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Political activist braves storm for Free State cause

By CHRIS GAROFOLO, Reformer Staff

Thursday, December 18
BRATTLEBORO -- It would have take more than snow and ice to stop political activist Will Buchanan from spreading his message of liberty as he trekked toward New Hampshire.

Buchanan had a prime view of the ice storm last week while on his "Walk For Liberty" tour across the country. Wednesday morning he braved the snow as he walked up Route 9 to Keene, N.H.

Buchanan, 35, has traveled through 16 states in the last eight months to promote awareness of the Free State Project, an effort begun by Libertarians to relocate 20,000 to the Granite State in order to create a society free of government regulations.

"New Hampshire is already the freest state in the country, which is why we are moving there. But we also want to help bring more freedom to as many other people as possible," wrote Buchanan on his Web site.

Although the tour hit poor weather conditions in the past, Buchanan said they ran headfirst into last week's massive ice storm on Route 9, getting stranded on their way to Brattleboro. One of the recreational vehicle's oil lines also happened to blow out en route as well, causing the liberty team to take shelter in a nearby boat landing area.

Buchanan, who blogs almost daily on his Web site ( and posts videos from the road, wrote about the delays in the aftermath of the storm, taking photographs of the power lines iced over and downed tree limbs.


The ice on the Vermont mountains made a beautiful scene to travel, he said.

Despite the weather obstacles, the Buchanans crossed into New Hampshire -- whose state motto is "Live Free or Die" -- Monday to a gathering of about 50 fellow free-staters. The couple plans to stay with like-minded individuals until they find their own house to settle down.

More than 1,000 "free staters" have immigrated to New Hampshire to pursue the goal of limited government, noting its only role is to protect life, liberty and property of the citizens.

Buchanan and his 29-year-old wife, Brooke, began their trek in Cannon Beach, Ore., on April 14. They arrived in New Hampshire after more than 200 days on the road. The couple knew they would be moving from Hawaii to New England, but wanted to do it in a style to promote the liberty movement.

"She (Brooke) came up with the idea, 'If we are going to move to New Hampshire anyway, why not walk across the country to get there,' and I thought it was a great idea," said Buchanan.

Throughout the journey, the Buchanans mainly traveled in an RV with Will walking a portion of the way as Brooke catches up in the vehicle every few miles. He said the most memorable experiences during his trip is the ablility to speak one-on-one with Americans from the Pacific Northwest to the Green Mountains.

"One of the things I've enjoyed the most about this (trip) is talking to people along the way," he told the Reformer while speaking on his cell phone Wednesday morning. There are many Americans around the country that feel the government has gotten too big, he added.

Chris Garofolo can be reached at or 802-254-2311 ext. 275.

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(Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
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