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Royersford Man To Help Lead Checkpoint Protest

Darren Wolfe is a spokesman for The Valley Forge Revolutionaries, who seek to "nullify" DUI checkpoints by holding up protest signs advising motorists to turn around

Motorists heading along Route 611 (Old York Road) on the evening of July 6 may encounter two things:

  • A police sobriety checkpoint
  • Protestors holding up signs to go the other way.

These protestors are part of a grassroots libertarian organization called the Valley Forge Revolutionaries.

“What we do is activism,” said Darren Wolfe, a Royersford resident and spokesperson for the Valley Forge Revolutionaries. “No one has the right to initiate force on anyone else, and we believe on consistently applying that.”

The group, founded in 2007, describes its police checkpoint protests as “checkpoint nullification” events.

The scheduled July 6 checkpoint nullification comes off the heels of the group’s first such event on June 15.

According to Wolfe, the June 15 event took place in Upper Moreland, along Route 611, nearby the PA Turnpike Willow Grove Interchange.

Watch the YouTube video above for footage supplied by the Valley Forge Revolutionaries of their June 15 protest.

During this event, approximately 10 members of the Valley Forge Revolutionaries stood on the sidewalks, a few blocks away from the checkpoint.

According to Wolfe, nearly double the amount of protestors are expected to join the July 6 checkpoint nullification.

At the first protest, the Valley Forge Revolutionaries waved homemade signs with reflective lettering, some of which read, “Cops Ahead Exit Now” or “Big Bro is Watching.” The protestors also vocally warned approaching motorists of the DUI checkpoint.

Wolfe, who runs a blog called, “The International Libertarian,” recorded the event with photographs and a video.

During the video, it is apparent that the checkpoint nullification efforts had several instances of success in turning motorists around.

Warrantless and Arbitrary

According to Wolfe, the checkpoint nullification events are conducted to protect citizen’s Fourth Amendment right, which, in part, guards against unreasonable searches and seizures. He explained that the DUI checkpoints are warrantless and arbitrary, and that such law enforcement activity goes against behavior of a free society.

“Every year, thousands of innocent victims fall prey to these heavily-armed gangs bent on lawless actions,” James Babb, founder of the Valley Forge Revolutionaries, said in a press release. “As a service to the community, the Valley Forge Revolutionaries will be volunteering on Friday to help prevent innocent citizens from being victimized.“

Babb is the co-founder and chairperson for the Montgomery County Libertarian Committee, and ran in 2004 and 2006 for state representative in legislative district 157 as the Libertarian candidate.

In a 6-3 decision in 1990, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that such sobriety checkpoints do not violate constitutional rights, specifically addressing the preliminary questioning and observation by checkpoint officers.

However, Babb said that checkpoints are both ineffectual and fiscally irresponsible.

“Traditional police patrols are far more likely to locate genuinely impaired drivers than these suspiciousness checkpoints,” Babb said in the release. “So, not only are these checkpoints blatantly immoral and illegal, they’re also a waste of police time and tax dollars.”

Preventive Measure for Public Safety

During the video of the June 15 protest, Valley Forge Revolutionaries members did interact with Upper Moreland police. Although, it was apparent that such interactions were at times confrontational, the event ended without any protestors being arrested.

A note on The International Libertarian blog thanked protestors for exercising discipline and level-headedness during the event.

Local law-enforcement officials had equal sentiments.

“I felt that the officers did very well in ensuring that the people have a right to lawfully protest,” Thomas Nestel, Upper Moreland Police chief, said.

According to Nestel, the protestors have the legal right to assemble so long as they remained on the sidewalks. However, Nestel expressed confusion as to why sobriety checkpoints would be protested, if not to prevent motorists under the influence from being caught.

“I’ve been doing this for 20 years, and I never seen protestors at a DUI checkpoint,” Nestel said, adding that he does not find the protests as negative publicity for police. “I think it’s great for people to see what the police have to deal with.”

According to Nestel, sobriety checkpoints are helpful to law enforcement.

“It becomes a great word-of-mouth warning for those thinking of driving drunk,” Nestel said. “It’s a preventative measure for public safety.”

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According to the Valley Forge Revolutionaries Facebook page, the group will gather at the parking lot for the July 9 checkpoint nullification event.

The protest is expected to take place from 9:30 p.m. – 2 a.m. near Abington Hospital along Route 611. For more information, contact Darren Wolfe at 484-932-8395 or e-mail at CheckpointNullification@hotmail.com .

jackaroe July 06, 2012 at 07:48 PM
i wish my life was so unimportant that i had the time to save drunk drivers from "illegal" DUI stops. i'm all about american's keeping sovereignty but really make better use of your political spirits and go after bigger fish. targeting small town police officers who are causing no harm is just silliness and almost embarrassing. no one was unconstitutionally arrested that night. i'm hoping you come back with a comment about how you went to arizona to protest that ridiculous "show me your papers so i know that you're a legal citizen law" and maybe i can have a bit more respect for your organization. i support the concept but not this display.
Stephen Eickhoff July 06, 2012 at 08:15 PM
If you don't support this kind of display, then why would you support it over the (remaining parts of the) Arizona immigration law? BTW, no one seems to be encouraging your DUI straw man here.
Darren Wolfe July 06, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Jackaroe, please, this isn't about drunk drivers. It's about keeping what's left of our rights. It's about preventing the govt from having more power over us. For them it's about getting more money from us in fines & grants from the feds. The rest is all smoke & mirrors. "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves." -William Pitt (1759-1806)
Harry Dixon July 06, 2012 at 10:51 PM
I read all of this and was starting to side with the protestors until I watched their video. These guys are a bunch of maroons. There are better ways of effecting change than trying to make police officers look like a bunch of monkeys. Why didn't the protestors have the "gumption" to simply state what they were doing. That was spineless. And in the video: "Do you think we saved anyone tonight?" Saved anyone from what? Getting caught? Who are they trying to protect???
SMYRNA-X July 07, 2012 at 04:58 AM
Harry its is interesting that you started to side with this group, but with a little research came to see that they are just a bunch of idiots. Usefull idiots. The american public felt the same way about the occupy nuts, until their true politics and true hatred of america was finally report by the ms media. From their own website: Welcome, Valley Forge Revolutionaries! The purpose of the Valley Forge Revolutionaries is to advance individual freedom by any means necessary. Anarchists, Agorists, Voluntaryists, Libertarians, Constitutionalists, Ron Paul Republicans and other freedom lovers are welcome. What odd collection! Anarchist, agorists, voluntaryist uniting via ipads drinking lattes and planning to not pursue personal liberty, but destory americans coming together to form a constitutional federal republic. Although I respect ron paul I find the people that flock to him weird. Sorry ron but they are, its not your fault. And what kind of constitutionalist, someone who states they support the us contitution, would associate with an anarchist politically. Harry your right this group is really nonsense and is playing games with peoples lives. They cite "facts," say if you challenge them you'll "cry bias," and then continue to spout other "facts" unchecked. They are a joke and a fraud just like their ows brethren. politically.

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