Resistance Behind Bars

Thursday, February 9th, 2012
posted by fern

Today Catherine Ann went to Magistrate court in Beckley, WV and plead no contest to trespassing charges related to last summer’s tree sit.  As a result she was required to report within an hour of the deal to Southern Regional jail where she is now serving seven days and she owes court costs of $160.  The conspiracy charges related to the summer action were dropped.  Before we left her at the jail, she was in good spirits as she enjoyed some tasty vegan treats and a few laughs with friends.  She certainly could use your support over the next week, you can write to her at:

Catherine Ann MacDougal
Southern Regional Jail
1200 Airport Road
Beaver, WV 25813

She is also asking folks to consider donating to the legal fund if they would like to support her financially.

Before entering the jail Catherine Ann left us with the following statement:

I am prepared to go to jail today; when I decided to climb that oak tree,  I knew that I could go to jail for much longer than this.  I chose to plead no contest because I wanted to be sure that I could continue to organize during the next few months and because I am not willing or able to pay thousands of dollars to the courts for a trial.  This experience has really opened my eyes to the glaring injustice embedded in the United States criminal justice system.

A “right” to a jury trial doesn’t mean much if we are intimidated into pleading guilty and penalized for taking a case to trial.  The right to a jury trial doesn’t mean very much if we have to pay for every juror and face fees that are prohibitive for those of us who don’t have a lot of money.  The right to a jury trial also doesn’t mean much if I know that I won’t be able to adequately present my own defense, and that the jury will be made to feel as if it has no other option than to convict me.

What is happening today is not a loss for the movement.  I will be out of jail in seven days, and this experience has only strengthened my conviction to work to stop mountaintop removal.  Thank you all so much for your support.

5 Responses to “Resistance Behind Bars”

  1. Watcher says:

    Why not contact Mr Ward over at the Gazette, as it seems he is the go to guy for the Sierra club. I’m quite sure they could part with a little of that 26 million Chesapeak Gas money to help Catherine out.

  2. […] To support Macdougal, check the RAMPs website. […]

  3. Ben Cutbank says:

    Hi all,

    While she was in prison, I sent Catherine Ann a letter of support. It seems I was too late, because it was sent back to me. I’d still like to send it to her, though. Could somebody point me in the direction of an address to where It should be delivered?

    Thank you,
    Ben Cutbank

    • squirrel says:

      Thanks so much for writing to me Ben! I’m afraid that about 2/3 of my mail got turned away for some reason (though I still got plenty of letters of support). I would really love to get your letter now. You can mail it to RAMPS c/o Michael Bowersox, po box 51, rock creek, WV 25174

  4. squirrel says:

    Thanks Watcher, we’ll try to look into that. Luckily I’m doing pretty well right now, I only have a couple hundred dollars in fines.

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