This post was originally posted at The Freedom Paradox.
As an early activist, I watched a lot of Youtube videos. I was not sure of my rights or even what freedom meant fully, but I knew the videos I had seen of veteran activists making a stand was what spoke to me on some level.
One of the activists that stood out to me was Adam Kokesh. There was something in the way Adam presented the message of freedom that really excited me. The way he showed zero aggression and exposed the government thugs for what they were was unique. I watched one video after another, learning ways to use civil disobedience as an effective form of resistance.
As I became more known, it was an exciting feeling to realize the very activists I once looked up to were looking at me as an “equal” of sorts in the battle. I never thought of myself as much of a superstar or hero. I just didn’t want the state to keep doing to people what they were doing, without standing up and saying I do not consent.
When I came to the realization that the “stars” of the activist world had done no different than myself I began to see them with mutual respect as opposed to admiration. I began to also realize the power each of us have when we simply stop going with the flow and resist.
In early September, I saw that Adam was going on his “For the Love of Freedom” tour and was going to be coming to my town. I was excited for a chance to meet him in person and to see him speak about his book “Freedom.”
I immediately sent a few messages to mark myself down for the event and to see what I could do to assist. I was excited to be given the opportunity to be one of the speakers for the tour. I was even more excited that since the original venue planned had fallen through, I was able to help in getting one of my favorite venues to host. I love the place and it popped right in my head when I was asked if there was anywhere I knew of. Its called “One Art Community Center.” It’s one of the most peaceful places I have ever been. Very laid back atmosphere and friendly people. You cant even tell this outdoor venue is there from the front of the building.
We arrived early and met Adam outside. Introducing myself was anti-climatic. I suppose I thought all the build up of all he had done there would be more of a carpet rolling out thing for his appearance. I thought at the very least I would have to be cleared to walk by security of some sort. Nothing of the sort happened. In fact, it was JUST Adam alone trying his hardest to pull out a box from his regular trailer. He looked tired and amused at the venue. He shook my hand and quickly moved on to directing traffic to getting his things inside set up.
In total honesty, he reminded me more of a construction worker then a “celebrity”. He’s just a regular guy. Nothing amazing. He has dedication to freedom. Tons of it. Thirty cities in thirty days is no light matter. His exhaustion was real, but he perked up when everyone poured in. He was all business all of a sudden.
I learned a lot about the history of Adam’s battle. I learned his book was banned in jails across the country even though it has zero references to violence. I learned a little about life on the “Freedom Ranch“, a community Adam has started off the grid and without any government regulation or permission. Most of all, I learned about how Adam sees himself. As a regular guy.
I gave my short speech and it went well. I didn’t have anything, but a few notes on the topics I wanted to hit on. It was all from the heart and I guess it showed cause everyone seemed to enjoy it.
After several people spoke about their experience Adam took the mic and did his hour long pitch for liberty. It was great honestly. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the stories. The inspirational and encouraging words were refreshing.
After he was done we did book signings and went out to his trailer for some civil disobedience. We baked out the back while laughing and reminiscing. I signed his trailer, as is the custom after a tour stop. We even were gonna go get some cheese steaks with him, but sadly we ran out of time.
All in all, it was a great experience. I learned that looking up to people is good to a point. Looking up means there is something that person is doing that you wish you had the skills or bravery to also do. We are all capable of so much when it comes to following our dreams, though. The person you admire is just a regular person. You have to find it within yourself to dig deep and step out of your comfort zone. Be brave and the person you admire may one day admire you right back.
Special thank you to The Freedom Paradox contributor Rick Gonzalez. Rick not only came and helped out, but he stood for nearly the entire event so he could film it. Rick also helped navigate to and from the event.The biggest job Rick did was when he professionally and quickly grabbed my cellphone to film our traffic stop on the way home.
The police had very obviously tailed us as we left the event. They waited until we were on the highway to stop us to “check us out to make sure we were OK to drive”. Truth of the matter was we had too much freedom to drink and they needed to remind us who was boss, The funny thing is they were not worried about my registration or insurance. They needed that license for some reason though. Had to document the bad boys that were hanging with the freedom lovers.
No big deal; it was a fun way to end the night actually. A reminder of why we keep this fight going. Below is the traffic stop that happened on the way out. If you missed it, the image for this article is the video from me speaking.
If the video does not generate in your browser click HERE to view.