The Right to Remain Silent?

The Right to Remain Silent?

Lauren Canario simply sat still when ordered to enter the courtroom. Judge Martha Crocker told police to hold her in jail until she obeyed their commands. If I know Lauren, that’s likely never going to happen. It’s said that if you have an issue with the law, you should work through the process to change it, but what if you take issue with the process?

Lauren Canario is choosing to opt out. She takes no benefits from the government that are not forced upon her. She just tries to live her life in freedom while not harming anyone else. So, when government makes demands upon her, as it is wont to do, she does not cooperate. When government demands she register her car, she does not comply. When government demands she step out of her car, she does not comply. When government demands she go to court, she does not comply. - Kat Kanning in Opting Out.

Knowing full well that she could lessen her punishment by following orders, she chooses not to. She instead passively endures the ambiguous punishment dished out by Judge Crocker. Regardless of whether you share her beliefs, ask yourself if the punishment fits the crime. Is this not cruel and unusual punishment?

Should Lauren Canario be condemned to jail forever for simply being passive?

Discussion (14)¬

  1. Alex Libman says:

    Lauren Canario is my hero! I will follow her lead when I’m arrested for tax resistance, except it’ll take two dozen pigs to haul my fat arse around! Heh, can’t wait…

  2. yahkob says:

    I’m in complete agreement with her. I would like to help her but the process is corrupt, where do we begin.
    Everyone should burn their papers (documents of approval) and refuse to cooperate with the pigs. I know you feel we should show respect to these fools but than showing respect to one who does not deserve it makes you more of a fool - wake up!
    Travel by Right; down with the “rulers” and obiedence to the “servant” of the people.

  3. Dale says:

    The trial lasted about an hour to an hour and a half. Many of us did not rise when the judge came in but we did rise when Lauren walked in. I think she was a bit startled at first at the sudden motion but then she smiled at us. Russell cheered a little bit and the judge shushed him and said she knew we were there in support of Lauren but if we disrupted the courtroom we’d have to leave. The defense made a good case, I think. He tried hard. I thought he was rock solid fighting the resisting arrest charges, of which there were several somehow. Undecided One or two small charges were dismissed but most were not. I don’t remember the exact details of what stuck or not. Maybe someone can update later.

    When the judge called for a short recess and we did not rise when ordered as she got up, we got some heated glares from the MANY officers standing around. Someone grumbled that we should be arrested the next time we didn’t rise. The judge came back and started handing out judgements for crimes and the whole thing just happened to add up to the time served. The prosecution pushed for some more stuph. It was like they were upset like she wasn’t punished harshly enough. There was some fuss about booking because Lauren still hadn’t cooperated to get booked. My heart kind of sank because I was thinking she still wasn’t going to cooperate, which I support her 100% of course, but I just really wanted her to get out. So the officers started being bossy with her again and she froze in her tracks and I was like, crap, something’s going to happen. But then her lawyer said something and kind of coaxed her and smoothed things out and she left the courtroom.

    So then we were still not sure if she’d get out. I asked Jim if she’d cooperate and he shrugged and said “It depends on how they treat her.” So we waited at the pizza place next door while Jim drove back to the station. We speculated a while about whether she’d cooperate and get out and then they showed up and we all had a nice chat at the pizza place. We brainstormed about things we could do to make the lives of non-violent inmates a little more pleasant like write them letters or send them publications to read, maybe even raise some money for them and stuph.

    The End

  4. Dale says:

    Thank you to Kat Kanning for telling me about this website. It seems to go well with this post.

  5. Caitlin says:

    I agree that what they’re doing to this woman is awful, but to say that she is just trying to live a free life would lead people to wrongfully believe that you are more free acting on principle but not exactly in your best interest, which is exactly what such acts of martyrdom involve. I would say being in jail makes you significantly less free than complying to the gun pointed at your head.

  6. Beorn says:

    Ok this site just merited the Hypocrite Award.

    “She takes no benefits from the government that are not forced upon her. ”

    So like residents of foreign countries she has to hire security guards and lives inside of a walled compound with barbed wire and broken glass on top to protect her family? So when she was arrested she was not on a public thorough fare? So she does not enjoy the good medical system that has grown up in the soil nurtured by the capitalist tax laws?

