Skip to comments.Free Stater protest draws heavy media coverage
Posted on 05/12/2005 6:21:18 AM PDT by Dada Orwell
New Hampshire Free Stater Mike Fisher got what he was after this week...his own arrest and a new focus on the legitimacy of business licensing. His goal was to deliver a message: "In a free country, you do not need the government's permission to start a business."
On Monday May 9, Fisher chose to perform a manicure without a license, in front of the New Hampshire Board of Barbering. He had vowed to continue doing so "until they force me to stop" and was as good as his word. After giving him multiple avenues for retreat, Concord police reluctantly cuffed the 23-year-old Free Stater after he told them he would not voluntary stop performing the manicures nor appear in court if summoned.
Fisher had to spend one day in Merrimack county jail, but by the 11th his defiance of authority had generated coverage from every major media outlet in New Hampshire and many others outside the state. He made the front page of the state's main paper (the Union Leader), received hours of news and talk attention on the state's primary talk radio stations and was on the evening news at least three times WMUR, New Hampshire's main TV station. On Wednesday the Union Leader published a double sized editorial against overzealous licensing and a sympathetic political cartoon depicting Fisher on a wanted poster.
At least 5 TV stations outside New Hampshire reported the event, as did The Liberator Online. The Free Staters themselves have a syndicated radio show which airs in about 9 markets around the U.S.; coverage there lasted all week.
Virtually all of the media attention was positive or neutral.
A sampling of coverage:
The question no one knows the answer to is...what's next?
More information on the libertarian migration to New Hampshire: www.FreeStateProject.org
I've always considered Pursuit of Happiness to be a reference to livelihood.
Very interesting .. thanks.
I keep an interested eye on the Free State Project.
Thanks for the follow up. Maybe we can take back our freedom, one step at a time, until one day we eliminate these shackles to everyday life.
An American should not have to consider our government's opinion FIRST for every decision we make. Local, state and federal LAWS overshadow how and where we live, our jobs, and what we buy.
And yet, they don't help us enjoy any of it.
Keep your ear to the ground, your eye on the ball, and your nose to the grindstone. Now, try and live in that position.
I advise anyone interested in the free-state notion read "Molon Labe" by Boston T. Party. A fun book that lays out a scenario (in Wyoning.)
Thanks for all the kind words about Mike's protest!
Outlaw Manicurist pledges "prolonged fast" if jailed
As you may recall, Fisher received a suspended 30 day sentence for his act of defiance. If he so much as gets a traffic ticket this year he supposedly will have to serve a full month in the slammer.
That gave him an idea...
Assuming he gets the ticket and has to report for jail time, he is going to refuse food and water during at least part of his stay. He hasn't said specifically how long he would fast, though. Fisher only weighs about 115 pounds, so anything over two weeks is thought to be risky.
If he doesn't want food and water, maybe he should go to Florida.
Outlaw manicurist says Mission Accompished
From the front page of the Exeter Newsletter today:
By Johanna Maranto
NEWMARKET - Mike Fisher said this week that he is "satisfied" with the results he received from his illegal manicure in Concord Monday, and said he plans no further action.
Fisher was given a 30-day suspended sentence Wednesday after he pleaded guilty to the criminal misdemeanor of providing manicure services without a license.
Fisher was arrested Monday when he manicured a friends nails without a license in front of the state Board of Barbering, Cosmetology and Esthetics offices in Concord.
Fisher, a free-state advocate, said his actions received the radio, television and newspaper coverage he had wanted. "I hope people are debating this issue, considering if these licensing laws are necessary," he said.
Fisher gave the public manicure in a planned act of civil disobedience, in order to protest licensing laws that he believes infringe upon civil rights.
Fisher said the judge Wednesday made a point of telling him that if he gets even so much as a traffic ticket in the next year, he will go to jail.
Fisher said he was amazed that he received such a large sentence for such a minor offense, especially in light of the fact that it was made clear to the judge that Fisher had no prior criminal record. Fisher said 30 days was the maximum sentence for his crime.
If Fisher were to be jailed for 30 days, he said it would jeopardize his new computer trouble-shooting business, as he would be unable to pay the bills if he couldnt work. Because he feels the sentence is unwarranted, he may consult an attorney to see if the sentence can be appealed.
Meanwhile, a petition for an injunction against his planned action, filed by the attorney generals office last week and then withdrawn, was not reinstated before his action on Monday.
The petition says, "The state believes that the threat of criminal sanctions may deter the respondent from his threatened unlawful activity " Fisher said the petition was drafted following a conversation he had with the attorney generals office. "I said to them yes - 15 times in a row - yes, absolutely, I will go through with it." Fisher said.
Fisher cannot understand how this response could have been interpreted as being unclear. The attorney generals office declined comment.
Although some of his friends are planning to follow up his action with sanctioned political activities toward changing the laws, Fisher is finished.
"The only reason I came to Concord was to make a point. Ill follow up with nothing. I just wanted people to talk about this. I dont have a further plan," Fisher said.
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