I am officially down from the tulip poplar I was living in for the past 2 weeks. After a long day yesterday, I was released without bail on my own recognizance–something we never would have imagined happening. Immediately following my descent from the tree, I was arrested by WV State Police and taken to Whitesville Police Station where I was processed, fingerprinted, and told numerous times that Big Brother would now know who I was (as if he didn’t know already). After the lengthy time spent in the Whitesville Police Station, I was then taken to the Raleigh County Magistrate Courthouse and put in a holding cell with several other folks where we bonded over the destruction strip mining has caused in local communities. After roughly 45 minutes I was taken to Magistrate Tanner for my arraignment, where he, as unfriendly as possible, listed my charges: trespassing (originally I was given 13 counts of trespassing, but even he thought that was ridiculous), conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor, and littering (even the tree huggers do it, huh?). He, with little explanation and with a very cold demeanor, ran through the numerous papers I needed to sign and with no pause told me I could leave and tell my friends my charges (Magistrate Tanner refused to let these friends into my arraignment). After all this, I’m still a little shocked that I was released on my own recognizance, something we have very infrequently faced in past actions. Although my legal strategy did specifically involve serving time in jail, I am happy to be out and to help support Catherine Ann, who still remains in her oak!
Thank you all for your support; Catherine Ann and I relished in it while we sat, sometimes very bored, in our trees. Although Catherine Ann is up there by herself right now, she remains very strong, and will love the time this solitude will give her with nature. Please continue supporting Catherine Ann and Ramps as she remains in her tree and we continue to stop work on the Bee Tree Hollow Permit!!!
Much love and solidarity!