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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New Hampshire Liberty Forum will bring hundreds to Nashua this weekend

NASHUA – Hundreds of liberty-loving people will descend on Nashua this week for the New Hampshire Liberty Forum.

The forum, in its fifth year, is the annual meeting for the New Hampshire Free State Project. Free Staters already living in New Hampshire and those thinking about moving here make up most of the participants, but everyone is invited, said Chris Lawless, a Hopkinton resident and the Free State Project’s forum organizer.

“We want people to come meet us, see we don’t have horns growing out of our heads,” Lawless said.

The forum will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. It starts Thursday and runs through Sunday.

Lawless is expecting 350 to 400 people to attend the forum.

The Free State Project promotes a libertarian philosophy of limited government. In 2003, the project selected New Hampshire as its base of operations and is trying to get 20,000 liberty-lovers to move here. It passed the 1,000 mark on Jan. 29, Lawless said.

The forum this year will feature a series of speakers and panels on topics including noted investor Peter Schiff and farming expert and author Joel Slatin.

The forum also includes panel discussions about everything from running for office as a libertarian, a state legislative overview, and getting a job in New Hampshire.

There will also be a vendor room filled with booths with advocacy groups offering information and people selling liberty-related books and other items, Lawless said.

The forum began as a way for libertarians to visit New Hampshire, see what it’s like and meet Free State Project members already living here, Lawless said.

”It’s kind of become something more than just, ‘Come visit New Hampshire,’” Lawless said.

Lawless moved to the Granite State in 2005.

A three-day pass costs $119 and tickets to each of the keynote speakers, Schiff and Slatin, cost $25 each, according to the 2012 New Hampshire Liberty Forum website.

Past keynote speakers have included Texas Rep. Ron Paul, author and judge Andrew Napolitano and New Hampshire Rep. Dan Itse, according to the website.

More information is available at freestateproject.org/libertyforum.

Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or jcote@nashuatelegraph.com. Also follow Cote on Twitter (@Telegraph_JoeC).