A few months ago, after more than a decade of promoting the Free State Project on my radio program Free Talk Live, I was unceremoniously kicked to the curb by a unanimous decision of the board of directors. They also decided to prohibit my show from broadcasting live from the Porcupine Freedom Festival (Porcfest), their yearly camping gathering.
I never asked anyone to boycott the event, but they did anyway. Many Porcfest regulars were not in attendance this year, which apparently was exactly what some of the NBC crowd were hoping for. “NBC” are the group of squares that formed years ago – they gathered at Porcfest and all bought identical t-shirts that said “Normal By Comparison”. The following year they had new shirts that said “Not Batshit Crazy”. The shirts were their way of attacking those wacky civil disobedience and outside-the-system activists in Keene as well as the libertines and hedonists who had been attending Porcfest.
Every year the “NBC” people would complain about something they didn’t like about Porcfest, like women being topless, open cannabis use, and parties at night. Ultimately, they got what they wanted, according to those who attended this year. (Here’s a video and an article by two longtime attendees.) Many longtime attendees said Porcfest 2016 was smaller, targeted to square families, and did not have the same vibe as previous years.
It’s not the first schism that has affected the NH liberty community – there have been a bunch over the last decade. The Porcfest schism however was one of the most publicized as it involved the FSP and their biggest recruiter, my radio show. For newer movers and people taking an interest in the FSP, it’s their first schism, so the first one can be the most shocking. Given that the beloved Porcfest was involved, it felt like a big deal to a lot of people, many of whom attended the event anyway.
One of those folks was longtime Porcfest attendee and Philadelphia superactivist Jim Babb who took to the stage during “Soapbox Idol” and went on a fantastic rant that indicted the FSP board and defended me. Thank you for the kind words, Jim and thanks also to the supporters in the audience and to the person who recorded it:
The fun has just begun here in New Hampshire, and regardless what decisions the FSP’s board makes, they have zero impact on the activism that liberty-minded people are doing here. You don’t need to join the FSP to move here and be with the largest community of libertarians and voluntarists on earth. If you want join something, sign the Shire Society declaration. The Shire Society is a liberty migration to NH that has no board of directors, no centralized power, and no membership rolls. You just sign the declaration and start planning your move to the Shire.
Also, if you’re looking for a good camping party this Summer, try NH Hempfest! It’s happening at Rogers Campground August 25th-28th. Free Talk Live will be broadcasting live! Rumors abound about another liberty camping festival being formed to cater to those who feel excluded by the FSP. If it actually materializes, you’ll see the news here on Free Keene, so stay tuned!