by Garret Ean
May 19 2013
Prince John, on behalf of his court jesters and their enforcement units, has penned a desperate response to the global outpouring of support received by Robin Hood and the Merry Men following the royalty’s frivolous lawsuit against us. Through a royal proclamation published in Saturday’s Sentinel, the Prince builds upon his deceitful characterization of individuals that he first perpetuated in a Keene Sentinel cover story over a month ago. Prince John continues to demonize those who participate in Robin Hooding, conflating our actions to ‘intimidation’ and ‘harassment’.
Considering the amount of self-righteous fluff sandwiching the Prince’s sentences, royalty seems to understand the extent to which they have dug themselves into a hole with a baseless lawsuit against six activists. Whatever the city’s true motives, we can trust in our leaders that this action had “nothing to do” with revenue. “The city has no interest in whether or not these or other individuals wish to pay the parking meters, and no claim about this practice is made in the legal action…This is definitely not about parking meter money. On behalf of your mayor, Kendall Lane, your elected city councilor, and your dedicated city employees, we are all honored to work for you and this wonderful community,” MacLean assures. Fancying himself an omniscient ruler of his subjects, the Prince even alleges that he can peer into the minds of those he sues. Weaving two different interpretations of the motives of the Merry Men, the Prince begins,
By now you are all aware that the city of Keene commenced legal action against six individuals who have been conducting and coordinating a six-month campaign of pursuit and intimidation of the city’s parking enforcement officers with the stated intention of eliminating their employment, and with them a department of city government.
Through these words, one infers that the Prince has evidence that Robin Hood and the Merry Men have overtly stated an intention of “eliminating [the enforcers’] employment”. As an individual merry man, I have never stated an intention to eliminate any particular person’s employment, and I would doubt his royalty’s ability to prove that any such statement was ever made on behalf of Robin Hood and the Merry Men. But just then, John contradicts himself.
Contrary to these individuals’ stated motives, and apparently accepted without much question by some in the media, this activity is not about placing coins into parking meters.
The Prince has become so drunken with authority that he cannot even get the alleged story of his subversive subjects straight! Is Robin Hooding officially about filling meters and saving the civilian population from tickets, or terminating the employment of otherwise replaceable enforcers?
Though the city’s lengthy, vague lawsuit makes no attempt to restrict the six defendants’ access to parking enforcers outside of their duty, Prince John alleges in his proclamation that the lawsuit was motivated “…against these individuals after the pursuit and harassment began to extend to the officers even while they were off duty and on their own time enjoying the city as ordinary citizens”. How the stakes have escalated! In their own lawsuit, one of the parking enforcers cites one instance in which he had a brief unwanted encounter with one of the participants in Robin Hooding while off-duty during enforcement hours. Though this incident had nothing to do with Robin Hood of Keene, the Prince would have the citizenry believe that individuals are coordinating the disturbance of city employees in the course of their private lives. If this were the case, it would certainly be grounds for criminal charges of harassment, as defined by NH RSA 644:4. But the Prince knows that no matter how much he may desire it be so, that even in his own courts, nothing done by the Merry (wo)Men could possibly classify as criminal conduct. It seems slanderous that royalty would be permitted to throw around criminal language such as ‘harassment’ without even trying to qualify what behavior fits this criminal description. I can say with confidence that at no time while I have been out filling meters for the good people of Keene, have I ever engaged in behavior that was intended to harass, demean, or dehumanize any of the city’s parking enforcers. And, in all of the time that I have spent filling meters and not harassing parking officers, not once have I observed Prince John among the people on the streets. In the true spirit of a conceited elitist, royalty made no attempt to negotiate with the Merry Men before attempting to throw them all under the legal bus. Fortunately, the burden of proof is on his highness, and despite his fallacious allegations, we have yet to be presented with evidence of any specific incident of harassment against any of the units under the Prince’s employ.
Over the course of Robin Hooding, I’ve experienced each parking enforcer on their own better and worse days. Whether I have spent a shift having a jovial conversation, in silence, or on the receiving end of petty insults from a parking enforcer, I have reciprocated nothing but positive energy. Shame on Prince John for spreading negativity and misinformation about individuals whom he has never so much as invested one minute to learn from.