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Lemonade Freedom Day a Success Despite DC Arrests

Lemonade Freedom Day was last Saturday, August 20th. As many as 30 families across the country participated by selling lemonade with their kids. One stand, near the capitol in Washington, DC ended with the arrests of Meg McLain, Kathryn Dill and Will Duffield. See the excellent video above for the whole story. Their performance was inspiring and impressive. Learn from these fine folks. They know how to make a salient point through activism. Please support them as they go to court October 4th of this year on charges of vending without a permit, failure to obey and unlawful conduct. Only by sticking together can we hope to build a more just and humane society.

Meg and Lemonade Freedom Day founder Rob Fernandes were also on Fox’s morning show today. Both Rob and Meg did a great job as spokespeople for liberty.

I can’t find any fault with Lemonade Freedom Day. I can’t imagine anyone complaining about it. Likewise, I’m surprised when people rail against motherhood and apple pie. But, I did come across this criticism: that Lemonade Freedom Day is just a sideshow. There’s no substance to it. It’s not an important issue. There are more important issues.

This is interesting on a few levels. First, what great activism is this blogger engaged in that we can learn from? Surely, if you are throwing stones, you don’t live in a glass house. If he has some better concept, I’d appreciate him sharing that with us so we can all up our games.

All acts of resistance are constructive and substantive – even if they are random. I endorse and encourage everyone who makes any attempt to resist what they consider is wrong. And so should you. Each of us is different and unique. We each see the world differently and approach solutions in different ways. If all of us just made the decision to be engaged – to be active – that alone would be a great step forward, no matter which issues each of us focused on.

But I suspect the blogger is, sadly, just saying, “My cause is better than yours, na na na na na!” This is destructive. There are hundreds, if not millions, of important causes. Let each person pursue those causes most important and/or most accessible to them.

Finally, it’s ridiculous to compare 30 or 40 families working on this issue in our spare moments to a huge organization like the ACLU (as the blogger does). We picked an issue no one else was working on. We filled a market need. Many of us are already working on many other issues and will continue working on them when the day is done. And we won’t be discouraged by high-falutin’ tophat-wearers who tell us we’re not doing anything useful.

Another complaint I encountered is that Lemonade Freedom Day is sponsored and endorsed by Reason magazine. Now that’s a sideshow issue! Lemonade Freedom Day is the project of Rob Fernandes, his family and about 30 or 40 other families and individuals. Reason magazine has nothing to do with it.

Lemonade Freedom Day is a great success. The participants made their point: selling lemonade is not a crime but cops are inappropriately cracking down on lemonade sellers nationwide. I look forward to more Lemonade Freedom Days and more timely single issues led by capable libertarian and anarchist activists. ¡Arriba los limónistas!

By George Donnelly

I'm building a tribe of radical libertarians to voluntarize the world by 2064. Join me.

11 replies on “Lemonade Freedom Day a Success Despite DC Arrests”

Well, for it to have been a success, there has to have been some kind of measure or goal, of which I must not be privy to. If the goal was to get on television, it was definitely a success. If the goal was to get arrested, it was a success. If the goal was to get more people interested in selling stuff without governments permission, it may or may not have been successful. If the goal was to get more freedom, it was not successful. If the goal was to get the government to repeal permit laws, it was an abject failure.

George, I was pleased to see the well done video by Adam Kokesh, directed from a separate Tweet by you yesterday. I’d been following the numerous citations for lack of “permits” in various places in the country – all to garner local government revenue of course – and was expecting some very visible challenge similar to the Lincoln Memorial Dance-In :)

I hope to see still-photo extractions from the video of the cops involved in the arrests – especially that female who repeatedly tried to cover up the camera lens and even pushed the camera away. She was the worst of the bunch!

Publicize the names & these current photos so that all who disapprove of this behavior (and hopefully of government enforcers in general) are then enabled to withdraw all voluntary association with those who will not be persuaded by logical reasoning to get truly productive jobs, which by definition are not for government. For those who persist in these enforcer positions, I urge no sales, no service, no camaraderie – no anything! This is shunning or, as I and Paul Wakfer put it , negative Social Preferencing (as contrasted with the positive form to favor those approved). It has been referred to as ostracism in many parts of the world for centuries and has been an effective method of nonviolent political action (writings of Gene Sharp recommended), though getting little attention from current mainstream media.

When large numbers of men and women decide that it is not worth the shaming and shunning directed towards them by a majority of those who know or simply come into contact with them, there will far fewer willing to enforce these types laws/regulations/mandates/directives/etc. This also applies to government enforcers of the military stripe… It is the enforcers, both civil policing and military, who are the key to starting, maintaining and shrinking (even eliminating) any and all governments.

For more detail see : “Tax/Regulation Protests are Not Enough: Relationship of Self-Responsibility and Social Order”
and one specifically regarding military personnel: “Incremental Approach – A Better Method for Effecting Change”

An additional thought is for lemonade stands to offer the refreshment on a Value-for-Value basis. Let the buyer decide how much a particular quantity of the drink is worth after determining the quality by drinking it. The provider is then not “charging” a price, but simply receiving value exchange for the product and service. Some few might say it wasn’t worth anything and return no value, although they finish the entire amount rather than taking only a sip and refusing any more. Such individuals would reasonably not be welcome again under the same “pay afterwards what it’s worth” arrangement, and would even be recipients of negative Social Preferencing by those who witnessed this lack of honesty (or later heard about it). I’ll be interested in hearing about lemonade stands (and any others) that utilize this transaction approach. (Some more discussion, including how to evaluate, at

Re: Kitty’s comment: “I’d been following the numerous citations for lack of “permits” in various places in the country – all to garner local government revenue of course”.

I think that a far more important reason for the enforcers and their direct bosses to act in this manner is to exert authority and control over the public – to show them who is in charge and that practically anything one does can be and will be terminated if and when these thugs choose. They know that all people must be constantly made fully aware of their subservient place in the social order or the State will loose control. All the while, of course, out of the other side of their mouths these same thugs are maintaining that the country is a bastion of freedom and liberty of action.

The police have been emasculated to the point where they have to arrest people selling 10 cent lemonade to prove their worth. How many gangbangers were selling drugs in the area at the same time these arrests took place? Police avoid the drug-selling gangbanger, however, they could shoot back. So the drug trade thrives on the parks and streets of our cities while lemonade entrepreneurs are harassed and arrested to the point of elimination.

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