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Author Topic: Court-cam civil dis set for March 3 Keene  (Read 15928 times)

Dave Ridley

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Court-cam civil dis set for March 3 Keene
« on: February 13, 2009, 03:02 PM NHFT »

(Edit 4/10/09:  My arraignment for trying to video tape  in the courtroom....is April 13 2009.  If you want to attend plz drop by Keene District Court around 1pm....my arraignment is scheduled for half an hour later.  I think the address is 3 Washington Street, Keene, New Hampshire.

Also a couple requests I have:  Could someone pm me if they are able to print out for me a note I have for the judge?  And bring it with you to court?   Also it might be very helpful if one or two of you could bring pen and paper to the courtroom...and write down exactly what you see and hear ad best you can.  Then report it to this thread....   Strangely enough sometimes people don't bother to do this but that kind of thing has worked out very well for some of us in the past when cameras aren't around.  Many thanks...

  -Dave )

now back to your regularly scheduled thread...

---

The infamous vid that started it all:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5TCnMnCwVY

The note I sent to Keene District Court Feb 19:

----

Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.
    - Mahatma Gandhi

Pro-media civil disobedience at Keene District Court

What:  Man to face arrest over camera restrictions
Where: Keene District Court, 3 Washington Street, Keene, New Hampshire 03431-0364, 603.352.2559   
When: 8:00 a.m. March 3, 2009
Why:  Protest unjustified camera shutdown orders
How:  Videographer will attempt to enter court.  Will refuse to stop recording without acceptable reason.
Who:  Dave Ridley, Manchester news videographer (contact info)
Latest details: http://nhunderground.com/forum/index.php?topic=17123.0
           
Dear folks at Keene District Court:

Sorry for the delay in getting this to you but I couldn't find an e-mail or fax number.  Here are explanations of my grievances and of the peaceful deeds I intend to undertake in protest.

On Novemer 14, 2008, acting without acceptable cause, you ordered documentarian Tom Caruso to shut off his camera during a trial.  Caruso had tried to follow your rules, obtained the necessary permissions in advance and travelled hundreds of miles to be pool photographer.  Though he was without fault or failing, you shut him down just minutes into the proceedings.  Then you removed the victimless defendant whose plight Caruso was attempting to document.  You condemned that defendant to a unspeakably excessive sentence, away from the public, away from Caruso's camera.

The perception exists that you are violating New Hampshire's way of life, bringing down a curtain of partial secrecy upon once-public proceedings.  We have seen what happens when governing institutions lower such veils of darkness upon their actions.  We have, decades ago, allowed such a veil to fall around Federal institutions here and have paid for that mistake. No such barrier is sufferable at KDC.

Fortunately, history has provided the people with a peaceable means of combating such abuses, without reliance on government.  The Gandhis and Thoreaus of our world provide inspiration; it is for the rest of us to clumsily follow their ways and hope we may achieve some poor echo of their accomplishment.

On March 3, 2009, I intend to place myself at risk of arrest in your courthouse.   First I will try to follow your permission-to-film procedures.  I will inform you of my wish to record the arraignment of a Gandhi-emulating marijuana activist.  Then, in the absence of illness or emergency, I intend to will appear at the event with video cameras, sound recorders and a readiness to suffer.   

I'm ready to face arrest rather than be turned away, ready to go to jail rather than comply with the type of shutdown order you gave Caruso.  Previous pool photographers have, understandably, allowed you to intimidate them into compliance  The situation at your court requires a pool photographer with less to lose, and even more readiness to make sacrifices on behalf of press freedom.  I intend to be that photographer, to videotape the entirity of the arraignment with the defendant's consent and to make the video available for others.  I have an open mind toward your legitimate requests and intend to be among the minority who still stand at such proceedings.  But unacceptable "stop filming" orders will be...unaccepted.   You should assume I'm recording unless otherwise noted.

I also intend to be in the same room as the defendant.  I'm ready to face arrest rather than allow him to be separated from me during the proceedings.   As much as possible within this context, I will try not to disrupt your process.  I'm urging all allies in this matter to do likewise and treat you with respect, even when their conscience compells them to disobey.

As I recall, you sometimes discourage videotaping the audience.  I've tried to follow this admonition, but recently you threatened members of that audience with legal harm if they failed to stand for you. Thus, many of the people who will be spectating that day *want* to be recorded for their safety.  Your warnings have made them newsworthy.  So I'm compelled to videotape at least this part of the audience, and again I'm ready to face arrest rather than do otherwise.    I'll submit a separate note outlining ways we can work together to protect the anonymity of uninvolved private citizens.

