First year review (2015)

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Inspired by the huge potential for change provided by the sheer number of liberty activists brought to New Hampshire by the Free State Project, the Rights Brigade was founded in January of 2015. Its mission was to organize and direct activism efforts advancing human liberty, with a focus on effectiveness and professionalism, and document these efforts.

The challenge presented to building and effectively mobilizing a grassroots army on such a scale was stark: a staff of one and zero funding. Even more challenging, the Rights Brigade eschews both a traditional for-profit system and the usual nonprofit model. Instead, it relies entirely on volunteer activism, with leadership organizing operations and committing to the organization’s activism goals, compensated only by voluntary donations in Bitcoin, and by the satisfaction of knowing the world has been made a better place.

Testifying in the State House

Testifying in the State House

Since its challenging debut, the Rights Brigade has seen some impressive results. In 2015, volunteer activists carried out 79 operations across the state of New Hampshire, reaching 10 cities across three different regions. These have involved dozens activists (the current record being 16 activists in seven cities over the course of just two days) and have targeted the mission of every one of the five areas of activism.

Of all the regions in the state, Merrimack Valley, with its heavy concentration of activists, has seen the greatest number of operations, with 40 taking places in the cities of Concord, Manchester, Nashua, and Amherst. A close second was the Seacoast, with activists conducting 30 operations in Brentwood, Dover, Hampton, and Portsmouth. The remaining nine operations were conducted across the Lakes Region in the cities of Laconia and Ossipee.

Jury outreach partnered with NH Jury

Jury outreach partnered with NH Jury

In the early part of the year, most activism centered around Representation, focusing mainly on the New Hampshire State House. Rights Brigade activists, mostly in support of the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance, delivered testimony for and against legislation passing through committee and before the House and Senate, as well as assisted in distributing the NHLA’s weekly legislative recommendations, the Gold Standard.

By far, the bulk of the Rights Brigade’s activism in 2015 has focused on jury nullification outreach. Partnering with NH Jury, which provided and funded all materials, activists conducted operations in front of seven different courthouses across the state (well over half) a total of 57 times. Based on the average number of jurors reached in each selection pool, this could mean upwards of 3,000 total flyers distributed, or 3,000 potential jurors reached. New Hampshire has under 2 million total residents, and has many towns with less people than the total amount of jurors reached by the Rights Brigade in 2015.

Independence Day outreach with the Foundation for New Hampshire Independence

Independence Day outreach with the Foundation for New Hampshire Independence

Over the 4th of July weekend, the Rights Brigade joined the Foundation for New Hampshire Independence in conducting outreach. Activists appeared at a parade in Amherst frequented by politicos from around the country and presented a large FNHI banner. Additionally, they handed out stacks of literature promoting New Hampshire’s independence from the United States to parade participants, including personally handing flyers to U.S. presidential candidates Lindsey Graham and Jeb Bush.

Finally, in the later part of the year, the Rights Brigade partnered with the emerging, innovative, and undeniably effective activism powerhouse Free Uber. This has involved covering Portsmouth with flyers protesting the city’s ordinance making ride sharing service Uber illegal a total of four separate times, as well as attending city council meetings three times to rally support and testify before the council.

Rights Brigade teams up with Free Uber

Rights Brigade teams up with Free Uber

More significantly, the Rights Brigade has expanded its leadership from just one to three. In September, Kyle Mohney and James Davis joined up, mainly to help direct additional jury outreach operations. This is particularly significant because both of them are based around the Seacoast, a region with traditionally low activist participation prior to the advent of the Rights Brigade and Free Uber.

This year, expect the Rights Brigade to expand activism operations to an entirely new level. The first year was simply an experiment, testing the effectiveness of organizing a volunteer activism army with almost no funding, attempting activism across several different areas of interest, discovering the strength of the activist communities across various regions, and partnering with the various organizations already in place advancing liberty. The result has been success far beyond all projections. This year we will continue to replicate previous success, but will expand to new areas, drive up funding, hone organizational techniques, and expand leadership.

If you value the work that the Rights Brigade has done for human liberty across New Hampshire last year, contribute Bitcoin to the furthering of the cause. Rewarding activists for their initiative and effort leads to more and better activism, and allows the best operatives to worry less about making a living and more about advancing the cause of human liberty.