Flood Wall St. Protestors Found Not Guilty

NYC: TEN FOUND NOT GUILTY FOR ‘FLOOD WALL STREET’ CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE, NYPD VIOLATED FIRST AMENDMENT; JUDGE TAKES JUDICIAL NOTICE OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Ten climate activists have been found “not guilty” of criminal charges stemming from the Flood Wall Street protest. New York City Criminal Court Judge Robert Mandelbaum ruled that the NYPD’s order to disperse violated the First Amendment.

Following the historic September 21 People’s Climate March, several thousand people took to the street in the Financial District to identify and protest against Wall Street’s central role in fueling climate destruction. At the end of the day, 102 people were arrested for sitting in the street at the intersection of Broadway and Wall. Ten of the arrestees subsequently decided to fight their charges in court.

In his ruling, Judge Robert Mandelbaum found that the NYPD’s order to disperse was unlawful, and that by ordering protesters to leave the entire Wall Street area, police violated protesters’ First Amendment right to carry their message directly to its intended recipients: the Wall Street bankers who bankroll climate change. 

Defense Attorney Jonathan Wallace successfully argued that the Constitution protects citizen’s rights to express political speech within proximity to the target of the protest. In this case, the NYPD first prevented protesters from entering Wall Street before later ordering them to leave the area altogether. This pattern of policing proved to be the Prosecution’s undoing. 

Judge Mandelbaum also broke new ground by taking judicial notice that climate change is happening, is a serious problem, requires immediate action, and is caused by human activity. 

“The importance of judicial notice is that the judge accepted climate change and the need to do something about it as a fact without the necessity of any evidentiary support or proof at trial,” said Defense Attorney Martin Stolar. “To the best of my knowledge, this is unprecedented and has significance for future litigation involving climate change.”
 
Today’s ruling vindicates Flood Wall Street’s political message and sets an important legal precedent for asserting the constitutional legitimacy of mass civil disobedience actions protesting climate change. All ten defendants gave passionate testimony to the court, stating their convictions for attending the Flood Wall Street protest and affirming that their actions were justified.

“I was proud to be arrested standing up for what was right, and it was good for the community, the environment, and the planet ,” said Lewis Chiu, a 39-year old data analyst who was arrested at the sit-in.

“Of major significance is the fact that during the trial the judge took ‘judicial notice’ that climate change is a serious problem in need of being addressed in an urgent manner,” said Susan Heitker, one of the defendants.

Jeneen Roybal, a disabled U.S. Army veteran who was one of the defendants said: “This is an important precedent, not only for climate change demonstrators, but everyone who engages in protest activity.”

“Wall Street companies fund and profit off disaster for all us, and finance capitalism won’t be able to deal with the social fallout of climate change. We urgently need to act to save our planet and futures,” said Jason Woltjen, one of the defendants.

Press
 

Contacts:


Krystle Holmes 

John Tarleton

Growing the Roots to Weather the Storm

UntitledRising Tide North America is excited to announce the release of our new creative collaborations publication, Growing the Roots to Weather the Storm–Perspectives on the People’s Climate March.

The collection includes essays, poetry, and art submitted by Rising Tide network activists and allies digging deeper into political and strategic questions surrounding this September’s People’s Climate March.

Read Growing the Roots to Weather the Storm, online at GrowingDeepRoots.RisingTideNorthAmerica.org  or pick up a paper copy of the publication this September in New York.

 

Logistical Details on the RTNA Continental Gathering

The RTNA Gathering this year is being held at Wiley’s Last Resort in Letcher Co., Kentucky. Wiley’s is a whacky, wild, weird place on top of Pine Mtn at the Eastern Edge of Kentucky. It is home to an Appalachian poet and visionary, Jim Webb, and is the second home to many artists, activists, outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers from across the Mountains and the Whirled.

Wiley’s sits high above the town of Whitesburg on one side, and Eolia on the East Side. Eolia, and many nearby communities have been laid siege by Mountaintop Removal operations for well over a decade, and the devastation is plainly visible from many locations at The Last Resort.

Whitesburg, on the West side of Pine Mountain, is the county seat, and one that shows the scars and open wounds of the boom and bust coal economy. Whitesburg is also the home to the Appalshop, a new farmers market, and a hopeful and growing set of people and small businesses that believe in, and are creating, a Bright Appalachian Future.

Wiley’s has been home to Mountain Justice events repeatedly since before we built the MJ People’s Pavillion and hosted Mountain Justice Summer in 2010. Since then we have returned, and added infrastructure, and deepened our network’s relationship with the land and people of Eastern Kentucky and SW Virginia.

That being said, times are hard for many in our area, and tensions are high, for some. We ask that visitors be respectful in dialogue about coal and energy, and that they listen at least as much as they share. We work closely with many who must go home to their families, and to church with their community, and will deal with the long term process our region is going through as King Coal loses his throne.

