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“But the truth is, we know the chemical reaction that’s taking place, and we’ve known it for over a hundred years, and yet we still think it’s okay to do this, because somebody somewhere, some government or corporation, is gonna one day pass a law and stop us from poisoning ourselves. But it—they’re not.” Michael Foster

4 Trials in 3 States - and the Necessity Defense allowed in the upcoming 5th and final trial in Minnesota #ValveTurners #ShutItDown #ClimateTrial

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“Thoreau said, 'If a thousand people, no, if a hundred people, if ten people, if one honest person would oppose the slavish government... and be willing to face that punishment, it would be the end of slavery in America.' I’m willing to test that theory. If you think I belong in jail because I’m dangerous to society or because you think it would be the end of the oil industry in America by putting me in jail, or send some kind of message out, I’m willing to test that theory. Because my one little life is just not more important than all life to come, and that’s what’s really at risk today.” Michael Foster

#ValveTurners #ClimateTrial #ShutItDown

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Necessity Defense discussion. (Please note: Valve Turners cut chains and turned emergency shut-off valves to stop flow in pipelines. They didn't "cut pipelines.")

Jan Haaken and Mike Snedecker discuss the moral necessity defense and how it has been used in civil disobedience cases, including the recent prosecution of climate activists known as the "valve-turners" who shut down five pipelines carrying tar sands crude oil. Photo courtesty of: ShutItDown - Clima...
kboo.fm

Michael Foster may be in prison, but the kids are carrying on big time! Michael helped start an assisted-migration collaboration, "Moving the Giants," to transport old-growth redwood tree seedlings north, because the redwoods are now at risk in California. Read more about the kids giving their Governor a redwood tree and talking to legislators about climate action:

http://sanjuanislander.com/…/youth-leaders-demand-bold-clim…

This morning February 19, dozens of youth from across Washington State converged on Olympia with their families to urge serious and swift attention to...
sanjuanislander.com

If conservative lawmakers get their way, new laws could undermine the environmental movement just as scientists say the humans are running out of time to make the changes needed to stave off the worst effects of climate change.

The post-9/11 rhetoric vilifying environmentalists is making a comeback.
huffingtonpost.com|By Alexander Charles Kaufman

So far, 3 out of 5 Valve Turners have not been allowed to talk about climate change at their trials. That means a jury of their peers didn't get to hear why they did what they did.

You can help us make sure the world does. Follow the The Reluctant Radical, a documentary about Ken Ward, that premieres this week at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and is available for community screenings!

Lindsey Grayzel added a photo and a video.

It’s a road trip to Montana! We are headed out to Big Sky Documentary Film Festival for the premiere of The Reluctant Radical! The only thing I didn’t get done on my list...books on tape. It might be a long ride.

"15 activists from the campaign, including 6 who participated in the "mass graves action," are taking their defense to trial in West Roxbury, supported by the Climate Disobedience Center. Their cases are currently scheduled for trial March 27th. The activists are committed to mounting a climate necessity defense, arguing that they had no reasonable alternative to putting themselves in the path of the pipeline's construction."

In the West Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, Spectra Energy was building a lateral fracked-gas pipeline to a new compressor station off of their existing AIM pipeline. Several groups emerged working to stop construction of the now-completed pipeline. Beginning October 7, 2015, Resist T...
climatedisobedience.org

The Reluctant Radical a film about Valve Turner Ken Ward premieres this week at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival!

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THE RELUCTANT RADICAL Trailer
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The Reluctant Radical is with Tim DeChristopher and 8 others.

We are excited to share the trailer with you!

In print today, please share:

How a group of five activists called the Valve Turners decided to fight global warming by doing whatever it takes.
nytimes.com

There was a crime committed that day. It occurred when the pipeline company turned the high-pressure pumps back on, forcing tar sands sludge through America's heartland. #shutitdown #climatetrial

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/pipeline-environmentalist-…

The post-9/11 rhetoric vilifying environmentalists is making a comeback.
huffingtonpost.com|By Alexander Charles Kaufman

“I am deeply saddened that Michael is spending any time in prison for his actions. I wish today’s news were instead about the Keystone Pipeline getting closed down for good. I hope that Michael’s bravery and commitment inspire more Unitarian Universalists to take bold action for climate justice, and I hope that Michael receives letters of support and gratitude every day of his prison sentence.” Aly Tharp, Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth

Valve turner Michael Foster was today sentenced to three years in prison, with 2 years deferred — meaning that he will spend the next year behind bars and will be able to serve the next two years under supervised probation. Michael was taken into custody immediately upon sentencing. Sam Jessup, wh...
uumfe.org

"One of the benefits of being a writer and an introvert, perhaps, is that we have an advantage over most people in our willingness to be reflective, and sit with uncertainty and mystery — Keats’ famous “negative capability.” We’re used to being pulled along by the current of a poem or story without knowing where it’s headed, and we’re no strangers to darkness, as a group. That’s invaluable now — as a culture, we seem to have forgotten how to be comfortable with anything but f...eelings of absolute certainty (ideally, a certainty shared by everyone in our peer group). Those of us to whom questioning and mystery and empathy come more naturally can bring those qualities to the groups that we’re part of, and maybe help balance them thereby. Internal direction tends to be how we find our way."

