|From Jay O’Hara for the Tar Sands Valve Turners:
Today, the third valve turner – Leonard Higgins – goes to trial in Fort Benton, Montana for closing down the Spectra Express pipeline last October. The climate movement in Montana, and friends from all over, are ready to stand with him in Chouteau county court tomorrow. Leonard is an amazing individual: a cool, gentle grandfather who knows exactly what his responsibility is to current and future generations, and is ready to make the most of his life on earth.
Mock Trial A Success
With all-star witnesses Steve Running, Tom Hastings, and Andrew Holland testifying on his behalf at the University of Montana Saturday, a jury of loving supporters found Leonard “not guilty!” in a beautiful showcase of the moral and legal case that the valve turners are making through their actions and their courtroom appearances. You can watch the whole mock trial here, or check out Leonard’s moving testimony below:
How to Follow Along
Unfortunately court rules disallow live streaming, cameras and even cell phones in the courtroom, so it looks like we’ll have to revert to carrier pigeon. Just kidding! Valve turner Emily Johnston will be more-or-less live tweeting @enjohnston from the Chouteau County Courthouse, and we’ll have live Facebook video updates on recesses and will post daily social media roundups and longer write-ups on the Montana Trial Live-Blog. Follow along!
In the Press:
We’ve also started to get some pre-trial press including Leonard’s hometown paper, and the AP has written a preview story. Ken Ward has also penned another op-ed for The Hill, “My freedom is on the line to fight climate change, more will follow”. Check it out.
for the tar sands valve turners
PS. The valve turners need your financial support. Taking these cases to trial, telling the story of the movement and the courtroom drama (not to mention the mock trial), and preparing to provide ongoing jail support for potentially multiple valve turners (Michael’s sentencing is in January) requires money. We need to raise $15,000 in the next week – during Leonard’s trial – to keep the valve turners effort resourced. If you have supported us already, can you do so again? If you have never given before, can you start with a $25 donation today? CLICK HERE TO DONATE