Now, about the site. There is grid tied electricity readily available. Cell phone service is very strong for Verizon and affiliated carriers, weak for most others. There is not internet on site, unless you bring it with you.

We will have water available through large water containers that are filled from a source off site. Running water for showers is limited, but we have solar shower systems available.

The most available toilets are composting toilets, though there is one bathroom with warm water and a shower available for limited use.

There is ample flat camping, both in tree cover and in open field. You will have to transport your camping gear away from your vehicle, so pack accordingly.

We encourage bringing Mtn. Bikes, for utility of travel over the land, and for the fun of seeing all of The Last Resort.

On Pine Mtn, there is known to be things like mosquitoes, no-see-ums, bears, snakes, poison ivy, potentially hot, potentially rainy, potentially very rainy and windy conditions, ETV. The event’s programming will take place in a large pavillion and in large tents. Weather conditions are known to change rapidly upon occasion. Pack accordingly.

All that being said, The Last Resort is truly an amazing place, and we are excited to welcome you. There are many hikes, swims, views, discussions and much more to be experienced, and we hope you have a great time while you’re here!

Below is a more succinct list of things to bring etc. A couple of very important things:

– There is a pack of dogs that help guard the Resort (The Panzer Division). They don’t take kindly to other dogs, but they love humans. Please don’t bring your dog, unless you absolutely must, in which case you should prepare to have this dog’s freedom seriously curtailed, a leash might not cut it.

– Dont bring glass. Jim Webb, aka. Wiley Quixote, does not like glass and it is grounds for expulsion, if he and the Panzer Division catch you.

 

 

WHAT TO BRING

* strong stand alone tent or bring strong tent stakes because of high winds
* sleeping bag/ ground pad/ tarp for under your tent
* flashlight/ headlamp
* camp chair/ folding chair
* RAIN GEAR – rain jacket, poncho, umbrella
* warm clothes / fleece jacket – it gets cold at night

* clothing that is appropriate for engaging in community service and field trips in a small rural town.

* BOOTS!!!!!
* sunscreen/ bug stuff/ Tec-Nu**
* reusable/ re-fillable WATER BOTTLE

* travel mug
* Musical instruments

* Mountain bikes
* Frisbees, soccer balls, kites, etc.
* Toiletries
* any specialty foods you may require
* notebook/ journal & writing utensil

* personal medicines(Stinger allergies – epi pen and Benadryl, not expired)

* solar panels
WHAT NOT TO BRING

The event will be waste free. This means, we will be composting, recycling, re-using, etc. but there will be very few trash cans going to landfills. Please Do Not bring anything disposable, unless you plan on packing it out with you.  In general, it is imperative that we begin to move away, in general, from our throw-away consumer culture. Let this camp be a first-step towards a less disposable existence.

Please do not bring your dog to camp. There are five large dogs that travel in a pack at Wiley’s and they don’t get along with new dogs.

Please do not bring the following items to camp.

No Glass

No 4-wheelers

No Trash

No Dogs

No Weapons

CAMP LOCATION AND DIRECTIONS

Wiley’s Last Resort

8904 US 119

Jefferson National Forest, Eolia, KY 40826

 

From Charleston WV

Take US 119 south from Charleston – go through Williamson to Pikeville KY

At the T intersection with US 23 at Pikeville turn left, remaining on US 119 south.  This is also US23 south

About 25 miles south of Pikeville, watch for signs for Jenkins KY.

At Jenkins, take US 119 south on the right heading towards Whitesburg KY

(If you go up the mountain into Virginia on US 23, you have missed the turn)

Take US 119 south for 10 miles to a 4 way intersection with a McDonalds

Turn left at McDonalds continuing on US 119 south for 4 miles – you will be going up a big mountain

At the top watch for signs that say Little Shepherd Trail, stay on US 119 South

Just past the Little Shepherd Trail, you will start heading down the mountain on US 119.  Go about 1/3 mile down the mountain

You will see the parking area on the right and the entrance to the camp with a pop up canopy will be on your left.

Turn left into the driveway.

From Louisville KY or Lexington KY or Ohio

Go to Lexington KY via I 64 or I 75

Head east on I 64 and go past Winchester KY

Get on the Mountain Parkway going east

Go past the Red River Gorge to the Campton exit

Get on KY 15 heading south through Campton and Jackson

At Hazard go past the Hal Rogers Parkway, stay on KY 15 sout

Take the KY 15 bypass on the right around Hazard

After going around the bypass you will rejoin KY 15 South

Take KY 15 South 30 miles to Whitesburg.

