After serving 10 days of her 15-day sentence for trespassing during a protest against fracking, activist Sandra Steingraber was released from the Schuyler County jail last week in Watkins Glen, N.Y. The day before she was imprisoned, she talked with Bill about her fight to stop fracking and the release of toxins contaminating our air, water and food.
Steingraber had been arrested along with nine other protesters on March 18 for blocking the entrance to the Inergy natural gas facility to protest “the industrialization of the Finger Lakes.” After refusing to pay a fine, Steingraber and two other members of the “Seneca Lake 12″ received 15-day sentences.
In this exclusive video, watch Steingraber’s supporters greet her with flowers, cheers and song as she is released from jail. An emotional Steingraber tells the crowd: “I would do it again in a minute. …Being new to civil disobedience, I’m still learning about its power and its limitations… But I know this: all I had to do is sit in a six-by-seven-foot steel box in an orange jumpsuit and be mildly miserable, but the real power of it is to be able to shine a spotlight on the problem.”
A first-person account from a blockader who accompanied Ramsey Sprague into the conference and documented the act in the above video:
“Early this morning, the PipeTech Americas Summit met at the Woodlands Marriot near Houston, Texas. Delegates from various pipeline construction corporations traveled to this venue to discuss the newest advancements in pipeline technology, how to facilitate a cozy relationship with regulatory agencies (a lesson given by the Army Corps of Engineers), and to give a collective pat on the back to this thriving ecocidal industry. Among the first scheduled speakers was Tom Hamilton, Manager of Quality and Compliance for TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline, set to deliver a case study of the safety measures of the Gulf Coast Project, the name given to the southern segment currently under construction. Tar Sands Blockader Ramsey Sprague and I dressed to match the crowd and joined the audience.
Ten minutes into Hamilton’s time at the podium, Ramsey stood up and chained himself to the sound equipment positioned next to the projection screen, quickly delving into an impassioned speech on the irony of TransCanada lecturing others on safety and compliance. The audience sat silent, cameras aimed at this impromptu act, as security officials attempted to address the situation without having to clear the room. As Ramsey spoke against TransCanada’s horrific safety record, as well as its treatment of indigenous communities and others whose land and lives are being adversely affected by tar sands extraction, authorities escorted him out of the assembly and into police custody. After being detained by three Montgomery County sheriffs for documenting the act (and subsequent arrest), I was given a trespass warning and told to leave the property immediately.”
Ramsey was subsequently arrested, and if you're so inclined, you can contribute to his bail fund here.
A group of friends in Lilburn, GA said they were going to pick up a girl who lived in the area to go ice skating around 10 p.m. when their GPS system sent them to the wrong home.
“The guy came out. He went in again and he came out with a gun in his hand and he shot into the air,” 15-year-old passenger Yeson Jimenez said.
The teens say after Sailors fired that one shot into the air, the driver got scared and tried to turn around. That's when Sailors allegedly fired the second shot, killing their friend.
Police took the other three who were in the car to the police station and questioned them overnight. Authorities say they then had enough evidence to arrest Sailors and charge him with murder.
Garcia, who has only been in the country for a few months, can't understand how any of this could have happened.
"That means that you cannot come to a house and be confused about it? And somebody will come out and say, 'Hello, may I help you? What are you doing here?' And you start shooting like a maniac," Garcia said through a translator.
Rodrigo Diaz, 22, who was driving the car, was shot in the head, according to the arrest warrant.
The passengers said Sailors never asked what they were doing there.
“’Shut up.’ That’s the only thing that came out of his mouth,” passenger Gandy Cardenas said.
The friends said that Sailors held them in the car at gunpoint until local police arrived at the home. The three passengers who were in the car are all local high school students.
Sailors' attorney told WSBTV that the man believed he and his wife were being attacked.
“He is very distraught over the loss of life from the defense of his home. This incident happened late in the evening hours when he was home with his wife and he assumed it was a home invasion and he maintains his innocence,” the attorney said.
