Monday, January 19, 2009

CALL or WRITE Letters of Support for Activists Arrested FEB 18

Jan. 19, 2009 Infoshop News

Hi everyone. I am writing to ask you to support me and 6 other
activists who put our bodies on the line to stand up to corporate
power and protect our fragile Everglades. You can do this by calling
or writing a letter to the judge who is handling our case before
February 2nd, as I will explain below.

On February 18, 2008, while attempting to peacefully halt
construction of the monstrous West County Energy Center being built
by FPL, 25 of us were arrested. This came after years of civil
protest, lawsuits, and public involvement in permitting processes
that had little effect in stopping the power plant. To read more
about the protest and other events we've been carrying out, please
see our website.

This past December, the last group of activists went to trial using
an unconventional line of defense - necessity. Necessity is a legal
defense akin to self defense, differing in that it states that the
defendants committed the alleged crime out of necessity to prevent
harm to another person, or, in this case, a whole community. We stood
up for our actions and brought in scientific experts to attest to the
harm the power plant was, and would be, bringing to our community and
planet, via emissions, enormous water usage, and wastewater injection
into our aquifer. We had the help of very impassioned public
defenders, as well as testimony from several committed

In the end, we were all found guilty of the counts of trespassing,
resisting an officer without violence, and unlawful public assembly.
Though we are pursuing appeal, in the meantime, this February 2nd we
face sentencing, and the state prosecutor is seeking jail time for
two of the defendants, in addition to harsh fines and probation for
all of the defendants. The prosecutor also is trying to seek $21,000
in costs from us for the amount of money the police misspent in
arresting us. All this is ridiculous for such petty charges, and we
believe we are being persecuted for challenging the status quo of
environmental pillage.

Please write a letter to Judge Laura Johnson, stating that you
support the actions we took and don't believe we should be harshly
penalized for trying to defend our community. We all spent at least
one night in jail on February 18th, and that was penalty enough. You
can speak to your personal knowledge of me and my dedication to
community service. Organizational letterhead would be great, too! I
think people should put it in the mail by January 22 so the judge has
time to read it before the hearing.

The Honorable Laura S Johnson
North County Courthouse
3188 PGA Blvd.
Room 1407
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410

Phone: (561) 624-6597
Judicial Assistant: Erin Borden

No comments: