Free Lemonade Meets Resistance From Farmers’ Market President (and police)
Posted by Garret Ean at FreeConcord.org
August 20, 2011 was celebrated around the nation as Lemonade Freedom Day, where those supporting children’s rights to sell lemonade had their own lemonade dispensery operations. Locally, I decided to bring some lemonade down to the weekly Concord farmers’ market. My idea was to call into question the definition of sale while still making free lemonade available to those who wanted it. I decided on a sort of reverse-taxation model. The sign on my cooler said, “LEMONADE State Employees: 1/4 FRN. Everyone Else: FREE”. I didn’t ask, and nobody admitted to being a state employee, though some gave voluntary donations, which I informed them would go to the Civil Disobedience Evolution Fund.
After the president of the Concord farmers’ market association demanded that I leave, and stormed off threatening to call the police, I took down the “State Employees: 1/4 FRN” portion of the sign and made the operation completely free for all. The video of my encounter with Mr. President and the subsequent police followup is embedded below. I must express gratitude toward the three members of the Concord police who decided not to take action against the stand, despite the urging of the man called president. I was told, incorrectly, yet again, that audio recording in public is a crime, but police said that they would be nice and not arrest me for it today. The free lemonade cooler remained in operation from when it was set up at 10am to when the farmers’ market closed at noon. A total of 19 Federal Reserve Notes were donated by those who enjoyed their lemonade.
To members of the Concord farmers’ market association, consider how poorly the man calling himself “the president” represented your organization. When dealing with a conflict as innocuous as a free lemonade cooler, it would be wise to take a more cordial approach. Count the number of demands the president made of myself compared to how many I made of him. He outright stated “you’re on my street”, including a contradictory statement, “we rent the street, we own it”. In case it was not clear, Capitol Street is “owned” by the City of Concord corporation, which is supposedly co-owned by all residents of Concord. The purpose of a marketplace is to bring people of mutual interests together, and telling Concord residents that they don’t legally have a right to be on a street that they pay for is directly in conflict with those goals. I wish Mr. President peace, and advise that he look to more diplomatic approaches to problem solving in the future. Laying your hands on other people’s property and calling armed men to deal with your problems does not create a more harmonious world.
The only reported arrests on Lemonade Freedom Day were in DC, which speaks volumes of how civilly out of tune the overlording city-state is with the rest of the nation. Meg McLain, Will Duffield, and Kathryn Dill were arrested on “vending without a permit”, “unlawful conduct”, and “failure to obey” charges. Their crime was making lemonade available for ten cents per cup on the US Capitol lawn.