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Jewish World Review
August 22, 2013/ 16 Elul, 5773
The latest outburst of anarchy
It's called the Liberty Activist movement, and it's on the march in Keene, New Hampshire, population 24,000. It's a city with a picturesque red brick business district nestled in the rolling hills of Cheshire County.
A city where there's a good chance that even if you park your car and lose track of the time, you won't get a parking ticket --- thanks to people like James Cleaveland.
"We go out and we try to prevent the city for writing tickets for expired meters. So we put nickels in before the enforcers can write a ticket," explained Cleaveland.
They call themselves Robin Hooders, and their purpose is two fold --- help out the overtime parkers, and cut the city's ticket revenues.
"Okay, we put a five-cent nickel in there but the city would have collected a $5 ticket. We're trying to reduce the amount of revenues they get. We don't think parking should be a crime," said Cleavland.
They leave behind a little calling card --- with a picture of a fox dressed in green tights and a Robin Hood cap.
But now the city says they've gone too far -- actually harassing the meter enforcers -- even following them into the bathrooms, to the point that one officer complained of stress, anxiety and heart palpitations.
Mr. Cleaveland said he would never harass anyone, although he admits he was almost arrested, "For, supposedly, riding my bike too slow in front of the parking enforcement --- which I dispute. I don't think I was doing that."
The city is now asking the Robin Hooders to stay at least 50 feet away from parking officers, who, after all are just trying to earn a living.
While we can't endorse this kind of behavior -- if a city has to have anarchists -- this is so much better than the kind that smash windows.
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Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on Seattle's KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. He spends his down time tinkering with electronic projects, writing novelty songs, shopping at thrift stores, and playing squash. As an avid hiker, he's earned the title Energizer Bunny from his friends; while they all stop to see stuff along the trail, Dave keeps going and going and going. He enjoys traveling internationally for work and pleasure with memorable stops in Baghdad, Qatar, Israel, Prague, Germany (to cover the Berlin Wall), China, Soviet Union, Niger, Senegal, and Iran.
You can listen to his daily column in audio format by clicking here.
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© 2013, Dave Ross