A Freeman who was issued a speeding ticket in began a harassment campaign against the officer who issued it. (Photo: REUTERS/Dan Riedlhuber DR/KS)
There is a group that has been making life difficult for those who work in and for the justice system in Canada by burying it in endless bureaucratic red tape: they’re called Freeman on the Land.
Freemen believe that they have an unrestrained right to travel, which is why they believe they don’t need driver’s licenses, insurance, or license plates. They also believe they can avoid bills, such as mortgage payments, utility bills and taxes and that laws only apply to them if they consent or if they choose for that law to govern them, which can often lead to confrontations.
A recent example of a confrontation between a Freeman and the justice system occurred in Alberta, where a Freeman who was issued a speeding ticket in 2015 began a document harassment campaign against the justice system and the officer who issued the ticket.
Due to the document harassment campaign, the Freeman was charged with the “precedent setting” charge of “paper terrorism.” What he was actually charged with was intimidation, a charge Freemen have faced before due to their strategy of overwhelming courts and individuals with paperwork and filings.
"They [the Freemen] are just cutting and pasting from all over the internet, from laws from all over the world, and they put them together into hundreds and hundreds of pages of documents. . .They do this to overwhelm the court and confuse people or intimidate the people involved to drop the prosecution immediately", explained Edmonton police Det. Rae Gerrard.
Freemen are a growing concern for the justice system in Canada, not only because they don’t believe in or follow rules but also because they can be difficult to deal with.
When the law encounters a Freeman, the Freeman often resorts to different strategies in response to difficulties with the law. In the recent Alberta case, the Freeman issued a lien against the officer’s personal property in the amount of $225,000, as punishment for having been detained.
In another case, a woman who had a Freeman tenant found that he had slapped a lien of $26,000 against her property, changed the locks, declared himself a diplomat and her property his embassy.
There are an estimated 30,000 Freemen in Canada and hundreds of thousands more in the United States.