pleased with the protests, which sometimes included as many as 100 citizens. Coincidentally, Sununu’s brother, Michael, is on the town’s Select Board. On Monday Dec. 28th, Michael and the Select Board passed an illegal town ordinance making it a crime to peacefully protest near a residence, even on public property and regardless of whether any disturbance was made.
As reported by Chris Maidment of Inside Sources / NH Journal: Attorney Matthew Broadhead from the Attorney General’s office says the ordinance will pass legal muster. At the Dec. 8 meeting, he explained that “[t]his ordinance is near verbatim to one that the Supreme Court had affirmed in a prior case.” He went on to describe the “verbal harassment endured by the Governor, his family, and nearby residents.”
(I must note that laws don’t become moral just, or legal simply because a lawyer in a black robe or a politician says so. I have been saying this for years. A judge said that blacks were slaves, once upon a time.)
On Monday, Newfields police fined every protester $100 under the new law. Among those fined was reporter Chris Maidment , who was wearing his press credentials at the time. The state police also punished a disabled man who walks with a cane for the crime of not being able to walk fast enough. The state police said that the protesters could ‘march’ but they could not ‘picket’ in place. The group of around 10 peaceful protesters were met by dozens of cops, some of which were dressed in riot gear, according to the NH Journal.
The ordinance (pictured below) is illegal for at least two reasons:
Firstly, making it a crime to have any sort of demonstration or meeting anywhere near a residence is as plain a violation of the Bill of Rights-enshrinednatural rights to Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly that one could imagine.
Secondly, the town law violates ‘Dillon’s Rule’, which is a state law which prohibits towns from passing laws that were not specifically enabled by the state legislature.
The State Police and the Newfields cops have made it clear that they are going to use any force necessary to punish those who exercise their free speech to condemn the tyrannical governor. Newfields police chief, Nathan Liebenow, has promised that enforcement efforts would be “aggressive in nature.” The governor, his brother, and their armed enforcers are sending New Hampshire citizens a clear message: You better not exercise your freedom. We have guns and we will punish you.
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