George Donnelly may be best known to libertarians as the former Tyranny Fighter who was manhandled by uniformed thugs outside the Allentown, Pennsylvania courthouse and put through judicial hell merely for videocording Julian Heicklen and others while they distributed Fully Informed Jury Association pamphlets to passers-by.
Currently he’s involved with the Jury Rights Project placing jury nullification posters around the Manhattan courthouse where the Ross Ulbricht Silk Road trial is taking place, and he has recently released his first science fiction novel.
That makes it time for this exclusive interview.
You became well known to libertarian activists nationally when you were manhandled and arrested in 2010 for filming Julian Heicklen during one of his FIJA outreach events. Did that experience turn you against activism?
Not at all. I continue to engage in activism, though necessarily of a less risky nature because I am the primary parent for my 8-year-old son.
You started Shield Mutual as a way to help activists abused by The State. How does that square with your call to “Screw Activism. Build Community.”?
If Shield Mutual is put out of business because activists are no longer getting arrested, I would be pleased. I want to protect activists and keep them out of prison because we activists are more effective outside of a cage.
How does “building community” counter the aggression of The State?
John Robb’s first rule of open source warfare is to break the other guy’s networks. Conversely, by building our networks, we become stronger. Rule number two is to grow black economies. Through trading communities, we enrich ourselves, we know each other better and we grow more allies.
The state can take all material resources from us but they can not take our connection to each other. They can’t stop us from caring about each other and acting in solidarity with each other. This is what Shield Mutual is about and why community is foundational to everything else.
“Building community” may sound like pacifism to many. Do you still accept the libertarian non-aggression principle as well as the right to use defensive force?
Of course. I’m not a pacifist. Building community is essential to the worst-case scenario of a violent conflict because without community, there will be no one to feed, clothe and shelter the irregular forces required to engage in armed struggle.
You recently completed your first novel. Does it have libertarian and community building themes?
Yes. Lando Cruz and the Coup Conspiracy is an agorist novel about a future agorist rebellion where there is a sizable agora community. The theme of violence vs nonviolence runs through the story.
Where do you live now and what is your primary libertarian-oriented activity?
I am living outside of Medellín, Colombia and I divide my time among novel-writing at GeorgeDonnelly.com, blogging at MoreLibertyNow.com, defending the agora at ShieldMutual.com and educating the public about jury rights at JuryRightsProject.com.