I’ll start by saying I am sympathetic in the vaguest sense of what the so-called Freemen stand for. My anti-authoritarian streak has definitely been inflamed by a new wave of fascism that makes me superbly suspicious of political structures, and the Freemen on the Land, defined loosely by a desire to reject those structures, attempts to live my suspicions out.
Where we diverge is rather simple: I still believe, perhaps naively, that between transparency and making sure to chop up as much government authority across differently appointed sectors as you can, whilst restricting the capacity of money in politics, should be able to create a functional socialist society that mitigates the impact of the entitled and aggrieved who always fuck everything up. The Freemen, on the other hand, like to claim that laws don’t apply to them because they never agreed to them, so they do things like refuse to pay taxes or follow speed limits.
Thing is, I like taxes–as long as they’re being spent on infrastructure, humanitarian aid, education, healthcare, that sort of thing. More importantly, the speeding Freemen do happens on roads that everybody else is paying for… meaning if you want to be logically consistent in properly rejecting the government’s taxation, then you should also reject the government’s services and stop using roads and sidewalks as your personal fender. Freemen will refuse to pay taxes but rarely, if ever, actually reject government services.
Such was the case of the first Freeman, at least in Alberta, to be charged with a terrorism act by trying to place a lien on a police officer’s personal property–because the cop gave him a speeding ticket.
Allen Boisjoli, 45, of Vegreville is charged with intimidation of a justice system participant.
Boisjoli is accused of attempting to place a $225,000 lien on a police officer’s personal property after the police officer gave him a speeding ticket. While others have been charged with intimidation before, Edmonton Police believe it’s the first time where an incident has involved simply filing paperwork.
Det. Rae Gerrard said the documents Freemen present have no legal force, but are meant to make people in the system want to drop the case. Freemen or Sovereign citizens reject the notion that current laws have any force over them.
“The Freemen, and Mr. Boisjoli in particular in this case, they use a plethora of documents that mean absolutely nothing. They’re just cutting and pasting from all over the internet,” he said.
The investigation took eight months to complete, but Gerrard said it was worth pursuing.
“When we look at people who are attempting to subvert our entire criminal justice system for their own ends, than we have to see that as very serious,” he said.
…Thing is, if a justice system is broken–which is increasingly becoming apparent–defying that system is a worthwhile goal. But, as I’ve come to learn, you really have to set your rhetorical sights for the leaders and institutions, not the little guys. Shooting individual cops does fuck all for you except get you into deeper shit, you gotta aim higher–and ideally not with actual guns or weapons, because all that does is piss everyone off.
I don’t like the Freemen. They’re hypocritical, and also fucking idiots if they don’t understand that some laws are good. Like speed limits. Those are kinda important. It is true that laws can be bad, as can systems that maintain them, but that doesn’t excuse ripping 200 km/h through a school zone. Unfortunately that means you have to do the smart thing and assess given laws for their merit, which takes more effort than saying “I DON’T WANNA PAY TAXES!!” and trying to game the system with made up documents to antagonize a cop who fined you for doing a stupid fucking thing.
But that suspicion of authority… we share that, at least. Little else, apparently, like a shred of reason.