After passing the Wendy’s in Whitesburg (on your left), the 15 bypass will go off to the right

Take the KY 15 bypass around Whitesburg to McDonalds

At McDonalds turn right to go South on US 119 for 4 miles (up the mountain)

At the top watch for signs that say Little Shepherd Trail

Just past the Little Shepherd Trail, you will start heading down the mountain on US 119.  Go about 1/3 mile down the mountain

You will see the parking area on the right and the entrance to the camp with a pop up canopy will be on your left.

Turn left into the driveway.

From Asheville NC or Kingsport TN

Take I 26 north to Kingsport TN

Enter Virginia

Remain on I 26 as this road becomes US 23 North in Virginia

Go past Norton, Wise and Pound VA on US 23

Enter Kentucky on US 23 and go down the mountain

At the bottom of the mountain, get in the left lane and turn left onto US 119 south

Take US 119 south for 10 miles to a 4 way intersection with a McDonalds

Turn left at McDonalds continuing on US 119 south for 4 miles – you will be going up a big mountain

At the top watch for signs that say Little Shepherd Trail, stay on US 119 South

Just past the Little Shepherd Trail, you will start heading down the mountain on US 119.  Go about 1/3 mile down the mountain

You will see the parking area on the right and the entrance to the camp with a pop up canopy will be on your left.

Turn left into the driveway.

From Knoxville and Nashville TN and Points South

Get to Knoxville via I 75 or I40

From Knoxville, go north on I 75 and take Exit 112

Get on TN 131 North to TN 33 north heading towards Maynardville

Go through Maynardville on TN 33 and stay on this highway to the intersection with US 25 E at
Turn north on US 25 E and go through Harrogate TN and go through the tunnel at Cumberland Gap

Continue on US 25 E through Middlesboro KY.  Go about 10 miles past Middlesboro and turn right on US 119 at Pineville

If you go into the town of Pineville (through the flood walls) you have missed the turn onto US 119 North, go back

Go 30 miles on US 119 to Harlan, bear left and continue on US 119 past Harlan

Stay on US 119, after Cumberland KY, highway 119 will become a narrow and curvy road

About 20 miles past Cumberland, you will pass a sign for Bad Branch and head up a big mountain

Nearing the top of the mountain, look for a parking area on the left of the highway and the entrance to camp with a pop up canopy on the right

Turn right, pull up to the canopy and get instructions

From SW Virginia

Head north on US 23, go past Big Stone Gap and Wise and Pound

Enter Kentucky and head down the mountain

At the bottom of the mountain get in the left lane and turn left on US 119 South

Continue on US 119 for about 10 miles to Whitesburg McDonalds

Turn left on US 119 at McDonalds

go South on US 119 4 miles (up the mountain)

At the top watch for signs that say Little Shepherd Trail

Just past the Little Shepherd Trail, you will start heading down the mountain on US 119.  Go about 1/3 mile down the mountain

You will see the parking area on the right and the entrance to the camp with a pop up canopy will be on your left.

Turn left into the driveway

From other parts of Virginia

You may want to take I 81 down to Kingsport TN, then head north on I 26

Remain on I 26 as this road becomes US 23 North in Virginia

Go past Norton, Wise and Pound VA on US 23

Enter Kentucky on US 23 and go down the mountain

At the bottom of the mountain, get in the left lane and turn left onto US 119 south

Take US 119 south for 10 miles to a 4 way intersection with a McDonalds

Turn left at McDonalds continuing on US 119 south for 4 miles – you will be going up a big mountain

At the top watch for signs that say Little Shepherd Trail, stay on US 119 South

Just past the Little Shepherd Trail, you will start heading down the mountain on US 119.  Go about 1/3 mile down the mountain

You will see the parking area on the right and the entrance to the camp with a pop up canopy will be on your left.

Turn left into the driveway.

La Caravana Climatica: Epic Climate Action-Tour Through 17 Latin American Countries

Caravana Climatica

As we speak, a group of independent media collectives and activists are taking a bus through Central America. Their destination? COP20, the United Nations climate negotiations in Lima, Peru.

On their way, La Caravana Climatica (Climate Caravan in English) will meet with dozens of communities fighting for climate justice in 17 countries. As experienced media makers, they’ll be working with local radio, documenting everything, and ensuring the voices of the people are heard at COP 20!

Can you chip in $10 to help La Caravana make it all the way to Peru?

Climate change is about to take the international stage like never before. Over the next year and a half world leaders are hoping to carve out a binding deal to reduce climate pollution in a series of three meetings in New York, Lima and Paris.

Experienced activists and documentarians like La Caravana Climatica can make sure that an alternative vision, and not just that of big business, has an impact at the negotiations. But they need your support to make the biggest impact possible.

You can follow La Caravana on their website, Facebook page and twitter. While mostly in Spanish, they’ll be adding English subtitles to their youtube videos soon.

Chip in to La Caravana Climatica’s indiegogo campaign today.