    Give me a break from your sanctimonious hypocrisy. You need to recognize the failure of government, but also recognize what it has given you. Then work to fix it. And opting out is a viable protest if you have your head on straight. And when you are driving on the roads that I pay for and hit a pothole, say to yourself, “My registration fee could have fixed that but I opted out.”

  7. MalaSombra says:

    Beorn, you are right on the money with your comments about her “opting out”.If she really wants to opt out she should not be using a car on a public road, or taking advantage of any public service. I bet she uses the public library and uses public facilities too…

  8. David says:

    I wish i had the balls she did, but I’m with her in spirit.

  9. Thamios says:

    “Punishment fit the crime” doesn’t work here. If you’re going to live in the United States, be a citizen of the United States, and want to be free in the United States (well, as free as we can get), then you have to obey the cops/government because they are in charge, no matter if you like it or not. What happened when we threw temper tantrums as children? Our parents either ignored us or punished us. From what I’ve read, she’s nothing more than an adult throwing a temper tantrum about the fact that she was going to get in trouble for not following the rules that all of us have to live by.

    Now, I’m not saying that the US Government is perfect (far from it), but if you’re going to be a US Citizen, you need to obey them. Plus, it could be much worse for her. She could be trying this in parts of the middle east/asia. They’d beat her till she spoke up. I do applaud her for having the guts to actually do something like this (I wouldn’t, but then again, I don’t like the most powerful government in the world being my enemy), but she needs to face the fact that as long as she’s here, she has to obey the laws like the rest of us, no matter how stupid/pointless some of them may be.

  10. michael says:

    that’s right Thamios. Obey surfs. If you don’t like it, too fucking bad. You can either go along with the program or be caged for acting like a “child.” Of course I’m being sarcastic. I never consented to this tyrannical police state around me. Neither did my child that was born. If we’re 10% less of a slave then other people in other plantations, that still makes us slaves.

  11. Lauren says:

    You know things are wrong, Thamios, yet won’t bear a hostile look or bad meal to fix them. How do you expect things to get better? Let me guess, your parents scared and maybe beat the spirit out of you when you learned to say no. Now THAT is the real crime. If parents raised their kids with love and gentleness, there would be no tyrannical robots to inflict stupid laws on people. More importantly, there would be no cowed slaves to obey stupid laws.

  12. Paul says:

    “If you … want to be free in the United States, then you have to obey the cops/government, because they are in charge”

    So, if you want to be free, obey every arbitrary diktat your masters make for you? Nice.

    Tham, principled, moral people stand against immoral laws. Should Rosa Parks have moved to the back of the bus? Should Harriet Tubman returned escaped slaves to their “owners”, rather than helping them escape? Perhaps MLK should never have conducted sit ins, or other civil disobedience. What of the white rose society, in Germany, or Ghandi’s salt making in India? These men and women are rightfully recognized as heroes, because they had the moral fiber to stand for what is right, against, if necessary, what is legal. This is how all great reform has come through history.

  13. [...] The above cartoon comes from Anarchy in Your Head regarding a situation in which liberty activist Lauren Canario refused to take orders from the courts and it’s officers up in New Hampshire. Please read more about it here. [...]

  14. Iam says:

    Remaining silent is a victimless crime. I really don’t think we should be imprisoning anyone over a victimless crime. The problem with persecuting someone over a victimless crime, is that you create a victim where none had previously existed.

    I wouldn’t necessarily advocate anarchy. But I do advocate visibility of the government (as a method of accountability), such as live and permanent video feeds anywhere that someone is arrested, in prison, in a court room, etc.

    So I’m not against government. I’m just against a government that creates victims by persecuting someone for a victimless crime. And I’m supportive of more visibility of anything involving criminal arrests / imprisonment / charges.

    A government that creates violence / coercion / violations of individual rights / victims, where none had previously existed, is not doing its job. Its job is to create a civilization without violence / coercion, with individual rights and a free market.