Saturday, December 17, 2011

Dozen Occupy Bellingham protesters released after spending night in jail


BELLINGHAM - All 12 Occupy Bellingham protesters who were arrested Monday,
Dec. 12, were released from jail Tuesday morning after making an
appearance in Municipal Court.

About 80 to 100 protesters blocked the railroad tracks near Roeder Avenue
for more than three hours Monday, delaying two BNSF coal trains, said BNSF
spokesman Gus Melonas. The tracks reopened about 5:30 p.m. after police
removed bicycle locks from the necks of several protesters who had linked
themselves together on the tracks and refused to move.

Both coal trains were on flexible schedules, so the protest did not have a
significant impact on shipments, Melonas said. One of the trains was
loaded with cargo; the other was empty. Trains were on regular schedule

Along the West Coast, ports were blocked Monday by protesters in
solidarity with Oakland's chapter of the nationwide Occupy movement. The
movement opposes greed and cronyism on Wall Street and in Washington, D.C.
Oakland has been the site of some of the most dramatic clashes between
police and protesters.

The dozen activists arrested in Bellingham were booked into Whatcom County
Jail on charges of second-degree trespassing and obstructing law
enforcement. Those booked were Ian K. Alexander, Bonnie Barker, Robert
Burr, Michael B. Cragan, Alexis Garcia-Silva, Herbert E. Goodwin, Andrew
N. Ingram, Tamara L. King, Jordan E. Quinn, Zachary E. Robertson, Joshua
J. Smith and Gerald A. Warren.

They spent the night in jail and were released on their personal
recognizance before 11 a.m. Tuesday. Each protester pleaded not guilty.
They were not required to post bail.

"They're all doing great and feeling supported by the community," said
activist Elizabeth Monk. "They were all booked together in the same cell,
so they had each other."

A legal defense fund has been set up in support of the arrested
protesters, Monk added, and by Tuesday morning about $100 had been raised.
Pre-trial hearings are scheduled for Feb. 13.

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