A Brooklyn man has filed papers to sue the city over an alleged hate crime committed by the NYPD. The Daily Newsreports that on Sunday night around 2:50 a.m., two officers came to Jabbar Campbell's Crown Heights apartment following a noise complaint. Campbell was hosting a gay pride party for about 80 people and some of the party-goers were dressed in drag. Those officers left after telling guests outside the apartment to keep it down, but about ten minutes later another group of officers arrived and rang the buzzer. Campbell saw an officer turn a security camera in his vestibule, and when he went downstairs, they were banging on his door with flashlights. "There was a sergeant, he yelled ‘get him!’ and that’s when I got attacked," Campbell told the Post. “They kept saying, ‘stop resisting’ but I wasn’t resisting. I didn’t have any time to respond.”
Campbell claims that two officers held his arms back while one pushed his head down, and another officer repeatedly punched him in the face. “They were yelling ‘you f---ing fag!’ and ‘homo!’” he said. “I couldn’t block the blows. I was fighting to stay conscious but I was blacking out because of the hits I was taking.” Campbell was left with a concussion, a black eye, a split lip, and a bloody mouth, and was taken to the hospital for treatment.
According to the NYPD's account, Campbell refused to "discontinue a party," pushed an officer, attempted to flee, and behaved "belligerently" while police tried to take him into custody. He was charged with resisting arrest, attempted assault, and pot possession. Campbell has released footage of the officer tampering with his surveillance camera. “They were trying to conceal the evidence by turning the camera away,” says his lawyer, Herb Subin. “They committed a hate crime inside a gay pride event.”
[Caution: I wouldn't recommend small children viewing this.]
Oh, the horror! Santa Claus and one of his elves were spotted running from state troopers near the Austin capitol over the weekend by members of Occupy Austin who caught it all on video.
As a tearful Santa questions his arrest for writing messages of "peace" and "joy" with chalk, a crowd of people gather to watch. Small children are stunned and speechless. The media arrives. The troopers then force the handcuffed Kringle face-down on the sidewalk while they call for back-up after what seems like an eternity of facing the crowd with panicked looks on their faces as they are filmed sending the chalk flying into the street during the take down.
Santa will surely need a vacation after the holidays this year.
A Denver mother who believed her daughter was being bullied at school drove into the school's parking lot and threatened four girls with a gun, according to an arrest document.
Monica Avila, 34, was charged Tuesday with four counts of felony menacing and one count of possession of a weapon on school grounds, also a felony. According to the probable cause statement accompanying her arrest paperwork, Avila drove into the parking lot at Lake Middle School on Thursday afternoon and confronted four girls, ages 13 and 14.
The statement says Avila began arguing with the girls about bullying. She then, while still sitting in her car, pulled out a black semi-automatic handgun and said, "Look what I have," the document states.
Now Monica is in jail in lieu of $50k bail, and with those felony charges, it could be a long while before she isn't behind bars. The "bullies" will still be at school with Monica's daughter, and there will no doubt be a "special" grudge there that could potentially last a lifetime. A gun in your face isn't something anyone would likely soon forget.
Even without firing a single bullet, this case of poor judgement with a gun will affect many more lives than just Monica's for years to come. It may only have been dumb luck that no one was killed this time.
UPDATE: 5:30 pm – Police pulled so hard on the barrel that one of the chains broke
Update from Glen in jail: the blockaders did not unlock voluntarily. Police pulled so hard on the barrel that the chain on his wrist broke. Glen doesn’t think anything is broken, but the extent of his injuries has not yet been determined.
UPDATE: 3:00 pm – Charges filed against blockaders
Glen Collins, Matt Almonte, and Isabel Indigo Brooks are all being charged with three misdemeanors: resisting arrest, criminal trespassing and illegal dumping. Show your appreciation for their efforts with a donation to their bail fund!
UPDATE: 1:30 pm – For more photos of the action, visit our Flickr page.
UPDATE: 1:00 pm – Third blockader arrested
Isabel Indigo Brooks, who was inside the pipe providing assistance for Glen and Matt, has also been removed from the pipe and arrested.
Demonstrate your support with a generous donation to the bail fund for these courageous blockaders.
UPDATE: 12:45 pm – Glen and Matt arrested and loaded into police van
Demonstrate your support with a generous donation to the legal fund for these brave blockaders.
BREAKING: 12:30 pm – Blockaders forcibly extracted from pipe
Police brought an ambulance to the scene and then began pulling on one of the barrels. The crowd surged onto the easement to protect Glen and Matt from this dangerous extraction, but they were chased away by the police. Both barrels and the two blockaders have been removed from the pipe.