It's beyond my poor power to change your level of openness against your will.   But raising the issue of press freedom in the courtroom...that can be done.  And done it shall be.

Yours with best wishes,

Dave Ridley
RidleyReport.com
Manchester




Also sent this side note to the court:

Options for safeguarding privacy of KDC audience members *and* press freedom
2/16/09

Dear folks at Keene District Court:

I understand you have some concerns regarding the videotaping of audience members inside your courtroom.   I'm sympathetic to these concerns, to the possibility that some people forced to be in that room might not want to be photographed.   Other audience members, however, do wish to be videotaped.  And I wish to videotape them, because they are doing something newsworthy.  They are refusing to stand for the judge.  The public has right to see this, and I have a duty to try and film it.   

There are some options for safeguarding the privacy of the uninvolved, while allowing the public to witness newsworthy events which occur on their side of the courtroom.   You may have better ideas, but here are my brainstorms:

1)  If you'd like me to, I could announce to the audience that I am about to videotape in their direction...giving camera-shy visitors time to leave the room or cover their faces.   Or you could inform them. 

2) We could designate a part of the audience area as off limits for videography.  The camera-shy could sit there and I could do my best to avoid videotaping that part.  I might have to move the tripod to keep that area unseen.

3) If you can allow me to move about somewhat, that will make it easier to keep camera shy people behind the camera.  I will defer to you on this, but I reserve the right to take the camera off the tripod.  This will make it easier to control the camera and keep it aimed away from uninvolved parties. 

Again, I'm open to better ideas.  I only want to videotape the audience if and when something newsworthy is happening in their direction.  I do not envision aiming their way for long, or on a frequent basis.  And for most of your morning, I do not need to videotape at all.  I will however need to be in the courtroom between roughly 8:15 am. and the end of Carroll's arraignment. 

Again, I am willing to be arrested rather than submit to a blackout of these events. 

It may be that our positions condemn us to be opponents of a sort, but we apparently share the privacy goal, and I hope we can work together in good faith to achieve it.

With best wishes as always,

Dave Ridley
RidleyReport.com
Manchester

And have sent this note to the jail superintendent:

Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.
    - Mahatma Gandhi



2/18/09
Richard N. Van Wickler
Superintendent, Cheshire Co. DOC

Dear Superintendent Van Wickler:

You may remember me from last year, when I interviewed you over the phone regarding your child support detainee Russell Kanning of Grafton.   On March 3, 2009, I plan to become an inmate myself.  I've informed Keene District Court that I intend to peaceably violate their draconian media restrictions, and they're unlikely to take this lightly.

While at your facility, I hope to assist you in your goal of eliminating certain victimless crime laws.  With their consent, I would like to videotape what victimless inmates are going through, though I realize your jail is one of the less inhumane.  I've put out a request for "assistance from outside," and an activist may be contacting you later to arrange
delivery of a camera to me at the jail.

In exchange for some freedom to videotape, I'm willing to answer virtually all the questions your guards may have for me.  Normally when I go to jail (though I've only done it once), I decline to answer most of the intrusive personal questions imposed on inmates.  The last time I did this the punishment was being forced to go naked for a day.  But it was worth it, and my default plan would be to do it again.  For the chance to videotape, I could see myself setting most of this aside.  There might be a couple of questions I'd still decline, such as providing a "socialist security number."

I would require your word on tape, that you will allow the camera in, before I consider such an arrangement finalized.   I would also require your word that I will be free to videotape everything except security-sensitive spots and every *one* except unwilling inmates.  Your safety, and their rights, are of equal concern to me.  I would require your assurances that the camera will not be confiscated or censored by your men.   I'm prepared to delete any clips myself which might inadvertently violate such locations, or the privacy concerns of inmates.

There's good precedent for allowing "inmate-journalists" to operate inside jails.  Nightline did it in the 90s twice; I think in one case it was a real inmate and in the other case Ted Koppel himself took up residence in a cell.  I make less pretense of neutrality, but I hope your last experience going on the Ridley Report serves as evidence that I am also fair.  Whether I'm able to bring a camera in or not, I will likely produce several videos or articles documenting what I see and experience in your jail.   I will also treat your staff with respect and endeavor to comply with most types of orders.

