Originally published at: “Press NH Now” Not Guilty at Trial for “Disorderly”, “Obstructing Govt”! | Free Keene
First Amendment Auditor “Press NH Now” aka Marc Manchon was arrested last year in Charlestown, NH as he was live streaming video in the police department. He was charged with “disorderly conduct”, the police’s favorite catch-all charge for people they don’t like, and “obstructing government administration”, because of the alleged actions of his viewers, which were clearly free speech. Hence, after a two hour trial he was found “not guilty” on both counts. Here’s the full trial video:
Manchon had come to Charlestown to pick up a freedom of information request and when he interacted with the police department’s dispatcher, she refused to tell him her name. Manchon suggested people could try to find out her name, and calls began coming in to dispatch from alleged viewers that were trying to get the tax-feeding woman, Sirena Reliham, to simply identify herself, which all government bureaucrats are supposedly required to do by Article 8 of the NH Constitution. When police chief Patrick Connors arrived, rather than acknowledging his employee was out-of-line by keeping her identity a secret, he doubled down and arrested Manchon because people were calling their publicly-listed department number and asking questions, or sharing how they felt about the corruption in the Charlestown police.
Basically, if the government thugs don’t like why people are calling them, they will call it a crime and make arrests. Thankfully, the robed man in this case, judge Jack Yazinski, despite his clear desire to protect his buddies from accountability, did issue a “not guilty” verdict on both counts, as obviously recording video in a public place and calling a public phone number to speak with so-called “public servants” is not a crime. However, he did take the opportunity to scold Manchon prior to issuing the verdict, telling him that he was “rude and disrespectful” to the bureaucrats while expecting they be respectful to him, and that “the street does go two ways”. Yazinski is wrong – respect is earned. No bureaucrat is deserving of respect simply because they have a badge, fancy hat, or uniform. Further, Ms Reliham didn’t show Manchon the simple respect of giving her name when asked and the entire government system regularly violates people’s rights, throwing innocent people into handcuffs and destroying peaceful people’s lives. They do not respect us. They rule us, while laughably calling themselves “servants”.
Kudos to Manchon for refusing to take a plea deal and going to trial. His activism is exemplary and you can follow his channel here. For full video background on the Charlestown situation, see his playlist here.