Originally published October 23 2015
Police arrest woman for filming forced installation of smart meter on neighbor's home
by PF Louis
(NaturalNews) Naperville, Ill a suburb of Chicago with a separate political structure, is a hotbed of activists' resistance to smart meters. A local grass roots group, Naperville Smart Meter Awareness (NSMA), was established by the two women arrested for resisting a smart meter installation and video taping it, Malia "Kim" Bendis and Jennifer Stahl.
The NSMA group was formed as an effort to educate locals on the reality of smart meters and foment resistance against Naperville's Smart Meter Initiative mandate to convert all structures with smart meters.
The city's mandate does allow an opt-out feature. According to the Chicago Tribune, one can opt out by paying for an initial fee of $68.35 for the alternative meter plus a $24.75 monthly fee for manually reading it. Some areas have higher fee arrangements and others have lower rates, while some say you can't opt out - period.
NSMA's position is there should be no fees for using an alternative to a smart meter. Bendis was arrested for interfering with police when she rushed to Stahl's home to record Stahl's attempted resistance to a smart meter installation.
Jennifer Stahl locked the gate on her fence and refused to allow technicians access to her property when technicians had arrived to install a smart meter.
The police were called, the lock was cut, but still Stahl tried to block them from taking her old analog meter. She was handcuffed and taken away, and Malia Bendis was also arrested for "eavesdropping" on an official police activity.
This occurred in January 2013. Since then the charge against Bendis for eavesdropping by filming the event was easily dropped because the Illinois Supreme Court had earlier declared barring citizens from filming police activity was unconstitutional.
But the charge against Bendis for resisting arrest took almost two years of hearings and attorney expenses to have it dropped because the report was falsified.
Bendis has since filed a suit against the city for the legal expenses and social embarrassment suffered from the arrest. The compensation she seeks is not outrageous. She wants to use a jury trial to expose smart meter concerns. She also charged the three police officers involved with using excessive force.
The smart meter resistors' concernsSmart meters emit RF (radio frequency) pulses, similar to WiFi and cell phone radiation, to nearby technicians' computers or to the main offices of utility companies. This eliminates the expense of paying meter readers to personally check each analog meter.
But the RF frequencies, even if only for short bursts during the day, have been reported by many for creating health problems, some minor, some serious. One Californian's pacemaker was disrupted forcing him to have paramedics come to his aid. There are Youtube videos of plants close to smart meters dying.
Other smart meter dangers involve the property itself. Smart meters have been known to suddenly catch on fire, and the manufacturers who insufficiently tested and hastily produced them are not liable.
Some claim homeowner's insurance won't cover fires from smart meters. One person complained how he had thousands of dollars of electronic equipment ruined because of a faulty smart meter.
Then there are those privacy issues. Exactly what electrical device is running when can be observed with smart meter data. During peak usage times, a residence or business monitored by a smart meter could have certain devices shut down.
Several newly placed smart meters resulted in higher electric bills. This even happened to some utility executives' electric bills upon their smart meter installations.
The pro-smart meter argument is that the digital smart meters are more sensitive thus more accurate. But smart meters do use some electrical energy to transmit and receive data, and they are not mistake proof.
Nevertheless, the essence of all anti-smart meter resistance is the right to choose without penalty. Despite Obama's urging implementation of the "smart grid", which involves placing smart meters everywhere utility generated electrical power is used, there's another critic from higher up who is not concerned about individuals' rights.
Former CIA director James Woolsey claims Smart Grid is "a really really stupid grid" because it's so vulnerable to hacking.
Cyber security expert David Chalk adds: "There is not a power meter or device on the grid that is protected from hacking - if not already infected - with some kind of Trojan horse that can cause the grid to be shut down or completely annihilated."
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