The sun was just beginning to set on a Poplar Avenue parking lot on September 2nd as amateur filmmaker Jason Talley gave three middle-aged ladies a tour of a canary-yellow motorhome.
"We've been following you guys online," one lady said, excitedly.
The "Motorhome Diaries" crew — Talley, Pete Eyre, and Adam Mueller — are on a cross-country "search for freedom," and they've been filming short videos documenting the people and places along the way.
They upload videos to motorhomediaries.com each day, and after their tour ends in November, the crew plans to combine the footage into a feature-length documentary. More than 100 videos are currently up on the site, and they include interviews with a medical marijuana patient in Vermont, a tax protester in Nashville, and an enlisted war protester in Chicago.
Eyre said the group identifies politically as libertarians, a broad spectrum of philosophies centered on maximizing individual freedom and minimizing or abolishing government.
"It's a moral issue. I don't like what the government does in my name, like waging war," Talley said. "Governments are the ones committing mass murder, but they steal from me to do that. A voluntary society is the way to go."
Eyre and Talley purchased their RV earlier this year and left from Washington, D.C., in April. They picked up Mueller in Wisconsin. Gas for their trip is completely funded by donations, most of which come from their online fans.
In May, the RV was pulled over in Jones County, Mississippi, when a deputy became suspicious of their out-of-state tags. By the end of the stop, the deputy admitted nothing was wrong with their tags but arrested all three crew members.
"Pete was the driver, and he did everything he was supposed to do, but the [police] escalated the situation," Talley explained. "After an illegal search, Pete was charged with possession of a beer in a dry county, even though it was unopened in the fridge."
Mueller was charged with disorderly conduct for videotaping the officer during the traffic stop, and Talley was charged with resisting arrest.
"They demanded I put my hands on the vehicle, and while I'm asking if our vehicle is all legal, they pepper-sprayed me, choked me, and tackled me to the ground," Talley said.
After the three were jailed, members of their online following raised $2,000 to bail them out. Eyre said the crew is looking forward to their September 10th court date in Mississippi.
"I know we were legal, and if they find some law that we actually broke, then it's one that needs to be challenged," Eyre said. "Our tagline is 'Searching for Freedom in America.' I don't know how we'll claim victory in that, but I'll be happy knowing that we've made people think more about self-ownership and question the status quo a bit more."