“I refuse to attend a hearing that violates our constitutional rights to have a lawyer. They are suing us to scare us, to intimidate us, and to make sure others don’t follow in our footsteps. But we wont back down. If anything, this is going to only ignite us more” – Becks
While the treesit was happening, Alpha repeatedly claimed to the sitters and to the media that our presence was not impacting their mining operations. Yet oddly enough, now that the tree-sitters are down, they are claiming that this action caused them “irreparable harm.”
On these grounds, they are suing the tree-sitters and their direct support for compensatory and punitive damages–in other words enough money to make up for all that irreparable harm and then enough more to really teach them a lesson. They are also trying to put Eli, Becks, Junior, and squirrel (Catherine-Ann) on an injunction that would invoke severe penalties for any one of them caught trespassing on Marfork’s property again.
In order to get that injunction as quickly as possible, Alpha’s lawyer put on the pressure to get a hearing only two weeks after they had filed for the lawsuit. Of course, there is no way that the affinity group (AG) could rustle up a lawyer and the funds to pay them in a matter of days; RAMPS has neither the pet lawyer nor the limitless capitol that Alpha has. So Becks, squirrel, Eli, and Junior asked alpha attorney’s for more time, which was refused then they filed for a continuance, which was denied by the Raleigh County Circuit Court, despite their written promises that they would not trespass before a hearing could be held.
By denying that continuance, Judge Burnside has refused the AG their fundamental right to have legal counsel with them in court. In order to protect themselves, the AG will not be attending the hearing without a lawyer present. Several local residents, however, will be showing their support by attending the Raleigh County Courthouse in Beckley today and monitoring the proceedings.
Alpha’s lawsuit is a travesty, designed to bully us and to quell our courage to dissent, and this hearing is a farce, a weak pretense of justice entirely on Alpha’s terms.
We plan to fight this lawsuit hard, taking full advantage of another opportunity to bring public attention to Alpha’s crimes against the land and the people. If you want to help, spread the word about this outrageous lawsuit and consider donating $5 or $10 to the RAMPS legal fund so that we can hire a lawyer and cover court fees. Thank you!