Standoff With Browns Forces Changes In Plainfield
WMUR | September 17, 2007
Plainfield residents said that the months-long showdown between law enforcement and a couple convicted of tax evasion is forcing changes in the town.
The school routine has changed this year, thanks to Ed and Elaine Brown, residents said. A bus no longer travels up Center State Road, where the Browns live, holed up in their home with their supporters, who police said could be dangerous.
The bus now picks up students at the bottom of the hill. Parents said that it wasn't worth the risk to keep the route the same.
"You never know who you're going to meet on the road," parent Paula Wehde said. "Is it going to be a fed? Is it going to be a supporter? You just don't know."
While many Plainfield residents said they do their best to keep their distance, the Browns are planning a third party for their supporters. A BYOB jamboree has been publicized on several Web sites.
Police said one cruiser with two officers will keep watch on the road leading to the Browns during the concert.
"There are officers assigned to the road to make sure the road stays open, so fire and ambulance crews can get through to the neighbors," Chief Gordon Gillens said.
Officials said they hope the recent arrest of four of the Browns' supporters will make others think twice about lending aid.
"People know that they're now at risk of being arrested if they're seen as helping Ed and Elaine," Plainfield Town Administrator Stephen Halleran said. "I think that's a positive development."
Gillens said that it has been a difficult summer for him and other law enforcement officials who have been publicly threatened by Ed Brown and his supporters. He said that it's his duty to keep everyone in the town safe, including the Browns.
"We've made no indication that we want to harm him or his people, and yet they're constantly threatening us and our families," Gillens said.
The concert, planned for Saturday is called Live Free Or Die 3: the Fall Freedomfest. Web sites advertising the event said that it's open to all, but police are discouraging anyone from attending.
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