In the Belly of the Beast

Saturday, February 11th, 2012
posted by strangur

Three people were able to visit Catherine Ann at the Southern Regional Jail today.  She is doing well, keeping warm and getting along well with her pod mates.  She really appreciates the letters and support she is receiving from the community and we are happy to report that mail is reaching her very quickly, so it is not too late to send a letter.

Becks, the other sitter from the tree sit last summer has issued the following statement of solidarity:

After about five days in the tree, Catherine Ann and I were confronted by two security guards who at first seemed to just want to discuss the reason we both decided to ascend two trees on this mine site.  After several minutes however, one security guard proceeded to get angrier and angrier.  He wanted to “warn” us that there was a buncher machine that was making its way to us and would be at our trees any day after that.  He wanted to tell us this so that we wouldn’t get “bunched”– something he said they would do without hesitation, and that if we wanted to survive, that we should get down from the trees immediately.  What he was doing was intimidating us or at least trying to intimidate us.  Obviously Catherine Ann and I knew that there was no way they were going to “bunch” us and our trees and that this was merely an attempt to scare us into coming down.  Nevertheless, this form of intimidation is a real tactic and it’s a tactic that has been used again on Catherine Ann in the courts.  In order to have a trial, a right that we are legally allowed, she would need to be able to pay thousands of dollars in court costs.  How do we have a right to trial if the only people who can have a trial are those who can pay the outrageous costs, those who are economically privileged?  This form of intimidation, similar to the physical intimidation we faced in the trees, is not acceptable.  When we can’t properly fight back and defend ourselves against a corrupt system or when we are only able to defend ourselves if we have the economic privilege to do so, it becomes even clearer to me how broken this system is.  The more injustices we see and the more corruption, control, and abuse thrown at us, the more resistance and strength the coal industry will face.   

Becks is still awaiting legal proceedings relating to their role in the tree sit last summer.

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