A friend of the Free State Project was shot in Manchester over a dispute regarding the Project’s flag, and NH Democratic Party leadership capitalized on the incident for political gain.
Jarrod Ean-Dixon, longtime New Hampshire resident and a supporter of the Free State Project, was shot in an altercation over the Free State Project’s flag. The flag (pictured left), which is a play off of the Gadsden Flag, features a porcupine instead of a snake, along with the famous motto: “Don’t tread on me.” The porcupine is the symbol of the Free State Project due to its docile and defensive nature paired with its willingness to defend against aggressors when cornered. Ean-Dixon was at a social gathering where the flag was prominently displayed, and two guests engaged in a dispute with him, considering the altered porcupine version of the flag to be disrespectful. An altercation ensued and Ean-Dixon was shot multiple times.
At time of writing, Ean-Dixon remains in critical condition but is expected to survive. The two assailants are in police custody.
Former NH Democrats Chair jumps on tragedy to swipe at GOP Senate candidate
Moments after the story broke, Kathy Sullivan, former chair of the NH Democratic Party and the party’s current national committeewoman from the state, exploited the tragedy via Twitter. Insinuating responsibility on the part of the Free State Project, Sullivan mentioned the Project’s Twitter handle and noted that former GOP Governor Craig Benson welcomed the Free Staters with open arms, calling him Senator Kelly Ayotte’s mentor. Ayotte is the current GOP incumbent candidate for US Senate and is locked in a close race with Governor Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, and Sullivan was attempting to use the Manchester shooting to smear the opposition candidate’s reputation. The tweets in question have since been deleted.
The Free State Project advocates nonviolence and counts more local supporters than movers
A project to move 20,000 liberty lovers to New Hampshire to maximize liberty and minimize government, the Free State Project advocates a policy of strict nonviolence. As is clearly stated in the organization’s “about” section, “Anyone who promotes violence, racial hatred, or bigotry is not welcome.” In 2013, the board of the Free State Project moved to ban Christopher Cantwell, a mover, over statements advocating for violence against government agents.
Currently, over 2,000 signers have moved to New Hampshire. Additionally, over 2,600 already living in the state signed affirming their support for the Project and its goals.