New Hampshire Liberty Forum slated for weekend in NashuaBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
February 16. 2014 7:22PM
NASHUA — As the Free State Project continues luring pro-liberty activists to the Granite State, a four-day conference will take place this weekend to promote the mass migration movement.
The New Hampshire Liberty Forum is now in its seventh year, with the 2014 event scheduled Thursday through Sunday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nashua.
“The Free State Project is maturing. The organization has now surpassed 75 percent of its goal of attracting 20,000 liberty activists to New Hampshire, and we anticipate that sign-ups and movers will start to accelerate,” said Carla Gericke, one of the leaders of the Free State Project who moved from New York to New Hampshire in 2008.
According to Gericke, the rate of movers typically slows down during the winter months, but this year has been an exception as out-of-state residents continued commitments to eventually move to New Hampshire.
“As other states take away more of their residents’ rights, the Live Free or Die state starts to look even more attractive to people who care about freedom,” she said.
The goal of Liberty Forum is to educate those in attendance on topics related to liberty and freedom, and to showcase the Free State Project and New Hampshire as an attractive destination to move, she said.
This year’s theme is “Watching the Watchers,” and will focus on the national surveillance state and whistleblowers, while also highlighting other topics such as bitcoin, death penalty reform, encryption, permaculture, social justice, pro-business tax policies, legislation and more.
Featured guests include politician Jim Rubens, author Naomi Wolf, Dan Alban of the Institute for Justice and more than 50 other guest speakers who will take the stage to discuss various initiatives such as running for state government and restoring freedom and liberty in the face of fear and tyranny.
Gericke is expecting up to 500 attendees from all over the nation, and is hopeful that area residents will participate.
“This year, we want to encourage more locals to attend. To this end, Thursday’s events are free and open to the public,” said Gericke, who is personally looking forward to Wolf’s keynote address on Friday where Wolf will discuss her book, “The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot.”
The conference, according to Gericke, is the largest and longest running liberty conference in the state, and has gained a reputation for attracting world renowned speakers to discuss pro-freedom topics like strategies to reduce government interference and how to build a better society through business, the arts, volunteer work and the free market.
Devon Chaffee of the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union, Nathan Fatal of the New England Objectivist Society, Jesselyn Radack of the Government Accountability Project, Trevor Timm of the Freedom of Press Foundation and economist Edward Hudkins are also on the list of guest speakers.
Liberty Forum is designed to give Free State pledgers who are in the process of moving to the Granite State an opportunity to visit the area, network with others and learn more about job opportunities and housing in the area, according to organizers.
According to its website, the Free State Project has 1,573 participants already living in New Hampshire, with more than 15,354 committed to eventually relocating here. Once the 20,000 goal is met, the group plans to officially trigger its move, with participants pledging to “exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of civil government is the protection of life, liberty and property,” says the site.
Despite the attention the Free State Project will receive during this weekend’s forum, there are still opponents of the controversial movement. Some elected officials in New Hampshire are critical of their efforts, previously voicing suspicion about how Free Staters will actually go about launching political change.
Thursday’s events are free. Walk-in tickets are available for $80 on Friday and Saturday, and $30 for any event after 5 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the door, and a full schedule of events is available at nhlibertyforum.com.