Last summer I joined 22 others in a week-long sit-in at the Montana State House calling on the Montana State Land Board to reject Arch Coal's Otter Creek Mine. It's all part of a regional struggle to keep Montana and Wyoming coal from being extracted and shipped through Oregon and Washington for export to Asia. See: http://coalexportaction.org/
After one night in the Helena jail I was released. This morning, 7 of us "pled out" (to trespass charges) and are each on the hook for a $340 fine. But it doesn't stop there!
16 of our number have requested a jury trial and with the help of our lawyers, will argue a "necessity" defense: that civil disobedience is legally justified when directed at a much greater wrong – like climate change. We're turning the tables in Montana and putting Big Coal on Trial! But expert witnesses, expenses incurred to our pro-bono lawyers, etc. will cost a little money. About $15,000 to be precise.
The good news is that my friends have already raised at least half of that, but we could sure use your help...and to be honest, I don't have the extra scratch to cover all of my fine!
Can you give 10, 20, 50 bucks or more? The first $780 I raise will be split between my personal fine and trial expenses for my courageous friends, anything above that number will go 100% toward putting Big Coal on trial!
Thanks for your support! Please sign up at Coal Export Action to stay informed.
P.S. Here's what Montana writer Rick Bass, also one of the "Montana 23," had to say about the action.
P.P.S. I thought you might appreciate this billboard, located just two blocks from my house! I wish I could say I had something to do with it...
(Courtesy of the fine folks at Portland Rising Tide.)