Free Stater Sam Dodson, who is the founder of the Obscured Truth Network and OTN Productions, is a board member for CD Evolution, and originally hails from Texas, has been languishing in a jail cell for videotaping in the lobby of the Keene, New New Hampshire District Court. He was arrested on April 13, 2009 in the same court where Free Stater Dave Ridley of the Ridley Report was being arraigned for committing the politically blasphemous act of civil disobedience in the same court room -- refusing to stop videotaping civil disobedience on March 3, 2009. Since April 13, he's been incarcerated without having a court trial date set for him. Although initially he didn't have a defense attorney, he's now retaining the services of an attorney and Free Stater named Ivy Walker at no cost. (Walker is accepting PayPal donations at firstname.lastname@example.org from Free Staters and pro-freedom activists who are not Free Staters in order to offset her legal expenses.)
Sam has been slapped with the following litany of charges: disorderly conduct, resisting arrest or detention,
possession of personal property without a serial number*, and refusing to be processed. Currently, he's being officially detained in the Cheshire County Department of Corrections in Westmoreland, New Hampshire. The long and short of it is that the court has trumped up these charges because Dodson refuses to participate in the judicial process that involves eliminating his freedom and surrendering his alleged right to remain silent. Judge Burke, the same one who had Ian Freeman of Free Talk Live jailed for not sitting down fast enough in his court room (especially when he yelled "Have a seat!" at him), has ordered the jail to keep Sam behind bars until he bows down to him and the state and gives his legal name.
Shortly after Dodson's arrest, six other peaceful pro-liberty activists were arrested and thrown into the county jail for not leaving the public "government" property after the court's prosecutor (also a cop) demanded that they do so. According to JailedActivist.Info's account of the incident:
In the audio clip made available by Ian Bernard he can be heard saying that Sgt. Rivera had called for backup only seconds after instructing them to leave. Some decide to leave while a few stand around in disobedience and/or considering what to do next. Richard T. Onley, Nicholas Ryder, Patrick S. Shields, Nicholas D. Krouse, Kurt W. Hoffman, and Timothy Danforth stayed around long enough for Rivera to decide to have them arrested. Onley and Ryder gave the officers their names resulting in them only receive a summons. Shields went limp and was carried to a squad car by three officers. The others did not comply completely and therefore were arrested and brought to other squad cars and taken to be booked.
(More information on Sam's incarceration can be found at JailedActivist.Info, including a timeline of the events and latest updates as well.)
Dodson has been engaging in a very long and dangerous hunger strike since he was jailed on April 13, which has been affecting his health. The only liquid he has been drinking is milk. However, he has been bartering food for stamps and has been refusing food. Lately, the guards have told him that he will not be given food, considering he's been indicating to the statist establishment that he has no intention of eating their meals.
The state's vile incarceration of Dodson is unforgivable and unconscionable. The courts, as paid by our tax dollars, are supposed to be open and transparent, yet the courts, as epitomized in this case, are violating their rules in order to "prove" that they are "right" and want to be "right." Courts that prohibit videotaping on their property are essentially creating closed, tyrannical court systems where, if the American people are kept in the dark about the abuses and practices by judges, prosecutors, and police officers on the government property, then the court's PR appearance would be viewed very much positive. Considering the courts are mechanisms for public relations, if the American people see through their PR nonsense, and see them for what they really are (I prefer to call them "prison processing centers"), then the American public could revolt against these statist judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement "government" officers and fight the system at all turns.
Dodson has asked activists to contact state senator Molly Kelly and ask her the following questions:
- Do you know there are district courts writing their own rules?
- Do you know many of these rules are unconstitutional and against several Supreme Court rulings?
- Did you know Keene District Court is arresting political prisoners? You may remember Sam, you’ve met him a few times. He is one of these political prisoners currently incarcerated.
- Do you support the taking of these political prisoners?
The civil rights violations of this man are unbecoming of the system. The state refuses to fingerprint him and photo I.D. him after Sam refused to give his legal name. Don't they know that they can get his identity from his fingerprints, his Social Security number, and all other pertinent legal information that are on file? They know who he is, even though they have dubbed him "John Sam Doe." On April 20, although he had requested to use the law library to do research for his defense, he was denied permission to gain access to the jail's computers. Fortunately, a couple of days later, he was granted access to those computers.
Other civil rights violations were dragging him to the county jail while he was screaming in pain, considering that it was subsequently discovered that the reason he was in pain because, according to JailedActivist.Info, "a large metal bracelet on his right wrist which got caught under the hand cuffs and was digging into his skin and bone. The cuffs had not been locked so they continued to ratchet tighter causing the bracelet to further dig and bruise his wrist."
Moreover, the toilet in his jail cell had been backing up and overflowing three times, resulting in feces-laced water coming out of it. Even the guards, who were aware of that incident, refuse to sanitize the toilet or provide the prisoners with chemicals to sanitize it.
If this isn't indicative of a vile incarceration and civil rights violation, I don't know what it is.
[Cross-posted at the Freeman Chronicles.]
*This charge against Dodson was subsequently dropped.