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 Dealing with Detention on the Common Ways
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Word
Junior Member

USA
21 Posts

Posted - 20 Feb 2003 :  03:58:48  Show Profile
Please brace yourself. This line of questioning is long and windy!

I am considering taking a pilgrimage for religious reasons to promote thought and discussion on world peace and other religious & political issues. I have some legal concerns regarding this ccupation.

When I go on the pilgrimage, almost all travel will be on foot. I will be walking the back highways and country roads (not freeways) of the several states for at least several months.

I will be living out of a backpack for the duration of the journey. I will stop in towns and talk to anyone who stops to offer a ride, so that I might share my views on world peace and spiritual faith. I will be walking on the shoulder or to the sides of the highways and roads, which are common ways under immemorial custom and right of travel.

I do not and never have done drugs. I do not participate in any illegal activities. My only concern is to live my religion and talk about how people can have peace. I know for a fact that nothing I do can be reasonably construed to be illegal or suspicious. I have no ties or associations with anyone except for upstanding members of my local community.

I will be walking alone on this pilgrimage. Of course, I might encounter long stretches of road where it may take two or three days to walk from one town to the next. In some towns I will stop at public places to hold up a sign and pass out pamphlets encouraging the idea of peaceful resolutions to conflict, and other miscellaneous views. I will spend most of my time sleeping in the out-of-doors in a small tent, unless I am invited to bed for the night by someone who
absolutely insists.

I do not have or use any type of state-issued identification. I do not have a birth certificate, nor do I have or use a social security number. As far as government databases are concerned, I do not exist. There is no law that requires one to have identification (I have checked the CFR and it plainly and unequivocally declares that an individual cannot be forced into any contract or acceptance of any benefit involuntarily. I do not have any income; therefore I do not pay any taxes, thus I do not need ID for any reason. And because my religious convictions prohibit me from accepting state benefits or identification, I never will do so under any circumstances whatsoever, no matter what the cost is to me or my safety.

Here are my concerns:

My experience teaches me that police officers can and do harass, intimidate, and search innocent people who are doing nothing illegal. I see it all the time in the news, and I have talked with
lots of people to whom this has happened. I imagine a cop pulling over as I am walking along the highway-side, interrogating me in order to get information about me. Mind you, walking along the
common ways is a matter of right, not privilege, and does not constitute probable cause for anything. But nonetheless, it seems to me I will be bothered by officers that drive by.

Here are my questions:

1. When the officer asks for identification, I tell him that I have none. Immediately he/she will get suspicious, and probably want to search me. There is no law requiring identification, but officers don't generally know this. What can I tell an officer to get him to stop pressing for identification, and how can I remind him that refusal to answer his questions is not cause to detain me? Am I not right in the assumption that the officer must have a specific crime in mind to detain me as a suspect? Is it not true that there must be a specific information for the officer to approach me as such? Or can he/she just go to court and tell the judge, I stopped the suspect because he was exercising his right to use the common ways, and I arrested the suspect because he was exercising his right not to incriminate himself by giving his name, and now the court can charge me with some type of crime? What crimes could I be charged with?

2. I have the right to remain silent. Anything I say can and WILL be used against me in a court of law. Therefore, I have the absolute right not to communicate with an officer. I have read several SCOTUS rulings that make it very clear that the right to refuse all communication with the government is an absolute right. I will not give my name to any officer under any circumstances if I am being "panned" as a suspect. Of course, I want to know, how do I kindly explain this to the officer without ticking him or her off?

3. Given my particular circumstances in taking a pilgrimage, what excuses can I expect an officer to use to detain/arrest me? What charges will he or she likely file? What steps can I take to minimize jail time? I reiterate that I will not answer any questions regarding my identity, where I have come from, or where I am going. I know I have that right, and I will stand on it. I suppose the advice I want is how to best prepare myself to deal with any legal problems that the cops could cause me.

4. When an officer tells me, "You shouldn't be walking along the side of the road!" how can I respond to defuse the situation?

5. When an officer tells me, "You have to get away from the highway or I'll arrest you!" how can I respond to defuse the situation?

6. When an officer demands to search my backpack, how can I deal with this and maintain my rights?

7. If there is anything I did not mention or cover, or any assumptions here that might be mistaken, please set me straight. And please mention anything at all that might help me be prepared in case I do have to go to court on this issue.

I don't want to lock horns with any cops, but I anticipate the possibility is high, given my unique lack of identity and my insistence upon the right to remain silent when being questioned.

Thanks for your time and for tolerating all these questions!

Caleb
Advanced Member

Philippines
209 Posts

Posted - 20 Feb 2003 :  18:59:19  Show Profile
Just a few adjustments in your approach and you should be all set for your journey. First, as you are already outside the system, you will need to remain so by never invoking the system's "rights" or "laws", including CFR and SCOTUS declarations. Second, you will need to go with the attitude that if you are detained, it is for the purpose of sharing your message with the officers and inmates in the prison. An added benefit is a comfortable bed and three square meals, all without your requesting them!

Go to: www.ecclesia.org/truth/assembly.html and read until the mindset sinks in. You will need to know what words and other assumptions the system uses to trap you. For example, if asked for your name and you refuse to give it, the system will assume you have one. If you state that you do not have one of their names, and are therefore being asked to do the impossible, you maintain your separation. However, if you then respond to a name they use for you, even "John Doe", they will still claim ownership of you. Read especially, "The Power of Words", "Exercising Your Duty Of Movement On The Common Ways", and "Invoking God's Truth In Court ", as these give detailed answers to all your questions.

Finally, read the post on these forums titled, "ARRESTED for no driver's license". This is a recent example of someone's run-in with the police. After reading the above articles, see if you can spot the mistakes. The last reply to that post has excellent advice regarding your attitude towards the police and how that can determine their treatment of you. I can testify that I have always been well-treated by police officers when my attitude was similar to that described.

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