'Porcupines' Make Annual 'Free State' Pilgrimage

by Erik MacLean
Sections: National, Politics
From: Volume 2, Issue 5

Over three-hundred ‘porcupines’ will descend upon New Hampshire this summer as part of the fifth Annual Porcupine Freedom Festival, known by its attendees more affectionately as ‘PorcFest.’

Each year, members of the Free State Project gather to camp in the woods of the Granite State and experience its scenic beauty. Participants go on hikes, have sports, outdoor concerts, cookouts and other recreational activities. They also have an opportunity to meet other Free Staters and those who have already moved to New Hampshire. Last year’s PorcFest attracted three hundred people and it grows every year.

The Free State Project is an organization of self-described liberty-lovers who have chosen to move to a single state. The goal is to have 20,000 pro-liberty activists move to New Hampshire, the state motto of which is “live free or die.” The state was chosen for a number of reasons, but most of all because it already has one of the least intrusive state governments in the country.

“We call ourselves ‘Porcupines’ because they’re individualistic, mind their own business and don’t hurt anyone unless stepped on, and they overall reflect the principle of ‘live and let live.’” said Rich Goldman, an organizer and longtime member.

“PorcFest is a week long party that showcases New Hampshire and the FSP community through bus tours around the state, group hikes, shooting range trips, team sports, outdoor concerts by local bands, vendor/exhibitor tables, pub nights, camping, bonfires, and a variety of other planned and spontaneous activities. Regardless of whether you plan or decide to become an FSP participant, you’ll have a great time, make new friends, and leave with countless memories and stories to tell.”

Goldman says that he plans to move once he graduates from college. “Not only did I see why New Hampshire has been objectively selected as the best state to live 5 years straight, I was blown away by the people, community, energy, and activism of the early movers and NH natives.”

He’s not the only one. Over 8,300 others have pledged to do so, and the organization expects that 1,000 will have already moved by the end of the year. Those who have already moved to New Hampshire have already begun engaging in activism. Some have been elected to offices. Others have started up organizations and their own newspapers, radio and television shows. The Free State Project has been influential in ending the Real ID Act - New Hampshire was one of the first states to opt out of the legislation which establishes a national id card and many states followed after them.

To join the Free State Project, members are required to take the following pledge:

“I hereby state my solemn intent to move to the State of New Hampshire. Once there, I will 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.”

However, that is the only political stance the organization officially takes. Members describe the FSP as the bus to get ‘liberty-oriented’ activists to the state. After they move, the activists choose their own causes, pursue their own goals, get themselves elected, publish newspapers, engage in civil disobedience, and help the state become a “shining city upon a hill.”

The Free State Project can be found online at www.FreeStateProject.org and can be reached by phone at 1-888-532-4604.

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