Saturday, May 26, 2007

What The Earth Rapists Want to Hear From Their Snitches

Rapists sure do need a lot of reassurance that people won't use force to stop them, aye? Good to know what really keeps them up at night (they need non-violence like Ambien).

Your guilty fears are noted, perverts.

For a complete roundup, see Green Anarchy's Operation Backfire: Still Smoldering.

Report from Chelsea Gerlach's Sentencing, 5/25
author: Gumby Cascadia
Today in Eugene federal court, eco-sabotage defendant Chelsea Gerlach was sentenced to nine years in prison. Full notes from the sentencing hearing follow below.

Chelsea read a statement to the court in which she apologized to the people hurt by her actions. She said her beliefs were no excuse "for being so cavalier". She said she took full responsibility for her choices, that she doesn't blame her parents whom she loves very much. Her voice broke when she said her parents had taught her that violence was never a viable choice. She said by way of explanation that for every piece of wilderness saved, so many more were destroyed. She said she was glad to be brought up with such a love of nature, but that she knew she must adopt peaceful means to make change. She spoke about her burgeoning spiritual practice, and her gratitude at being given a chance to redeem herself. She said she has plans to tutor in prison, and believes prison is a place she could make some positive contributions.

Judge Aiken responded by saying she thought Gerlach's statements were insightful and thoughtful. "You are sentencing yourself to a better life." She said that most people will come out of prison bitter, angry and likely to re-commit. She said our obligation as a society is to see that the people coming out of prison are people we can embrace and welcome back into the community. She then read an excerpt from a book (that I didn't catch the name of) whose message was "service is the rent we pay for living". She then berated Chelsea's parents for allowing a sixteen year old to drive to Idaho alone and become prey to the likes of Bill Rogers. She said, "That's not how you raise children." She said she hopes people are listening, that if parents don't stop being so self-absorbed she will be seeing a lot more smart young people going away to prison. About her job, she said, "If we don't believe in people, this job would be nothing more than pushing paper. There can be nothing more important than giving young people a future and hope. You will be given a chance to rejoin the community. However, you must be held accountable for your crimes." She said Gerlach's crimes had caused fear and destroyed people's property. She also said she hoped Gerlach would choose more positive means to affect change in the world. "The legitimate actions of the environmental movement live under a cloud of suspicion in part because of your actions." However, she noted Gerlach's extraordinary cooperation, and said, "Your courage is noted."

She then sentenced Chelsea Gerlach to 9 yrs. The terrorism enhancement was applied for Jefferson Poplar, WEPD, and BPA.

Gerlach's lawyers moved that she be released pending self-surrender, and the government did not object. However, a representative from pre-trial services said that nothing had changed from their perspective. Judge Aiken said she was going to err on the side of caution and not allow it. She said, "Someone needs to set boundaries, so I'm taking the role of a parent and setting boundaries."

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