Here's a link to the series I did about Essex:  TinyUrl.com/c4e3jo

Thanks again for your efforts to end the war on drugs and for your transparent candor in the past.

With best wishes,


Dave Ridley
RidleyReport.com
Manchester

P.S. I will call your office around 2 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 26. to discuss this further.  If this is a bad time, please have Penney let me know. 




Original post follows:

---

I've sent this to Andrew for review and not yet heard back so here it is for the community at large.  Your thoughts?

---

My civil dis plan at Andrew Carroll's hearing

OK all...looks like I am ready to do some pre-announced camera disobedience.   My brainstorm is to try and freely videotape the Andrew Carroll appearance at Keene District Court March 3, or be arrested.  I have readied a note for court personnel which pledges that I will not follow the type of unacceptable camera shut-down orders imposed on the last videographer there.  It also essensially pledges that if they attempt to remove Andrew into a room away from me, I will follow until arrested.

For me...this court, this city and this cause seem to provide the most ideal available circumstances for civil disobedience.  The rights it would invoke are simple and pure:  Press freedom, marijuana freedom.

All of the allies it involves appear to be of great character.  No taint of violence or threat appears to haunt any part of "our side" in the matter. 

We are confronted by a court which has recently lashed out with the harshest, most unprofessional crackdown ever inflicted on Free Staters.   And yet it is a government filled with people I know, who partially understand our message and with whom I have the most cordial relations.  The impact on them should be constructive.

These conditions - both the evil and the good - conspire to make this the best available place for a stand.

The plan for now is to make a stand over the right to record inside the courtroom.  I am not planning to make such a stand over the right to record in the lobby.   In other words, if they choose to arrest me they will likely do it the lobby where videography is forbidden.  I will probably not be trying to violate the rules in that location.   If others videotape or photograph my arrest there, then there will be a visual record of it. Otherwise there likely won't.
 
I would request that activists at this event treat all government workers with a degree of respect, no matter how they treat us.   I generally don't appreciate folks making fun of authorities.  Though I sometimes fail in this regard, I will try to treat them as I would want to be treated.  We are supposed to be winning some of them over, not humiliating them.

Maybe we can do the puppet show outside court... either before or after. 

As some of you may recall, I promised a while back to continue this little civil dis campaign until I'm arrested or until I've ammassed $1000 in illegal pupetteering profits.  If successful in triggering an arrest this day (or $900 lol), the campaign will more or less come to an end.  Otherwise it will continue. 

Below is a tentative draft announcemnt

-----

NH: Man to disobey media restrictions

What: "Press freedom" civil disobedience
Where: Keene District Court, 3 Washington Street, Keene, New Hampshire, 603.352.2559   
When: ____ March 3, 2009
Why:  Protest Judge's camera shutdown order
How:  Videographer will attempt to enter court.  Will refuse to stop recording without acceptable reason.
Who:  Dave Ridley, Manchester news videographer (contact info)

Dear folks at Keene District Court:

On Novemer 14, 2008, acting without acceptable cause, you ordered documentarian Tom Caruso to shut off his camera during a trial.

Caruso had attempted to follow your rules, obtained the necessary permissions in advance and travelled hundreds of miles to be pool photographer.  Though he was without fault or failing, you shut him down less than four minutes into the proceedings.  Shortly thereafter you removed the victimless defendant whose plight Caruso was attempting to document.  You condemned that defendant to a unspeakably disproportionate sentence, away from the public, away from Caruso's camera.

The perception exists that you are violating New Hampshire's way of life, bringing down a curtain of partial secrecy upon once-public proceedings.  We have seen what happens when governing institutions lower such veils of darkness upon their actions.  We have, decades ago, allowed such a veil to fall around Federal institutions here and have paid for that mistake. No such barrier is sufferable at KDC.

Fortunately, history has provided the people with a peaceable means of combating such abuses, without reliance on government.  The Gandhis and Thoreaus of our world provide inspiration; it is for the rest of us to clumsily follow their example and hope that we may achieve some poor echo of their accomplishment.

On March 3, 2009 I intend to place myself at risk of arrest in your courthouse.   I plan to contact your office in advance and begin what would normally be a routine procedure.  I plan to inform you of my wish to record proceedings against a Gandhi-emulating marijuana activist.  I plan to appear at that event with video cameras, sound recorders and a readiness to suffer.   

