laurie laurie, May 12, 2017

Come show support for our local activists arrested at Break Free!


From Eugene, Salem, and Bend facing trial May 18-19: Elizabeth Chandler, Sandra Clark, Deb McGee, Carolyn Partridge, Laurie Dougherty, Shirlee Evans.

From Eugene, Corvallis, and Seattle facing trial June 8-9: Leonard Higgins, Christa Knittle, Ed Epley, Aiden Carroll.

(Cover photo – left to right: Sandra Clark, Deb McGee, Elizabeth Chandler, Leonard Higgins, Christa Knittle, Carolyn Partridge)

These activists are facing misdemeanor charges of second-degree criminal trespass for their actions nearly a year ago in the Break Free protest against fossil fuels.

Motions on Thurs. morning, May 18 will be at Skagit County District Court (600 S. 3rd St, Mt Vernon, WA). Jury selection will start near 9:00 AM. The trial will be in Superior Court across the street (205 W. Kincaid St #202, Mt Vernon, WA). You must pass through a metal detector to enter the courtroom. No hats allowed.

Eugene’s Civil Liberties Defense Center is providing pro-bono legal support to the arrestees.
Donations are appreciated (specify Breakfree): world.350.org/eugene/donate/
breakfreepnw.org/donate/
https://www.cldc.org/

 

BACKGROUND:

Six residents from Eugene (Elizabeth Chandler, Sandra Clark, Leonard Higgins, Christa Knittle, Deb McGee, Carolyn Partridge), along with residents from Corvallis, Salem, and Bend (Ed Epley, Laurie Dougherty, Shirlee Evans, Aiden Carroll), are facing upcoming trials for the misdemeanor charge of second-degree criminal trespass for their actions nearly a year ago in the Break Free protest against fossil fuels.

This spring the seven Skagit County trials began.  Jury after jury found each set of defendants guilty resulting in $250 fines and eight-hour community service requirements.  But on April 14th, during the fifth trial, two jurors refused to convict, resulting in a hung jury/mistrial.

On May 15th and 16th, 2016, approximately 150 PNW protesters were on or in close proximity to a train track heading into and out of the Shell and Tesoro Refineries near Anacortes, Washington.  Although their protest was peaceful, they were raided in the early morning hours by militarized police in full riot gear, and were shackled as they were being booked.  Fifty-two protesters were arrested. The goal of their protest was to promote awareness of the impact of fossil fuels on the climate in conjunction with the international Break Free campaign.  “A global wave of peaceful direct actions lasting for 12 days took place across six continents targeting the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects.” (http://breakfreepnw.org/)  Break Free actions took place in 13 countries around the world in support of transitioning to clean energy renewable resources.

These citizens were Standing Up for their conviction that we all deserve healthy air, soil, and water. They protested because they are deeply committed to a local and global, just and expedient transition to clean, renewable energy.  They believe that all present and future generations deserve a livable planet. Scientists have determined that the atmosphere must contain under 350 parts per million of CO2 for a stable climate.  We are currently at 410 and climbing.  Human activity has warmed the planet so much that we are in a new era – the Anthropocene: a different and warmer climate than the one that nurtured the evolution of humans and all life on Earth.  These citizens see this data, understand the future impacts, and are unable to turn away.

April 17, 2017 Seattle Weekly article about hung jury trial: http://www.seattleweekly.com/news/skagit-county-jury-refuses-to-convict-six-of-those-arrested-during-break-free-climate-protests/