The 14 of us who were arrested during the Hands Off Appalachia actions at UBS this November attended our first court date on the 8th. We were all offered a deal that may provide us a pathway for getting our charges dropped in exchange for paying restitution, but are waiting on the prosecutor and our lawyer to work out the details. Since our case was not resolved this week, we will have to return to CT on February 6th.
These long-distance court trips are costly; we could really use help defraying the costs of travel. Please donate here to pitch in.
Here is a Statement from Ricki Draper about her experience with the court:
Walking into court today with thirteen of my friends is equally as empowering as it is painful.
Over the last two years, I have visited UBS’s offices over 30 times pleading with them to stop the destruction of Appalachian communities. On November 25th, I stopped asking and started demanding an end to UBS’s financing of mountaintop removal. I entered the UBS National Headquarters and dropped a banner from their front entrance and refused to leave.
Today, court is an incredibly hard place to be. I arrive at 10am, and watch person after person stand in front of the judge. I witness the criminalization of poverty. People are sentenced to jail time, fines are levied, and families are separated.
Honestly, I am scared of judges and police and jails. I am scared of having a criminal record and how worried my mom is when I call her from jail.
Even though the legal system scares me, I promise you that I will never stop fighting. As UBS profits and poisons communities, as poor people are imprisoned and people of color are marginalized, as the pipeline is built and parents are deported, we will fight back. As long as injustice is legal and those in power are criminals, I will fight back.
While our criminal justice system is insidious and our enemies strong, I believe that we are going to win.