This week a Montgomery County judge sentenced the Yellow Finch treesitters to spend as many days in jail as they spent in the trees blocking the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
Here is a message from Acre in Western Virginia Regional Jail after they were sentenced:
“Hi everyone. You probably just saw my sentence in the paper. I want folks to know regardless of how I’ve been charged, I stand behind my actions. I’ll go day for day tree for jail any day of the week to stop the damn pipeline.
I want people watching who may consider taking action against injustice to not be dissuaded by the law, to know the court is only there to protect the interests of wealthy corporate elite. That by jailing people for protecting the land and water, they show us time and time again how the judicial system is a right hand in colonialism and how it wears the blood of innocent life left in its wake.
Refugees from climate change are on the rise, immigrants remain locked in cages separated from their families dying at our border. And the jails are packed with people preyed upon by both the state and prison industry, exploited for labor and cash and tax cuts. Prison is modern slavery and should be abolished.
To those reading this weighing the efficacy of their actions, planning for the next protest: never forget you are standing for what is right! They may have me in a concrete box, but the woods and nature is something I hold with me always. I can still feel the coming birdsong and blossoms of late spring like a steady pulse. I can feel the soil and running water in my blood.
To believe this world was given to us to do what we want to it, to build monuments to our own ego, is backwards and dangerous. We are only a small part of this place and our relationship with the land and air and water is critical. It’s a fatal error to alienate and place ourselves above all the crawling and swimming and flying and growing things. Earth comes first remember? Show the world what you believe in.
Land for its own autonomy. Dirt for dirt’s sake.”
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