Meanwhile, a team of blockaders are stopping a nearby excavator machine from digging the pipeline trench.
UPDATE: 12:05 pm – Two police officers enter the pipe, emerge a few minutes later
Glen and Matt are still locked inside the pipe; the police have been completely unable to extract them but continue to threaten various extraction techniques which would endanger the blockaders’ lives, such as cutting into the pipe.
Join the fight against Keystone XL by coming to our next Mass Action Camp starting on January 3, one month from today!
UPDATE: 11:20 am – Police attempting to block view of pipe and move supporters further from scene
Police have moved several trucks and vans in order to obstruct the view of the pipe in which Glen and Matt are locked. They have threatened arrest and forced supporters off the property immediately adjacent to the pipeline easement, despite the fact that the homeowner gave protesters explicit permission to be in her yard. Police are also forcing protesters to move further along the public road along which they were standing.
Video footage of Occupy Oakland protest on 11-2-11 and beating of Kayvan Sabeghi by Oakland police officer.
An Army veteran who was beaten with a night stick by Oakland police during an Occupy protest and suffered a lacerated spleen, has filed a lawsuit against the Alameda County sheriff's office for allegedly denying him medical care and mocking him during 18 painful hours in a county jail.
Sabeghi, 33, of Oakland, a businessman who was an Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan, said he had taken part in a nonviolent Occupy Oakland protest on Nov. 2, 2011, and was trying to walk home when he was stopped by police. One officer was videotaped repeatedly hitting him with a nightstick. He was arrested on suspicion of remaining at the scene of a riot but was never charged, his lawyers said.
At the Glenn Dyer Jail in downtown Oakland, the suit said, deputies initially refused to examine Sabeghi or take him to a doctor. One officer saw him lying on the floor throwing up and told him to stop using heroin, and another deputy recorded his sufferings on video to humiliate him, the suit said.
A medical staffer finally took his blood pressure and reported, inaccurately, that he was a diabetic and an alcoholic, the suit said. After friends posted bail, Sabeghi, who had briefly blacked out and was unable to walk, was taken to Highland General Hospital, where he underwent surgery and remained for five days.
Sgt. J.D. Nelson, a sheriff's spokesman, denies the allegations and said that Sabeghi received prompt assistance upon arrival, and that an ambulance was called when his condition worsened.
No word as yet on when the case may come to trial.
Surveillance video at a Jewish youth center captured two NYPD officers brutally beating a shirtless homeless man after he was seen resisting arrest.
The Daily News reports a security guard at the Aliya Institute found the man sleeping in the youth center's lounge last Monday. Zlamy Trappler, 24, said he suspected him of being drunk and called police.
In the video, two officers, one male and one female, arrive on the scene, and approach the sleeping man, identified as Ehud Halevi. After Halevi appears to explain his situation to the officers, the male officer takes out his handcuffs. Halevi resists and the male officer assumes what looks like a boxer's stance, and begins to punch him in a brutal beating that lasts about two minutes. While Halevi is being punched by the male officer, the female officer begins to pepper spray him and beats him with what appears to be a truncheon.
Eight more officers arrive on the scene and handcuff Halevi.
A source told CrownHeights.info Halevi had permission to stay at the center and had been doing so for the past month.
Trappler said, "I regret making the call. I should have let him sleep. It spiraled out of control."
Halevi is now being charged with assaulting a police officer, trespassing, resisting arrest and harassment
At least three Occupy Austin members were arrested as the group tried to begin a new occupation in the northern part of the city.
About 50 protesters gathered at 5 p.m. Saturday at Highland Park Mall, where they were met by Austin police, who swept toward them saying they were on private property.
Two members were arrested. The group then marched to a former Home Depot and planned to pitch a tent city, but police kept them away. A third member was arrested there, protesters say that person was only video taping the group.
Those arrested were released on Sunday, and were greeted by fellow protesters who gathered to wait for their friends.
One Occupy member, Peter Cooper, explained that getting arrested is not the goal of their group, but they aren't afraid of it, either. "The oppression just isn't going to work. We'll be back," said Cooper.
Occupy Austin plans to attempt to establish a tent city again on Wednesday, October 10, 2012, which is also "World Homeless Day."
The group first set up camp at city hall from Oct. 6, 2011, to Feb. 3, 2012 when police forcibly evicted them.