As it turns out the criminal justice system of West Virginia didn’t feel like I deserved to get thrown in the slammer for standing up for myself and my neighbors. I could tell that the magistrate I had to go in front of wanted to lock me up and throw away the key though, legally he couldn’t do that for a simple trespassing charge though. I plead “no contest” to one count of trespassing A. What that means is that I now owe the state of West Virginia about two hundred and fifty bucks. I for one feel like they should take that money and improve access to safe, non-contaminated drinking water in this state. As we all should know by now though that isn’t going to happen, because the people who have the power in this state refuse to admit there are serious problems with the coal industry.
I am very happy about what the four of us did this summer, I feel like more actions like the ones we took are necessary if we’re ever going to change the way our society operates, stealing from the poor to make the rich richer. I’d recommend to anyone that they should take direct action in one way or another to oppose this oppressive system that has had the poor and oppressed under it’s iron fist for so long. If you can’t find a way to do that in your own community I’d suggest figuring out a way to plug in and help out with the RAMPS campaign.
I’ve personally received a ton of support for my roll in the tree-sit and I’d like to thank everyone who helped out, whether that was sending us an email stating your support, or making a donation. I’ve also received a lot of positive feedback from my friends and neighbors in my community, I think that’s the most lasting impact this action will have. I’ve had folks from here tell me that if they weren’t unable in some way (from physical ailments or threats to their income) they would have been right there with me. One elderly person that I had known my entire life called me just to say thank you after I’d gotten out of jail and to say “There are more of us than you think.” Meaning a lot of people in the area support our work, which is always great to hear.