After following your procedures as best I'm able, I intend to enter your court with these devices.   I'm ready to face arrest rather than be turned away, ready to go to jail rather than comply with the type of shutdown order you gave Caruso.  Previous pool photographers have, understandably, allowed you to intimidate them into compliance...for yours is a violent institution.  The situation at your court requires a pool photographer with less to lose, and even more readiness to make sacrifices on behalf of press freedom.  I intend to be that photographer, to videotape the entirity of the hearing with defendant's consent and to make the video available for others.  I have an open mind toward your legitimate requests and intend to be among the minority who still stand at such proceedings.  But unacceptable "stop filming" orders will be...unaccepted.   You should assume that I am recording unless otherwise noted. 

I also intend to be in the same room as the defendant.  I'm ready to face arrest rather than allow him to be separated from me during the proceedings.   As much as possible within this context, I will try to avoid disrupting your process.  I am urging all allies in this matter to do likewise and treat you with respect, even when their conscience compells them to disobedience.

It's beyond my poor power to change your level of openness against your will.   But raising the issue of press freedom in the courtroom...that can be done.  And done it shall be.

Yours with best wishes,


Dave Ridley
RidleyReport.com
Manchester
« Last Edit: April 10, 2009, 02:23 PM NHFT by DadaOrwell »
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K. Darien Freeheart

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Re: My tenative plans for civil dis march 3
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2009, 03:06 PM NHFT »

 :clap:

Good luck Dave. The whole camera thing has kind of jumped higher on my list, and I really really support you on this. Unfortunately, I won't be able to do it in person just yet, but you've got my well-wishes.

As a side note... I've notice the state thugs becoming more and more harsh. It's amazing how "the latest crackdown" bumps another issue to the top of my list and now things feel like they're rising like the bubbles in a freshly poured glass of Coke...
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Fluff and Stuff

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Re: My tenative plans for civil dis march 3
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2009, 03:08 PM NHFT »

I like it and will try to be there.  Keene District Court (along with Milford District Court) is one of the courts Gov. Lynch is trying to close down to save costs next year so it's a good idea to do this in 2009.
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thinkliberty

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Re: My tenative plans for civil dis march 3
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2009, 04:52 PM NHFT »

What time is his trial, I might be able to make the drive from Derry to attend?
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Dave Ridley

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Re: My tenative plans for civil dis march 3
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2009, 05:16 PM NHFT »

does anyone know the trial time?

also i dont have much contact info for andrew.... or at least i dont remember where i put it.  i'm putting this up mainly so he can see it and comment... anyone want to aim him here?

i probably wont do it if he doesn't like the idea
its funny i think the first person i informed about this was one of the KDC people , although I didn't have many details at that point.  is anyone in a position to print it out and drop it by the court once it's official and i have it finalized?  or do any of you have an email for the court?
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Kat Kanning

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Re: My tenative plans for civil dis march 3
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2009, 05:18 PM NHFT »

I believe it is an arraignment on March 3rd.  Sorry, I don't know what time.  Does anyone know that Andrew is planning on showing up for this?
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jzacker

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Re: My tenative plans for civil dis march 3
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2009, 06:57 PM NHFT »

did Gandhi show up for his arraignments?  I think he did, history check?
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Giggan

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Re: My tenative plans for civil dis march 3
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2009, 07:59 PM NHFT »

Awesome, Dave. Great point that this is double civil dis, bringing attention to both your (potential) arrest and Andrew's.
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Coconut

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Re: My tenative plans for civil dis march 3
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2009, 08:54 PM NHFT »

I believe it is an arraignment on March 3rd.  Sorry, I don't know what time.  Does anyone know that Andrew is planning on showing up for this?

I will try to contact him to get an interview for a FreeKeene update.  Thanks for the idea. Then we can get some questions answered.
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J’raxis 270145

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Re: My tenative plans for civil dis march 3
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2009, 11:53 PM NHFT »

Nice.
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Dave Ridley

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Court-cam civil dis set for March 3 Keene
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2009, 12:59 AM NHFT »

Sent this to Keene District Court today by snail mail; no e-mail or fax options apparent.

