Democracy depends on the time, energy, and engagement of ordinary people. But it remains quite difficult to motivate average citizens even to vote, much less to engage in the more intensive forms of political activism needed to counteract powerful forces that work against rule by the people.
That’s why Malte Klar and I set out to determine whether people’s engagement in political activity might be associated with the motivator of personal well-being. In other words, despite the struggles inherent in political activism, does being politically active brings its own rewards in terms of happiness and life satisfaction? Such a relationship seemed plausible to us, given past studies illustrating the well-being benefits of volunteering and of having pro-social attitudes and values.
To test this possibility, Klar and I surveyed one group of 344 college students, and then a larger group of 718 adults (all United States residents, half of whom were recruited from an online activism registry, and the other half of whom were community members recruited to match the activists on several demographic variables). Subjects’ political activism was assessed via measures like their commitment to activism (e.g., “I take the time I need to engage in activism”) and their sense of identity as an activist (e.g., “Being an activist is central to who I am”). Subjects were also asked how often they planned to or had participated in activist behaviors—ranging from sending “a letter or email about a political issue to a public official” to higher-risk activities like engaging “in a political activity in which you knew you will be arrested.”
Actress Marisa Tomei reads the speech given by Cindy Sheehan at the 2004 Vertern’s for Peace Conference after her son Casey died serving in Iraq. Part of a reading from Voices of a People’s History of the United States given October 5, 2005 in Los Angeles California (Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove.)
Note from the editor:A friend of mine just sent me this article describing his hometown. I am so jealous. I’ve always said I would live and die here in Delaware, Ohio…but will I ever live to see the day that Delaware is described like this? Anyway, I think I’ve been recruited to live up there, but this article just shows me all the work we have yet to do here in Ohio and so many other places around the country.
Personally, I don’t think Keene residents should recruit/import more activists; I think they should do their country a favor and export them to other areas like Ohio that are in such short supply.
I will admit, being in the company of such great people DOES sound tempting.
111+ Reasons to Move to Keene
A lot has changed in Keene since this list was originally published in March of 2008. As of this writing (04/03/09), it has now been just over a year since the original list was released. Since then the activist population here has increased significantly and more activists are arriving each month while still others are planning their moves to Keene.
Keene is still the best destination for pro-liberty activists, now more than ever! From an activist perspective, it is challenging and full of exciting, ground floor opportunity. Whatever your brand of activism, whether political, disobedience, or media, you are welcome here. Here are some reasons why you should consider a move to Keene. Please feel free to link to, copy, and use this list however you like. Please visit the Free Keene Forum for discussion.
I’m re-ordering the list to put the demographic and lifestyle stuff toward the end, as the activism is now the top attraction to Keene. Plus, the counting system is a little different to make updating the list easier.
Keene Liberty Activism
There is so much to do in Keene, and the self-starting activists that are attracted here are always coming up with new ideas! Here are some of the regularly scheduled weekly and monthly activist opportunities happening in Keene as of this publication. Please see our Calendar for just some of our currently scheduled activism.
1. Social Sundays – Activists meet weekly on Sundays and socialize, strategize, and brainstorm. This event now draws 15-20 activists regularly, whereas a year ago it was 5-10. We set a record 32 people last month (Mar ‘09)!
2. Television Production – Free Minds TV is produced weekly in Keene at Cheshire TV by liberty activists. So many activists are now involved that spin-off shows are imminent, like the brand new “FreeK Minds TV”.
3. Calling WKBK’s “Talkback” – Activists tune into a local Saturday morning politico show, pick up their phones, and present the pro-liberty message to the hosts and listening audience. Even if you aren’t here yet you can listen and participate from afar. See the details in the Free Keene Forum.
4. Parking Meter Rescues – Activists walk around downtown Keene, spot cars at expired parking meters, and buy them some extra time, saving the cars’ owners from parking tickets! Activists leave envelopes on the windshields of the cars they save so drivers know who is responsible and giving the owners a chance to send in a contribution to the effort.