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“It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work, and when we no longer know which way to go, we have…
medium.com

"More than 100 law professors have weighed in on the case via a brief arguing the activists should be able to use a "necessity defense" at trial. That's when someone accused of a crime can say they needed to act as they did, or risk putting themselves or others in harm's way." #ClimateTrial Annette Klapstein Leonard Higgins Michael Foster Emily Johnston Ken Ward

Climate change activists tried to shut off a northwest Minnesota oil pipeline and were arrested. Now, an appeals court will decide whether they can use the "necessity defense."
mprnews.org
Leonard Higgins added 10 new photos.

I've been trying to wrap my mind around today's hearing in the Minnesota Court of Appeals. As a non-attorney and someone who is better understanding stuff I rea...d instead of stuff I hear orally, I've been a little stumped at how to summarize what happened. Here's my first stab at a summary. We should have the audio-video of the hearing tomorrow and can follow up with a more complete summary.

Thanks to all that come out today showing support!! ❤️

The three judge panel, Judge Francis J. Connolly, presiding, Judge Jill Halbrooks, and Judge Denise D. Reilly were very engaged during the hearing. They listened intently to the attorneys arguments and interrupted often with questions.

I’m biased, of course, on the merits of the appeal, but it seemed to me that toward the end of the hearing, the panel may have lost interest when David Hanson, the Attorney representing the state in the appeal repeated his objections yet again to the additional time, resources and uncertainty introduced by allowing the necessity defense.

It appeared to me that Attorney Hanson had failed to fully answer at least a couple of the judges’ questions but instead said: “My big contention is the presentation of expert witnesses, again of bringing in a circus essentially and having a one day trial turn into something that is completely uncontrollable.” There was a very long pause as if the judges were waiting for Hanson to return his attention to their questions, or to arguments to support a finding there was material error by the trial judge in allowing the necessity defense, or to arguments to support a finding that allowing the necessity defense would have a critical impact preventing an orderly resolution of the charges during the jury trial. It didn’t appear to me that Attorney Hanson was able to fully respond to judges’ legal questions nor did he appear provide sufficient legal arguments to meet meet the appeal requirements.

On the other hand, Tim Phillips, the Respondent Attorney for the Valve Turner defendants seemed to me to more than adequately respond to all of the legal questions from the judges. In addition, Attorney Phillips seemed to thoroughly refute contentions that the trial judge committed a legal error in granting the necessity defense, and seemed to thoroughly refute contentions that the ruling would have a critical impact preventing orderly resolution of the issues during the jury trial.

I’m hopeful that the court could choose to dismiss the request rather than proceeding to a decision on the appeal.

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Here’s a summary of today’s hearing from Leonard. We’ll have more after we get the audio-video files to the team. Thanks to Sadie Luetmer for filming the hearing!

Leonard Higgins added 10 new photos.

I've been trying to wrap my mind around today's hearing in the Minnesota Court of Appeals. As a non-attorney and someone who is better understanding stuff I rea...d instead of stuff I hear orally, I've been a little stumped at how to summarize what happened. Here's my first stab at a summary. We should have the audio-video of the hearing tomorrow and can follow up with a more complete summary.

Thanks to all that come out today showing support!! ❤️

The three judge panel, Judge Francis J. Connolly, presiding, Judge Jill Halbrooks, and Judge Denise D. Reilly were very engaged during the hearing. They listened intently to the attorneys arguments and interrupted often with questions.

I’m biased, of course, on the merits of the appeal, but it seemed to me that toward the end of the hearing, the panel may have lost interest when David Hanson, the Attorney representing the state in the appeal repeated his objections yet again to the additional time, resources and uncertainty introduced by allowing the necessity defense.

It appeared to me that Attorney Hanson had failed to fully answer at least a couple of the judges’ questions but instead said: “My big contention is the presentation of expert witnesses, again of bringing in a circus essentially and having a one day trial turn into something that is completely uncontrollable.” There was a very long pause as if the judges were waiting for Hanson to return his attention to their questions, or to arguments to support a finding there was material error by the trial judge in allowing the necessity defense, or to arguments to support a finding that allowing the necessity defense would have a critical impact preventing an orderly resolution of the charges during the jury trial. It didn’t appear to me that Attorney Hanson was able to fully respond to judges’ legal questions nor did he appear provide sufficient legal arguments to meet meet the appeal requirements.

On the other hand, Tim Phillips, the Respondent Attorney for the Valve Turner defendants seemed to me to more than adequately respond to all of the legal questions from the judges. In addition, Attorney Phillips seemed to thoroughly refute contentions that the trial judge committed a legal error in granting the necessity defense, and seemed to thoroughly refute contentions that the ruling would have a critical impact preventing orderly resolution of the issues during the jury trial.

I’m hopeful that the court could choose to dismiss the request rather than proceeding to a decision on the appeal.

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Today at the Minessota Court of Appeals heard arguments for the climate necessity defense in the case of Valve Turners Emily Johnston and Annette Klapstein. Defense attorney Tim Phillips' arguments were very compelling and the 3 judges seemed to respond well to his reasoning. The courtroom was full! As well was the overflow room thanks to Climate Warriors and Water Protectors Camp Turtle Island-MikinaakMinis Genawendang Nibi Endazhi-gabeshing and MN350: Building a Climate Movement in Minnesota

Thank you all for your continued support and for all the personal acts and sacrifices you make to save the planet and the people from climate catastrophe.

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