----

Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.
    - Mahatma Gandhi


Pro-media civil disobedience at Keene District Court

What:  Man to face arrest over camera restrictions 
Where: Keene District Court, 3 Washington Street, Keene, New Hampshire 03431-0364, 603.352.2559   
When: 8:00 a.m. March 3, 2009
Why:  Protest unjustified camera shutdown orders
How:  Videographer will attempt to enter court.  Will refuse to stop recording without acceptable reason.
Who:  Dave Ridley, Manchester news videographer (contact info)
           
Dear folks at Keene District Court:

Sorry for the delay in getting this to you but I couldn't find an e-mail or fax number.  Here are explanations of my grievances and of the peaceful deeds I intend to undertake in protest.

On Novemer 14, 2008, acting without acceptable cause, you ordered documentarian Tom Caruso to shut off his camera during a trial.  Caruso had tried to follow your rules, obtained the necessary permissions in advance and travelled hundreds of miles to be pool photographer.  Though he was without fault or failing, you shut him down just minutes into the proceedings.  Then you removed the victimless defendant whose plight Caruso was attempting to document.  You condemned that defendant to a unspeakably excessive sentence, away from the public, away from Caruso's camera.

The perception exists that you are violating New Hampshire's way of life, bringing down a curtain of partial secrecy upon once-public proceedings.  We have seen what happens when governing institutions lower such veils of darkness upon their actions.  We have, decades ago, allowed such a veil to fall around Federal institutions here and have paid for that mistake. No such barrier is sufferable at KDC.

Fortunately, history has provided the people with a peaceable means of combating such abuses, without reliance on government.  The Gandhis and Thoreaus of our world provide inspiration; it is for the rest of us to clumsily follow their ways and hope we may achieve some poor echo of their accomplishment.

On March 3, 2009, I intend to place myself at risk of arrest in your courthouse.   First I will try to follow your permission-to-film procedures.  I will inform you of my wish to record the arraignment of a Gandhi-emulating marijuana activist.  Then, in the absence of illness or emergency, I intend to will appear at the event with video cameras, sound recorders and a readiness to suffer.   

I'm ready to face arrest rather than be turned away, ready to go to jail rather than comply with the type of shutdown order you gave Caruso.  Previous pool photographers have, understandably, allowed you to intimidate them into compliance  The situation at your court requires a pool photographer with less to lose, and even more readiness to make sacrifices on behalf of press freedom.  I intend to be that photographer, to videotape the entirity of the arraignment with the defendant's consent and to make the video available for others.  I have an open mind toward your legitimate requests and intend to be among the minority who still stand at such proceedings.  But unacceptable "stop filming" orders will be...unaccepted.   You should assume I'm recording unless otherwise noted. 

I also intend to be in the same room as the defendant.  I'm ready to face arrest rather than allow him to be separated from me during the proceedings.   As much as possible within this context, I will try not to disrupt your process.  I'm urging all allies in this matter to do likewise and treat you with respect, even when their conscience compells them to disobey.

As I recall, you sometimes discourage videotaping the audience.  I've tried to follow this admonition, but recently you threatened members of that audience with legal harm if they failed to stand for you. Thus, many of the people who will be spectating that day *want* to be recorded for their safety.  Your warnings have made them newsworthy.  So I'm compelled to videotape at least this part of the audience, and again I'm ready to face arrest rather than do otherwise.    I'll submit a separate note outlining ways we can work together to protect the anonymity of uninvolved private citizens.

It's beyond my poor power to change your level of openness against your will.   But raising the issue of press freedom in the courtroom...that can be done.  And done it shall be.

Yours with best wishes,


Dave Ridley
RidleyReport.com
Manchester
« Last Edit: February 18, 2009, 01:00 AM NHFT by DadaOrwell »
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Dave Ridley

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Coconut

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Re: Court-cam civil dis set for March 3 Keene
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2009, 09:24 AM NHFT »

The most interesting part of this is your plan to "pan the audience." That's the one thing they've been most adamant about preventing.
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Re: Court-cam civil dis set for March 3 Keene
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2009, 11:43 AM NHFT »

The most interesting part of this is your plan to "pan the audience." That's the one thing they've been most adamant about preventing.

That's one thing that Candid World's Tom got away with.  Maybe they didn't tell him not to.
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Coconut

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Re: Court-cam civil dis set for March 3 Keene
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2009, 12:07 PM NHFT »

The most interesting part of this is your plan to "pan the audience." That's the one thing they've been most adamant about preventing.

That's one thing that Candid World's Tom got away with.  Maybe they didn't tell him not to.

true. I forgot about that, but general public was also not present that day.
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