5. Bureaucrashing City Council Meetings – Local politicos suggested we “get involved”, so now Keeniacs (including even voluntaryists!) are crashing their meetings with signs, video cameras, and increasing numbers.
6. Community Kitchen Volunteering – Activists contribute time each week at the Keene Community Kitchen.
7. Monthly FIJA Outreach – As of this publication, despite numerous challenges issued to activists across the state, no other area of NH has regular Fully Informed Jury Association outreach. Keeniacs have been handing out jury nullification info in front of Cheshire Superior Court since August of 2008!
8. Monthly Food Drive – Each month at one of the Social Sundays, activists contribute food to the Keene Community Kitchen. Liberty activists in Keene certainly can’t be accused of being heartless or not involved in the community!
9. College Outreach – Activists visit the campus of Keene State College several times each year to distribute fliers and reach out to the students.
10. Keene Freedom Fest – Activists gather twice yearly in Railroad Square to reach out to the public, socialize, enjoy music, and spread the word of freedom!
11. Keene is the world destination for pro-liberty civil disobedience and noncooperation!
Juliana Napier, Tilly Gifford and Dan Glass with some of the recording equipment they used. Photograph: Murdo Macleod
Undercover police are running a network of hundreds of informants inside protest organisations who secretly feed them intelligence in return for cash, according to evidence handed to the Guardian.
They claim to have infiltrated a number of environmental groups and said they are receiving information about leaders, tactics and plans of future demonstrations.
The dramatic disclosures are revealed in almost three hours of secretly recorded discussions between covert officers claiming to be from Strathclyde police, and an activist from the protest group Plane Stupid, whom the officers attempted to recruit as a paid spy after she had been released on bail following a demonstration at Aberdeen airport last month.
Matilda Gifford, 24, said she recorded the meetings in an attempt to expose how police seek to disrupt the legitimate activities of climate change activists. She met the officers twice; they said they were a detective constable and his assistant. During the taped discussions, the officers:
• Indicate that she could receive tens of thousands of pounds to pay off her student loans in return for information about individuals within Plane Stupid.
• Say they will not pay money direct into her bank account because that would leave an audit trail that would leave her compromised. They said the money would be tax-free, and added: “UK plc can afford more than 20 quid.”
• Accept that she is a legitimate protester, but warn her that her activity could mean she will struggle to find employment in the future and result in a criminal record.
• Claim they have hundreds of informants feeding them information from protest organisations and “big groupings” from across the political spectrum.
• Explain that spying could assist her if she was arrested. “People would sell their soul to the devil,” an officer said.
• Warn her that she could be jailed alongside “hard, evil” people if she received a custodial sentence.
Editor’s note: THis is not to say that all tea parties are astroturf, but if they are being organized in the background by organizations like Faux News…well, res ipsa loquitur. That being said, I have been to grassroots tea parties, and the theme is absolutely my favorite.
Following up on my April 10 article, “Tea Parties — Crackbrained” and my appearance on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto show to discuss the tea parties here are some points that were not mentioned in either effort and amplifications of some others.
RNC and other Republican Heavy Hitters 9 Month Effort to Host Corporate Tea Parties
As I mentioned to Stuart Varney on Fox News, the chicagoteaparty.com website was registered 9 months ago, here is the data from Network Solutions’ WhoIs search:
Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc.
Domain Name: CHICAGOTEAPARTY.COM
Domain servers in listed order:
Domain Name: CHICAGOTEAPARTY.COM
Registrar: GODADDY.COM, INC.
Whois Server: whois.godaddy.com
Referral URL: http://registrar.godaddy.com
Name Server: NS47.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
Name Server: NS48.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
Creation Date: 03-aug-2008
Expiration Date: 03-aug-2009
You can do the search yourself if you click/browse here.
Please note the date of creation, August 3, 2008. Fox News and the public faces of the Tea Parties are trying to portray the protests as “organic, spontaneous, grass roots” protests that are in response to Obama’s tax and stimulus policies. One can see that is quite impossible since the date the idea was conceived not only predates the implementation of Obama’s policies and his Presidency, it predates Obama being officially named the Democratic Nominee for President. Right there, we know this movement is a fraud and a sham.