Tuesday, November 22, 2011

There Goes The Neighborhood

“Shocking” was the word most often used to describe the events in the courtroom this morning at Dave Martorana and Trevor Ring’s arraignment.

I’ll start at the beginning.  Dave and Trevor were arrested last week after hiking up the mountain as part of our normal monitoring schedule.  Because we have no way of knowing blast times, we cannot predict when we will be forced to leave– yet a trip to the top at least allows time for a few pictures before law enforcement arrives and you’re served and asked to leave.  Only if you refuse can you be arrested.  This was clearly laid out for us by several law enforcement officers, as shown on one of the videos posted on this site.  This time the scenario began the same as always – but then the police skipped the serving and the asking and went right to the handcuffing.  In cuffs, Dave and Trevor were taken to Newport for processing, and then dumped on the street with no way to get back to their homes in Craftsbury.

This morning was their arraignment in Newport.  A party of eight supporters from the Occupier ranks joined them in the courtroom, anxiously waiting for the proceedings to begin.  We had to wait awhile – the judge on duty recused himself from the case, and a new judge had to be brought in on speaker phone.  Their lawyer, Kristina Michelsen, asked to have the case thrown out, as there was not probable cause to arrest them.  The state’s evidence did not show that Dave and Trevor had been given notice of when the blasting would occur prior to being arrested.  Secondly, Michelsen argued, the injunction states that it only applies to “agents, employees, attorneys, invitees, licensees, permittees, and all and any other persons acting in concert or participation with defendants Nelson” and the state’s evidence did not show that Dave and Trevor fell into any of those categories.  This all seemed logical to us, of course – and it seemed like the judge was feeling the same.  He asked the State’s Attorney if he could find anything in the injunction which would make it apply to Dave and Trevor.  The State’s Attorney read for several minutes, flipping pages back and forth.  “The defendants stated that they knew blasting took place on the mountain,” he said, finally.  I wanted to shout: “yes, and so does everyone else in Orleans County!” but of course I couldn’t.  With some more prompting from the judge, the State’s Attorney came up with another point: just the fact that they were on Nelson’s land was enough to give probable cause that they were a “permittee.”  Ms. Michelsen replied that if this were the case, then the order applied to anyone who went on Nelson’s land – and the injunction doesn’t say “anyone” – instead it names specific groups.  Once again, this all seemed logical.  We waited for the judge to dismiss the case.

He didn’t.  “There is probable cause” was the verdict.

Outside the courtroom, we asked “what happened?”  Our guess is that Judge Martin Mailey wrote a preliminary injunction which is unenforceable.  Yet rather than pointing this out by dismissing the case; other judges are passing the buck, recusing themselves or sending the case onwards, to another judge.  We can only hope that the next embodiment of justice Dave and Trevor encounter will have the chutzpah to set justice back on track instead of setting dangerous precedents denying the rights of property owners.

Finally, a note to Dorothy Schnure (head of public relations for GMP) who recently stated that there were only 10 people actively involved with the mountain occupation:  Dorothy, there are actually over 200 people who call themselves mountain occupiers.  Our planning meetings draw crowds of 50 or more.  Our blog gets over 500 hits a day.  We have had over 12,000 hits in less than a month! Our ranks are growing by the hour.  And Dave and Trevor—we’re with you!

Cruizing Down The Highway On The Ridge Over Private Property

Please Stop


10 comments on “Tuesday, November 22, 2011

  1. joyce jones says:

    I am anxious to hear about two that went to Crt today….I hope everything works out for them….

  2. joyce jones says:

    Occupiers I love your determination for justice….and to right the horrible wrong against the Nelson family and all of the families involved….
    I know that it breaks your hearts as it does mine to see the Destruction and waste of our beloved Mtns….Dear Loving Divine I hope we can stop them here…

  3. Trevor Bates says:

    Did you expect them to get a ride home from the cops?

  4. windy says:

    What is the legal procedure for removing corrupt or incompetent judges?

  5. Sam Smithson says:

    You might be getting 500 hits a day, but there are thousands of vermonters who support this project and want to see it built. It will be very nice when it’s done.

    • Sam–
      Have you climbed the mountain? I invite you to do so– e-mail MountainOccupiers@gmail.com if you need directions. While you’re there, please keep in mind all of the other ways Vermonters can generate clean electricity and reduce carbon emissions. Also keep in mind that the carbon credits for this project will be sold to another utility, probably a coal plant, so that they can continue to pollute the environment. You might also want to check out WindAction.org for more information.

    • jjjones7 says:

      Dear Sam….IF there are thousands of Vermonters who you think support this project then I must say that they are asleep…and must be awaken…they need to do there research on the effects of 500 ft Wind turbines..across this country..
      Please Sam go to the ‘Save the Lowell Mtns’ facebook page and see some of the researched information that is piling up…It is for your benefit…and the thousand other Vermonters who are sleeping…

  6. windy says:

    Heard Markowitz on the radio this morning – she sounded like a true idiot. First expounding on the incalculable value of forested areas, how flood damage was minimal in wooded areas compared to the horrendous erosion where there were no trees.

    5 minutes later she was condoning the rape in Lowell.

  7. Link to the Markowitz interview:
    [audio src="http://media.podcastingmanager.com/2/6/9/0/4/250557-240962/Media/02%2011_23_11%20Deb%20Markowitz.mp3" /]

    • jjjones7 says:

      In response to the Markowitz Interview….Aside from not believing everything she said…I thought it was quite RUDE to shut off the one caller in the middle of her sentence and say that they were short of time when they spent adequate time talking about the concerns….also….Did I hear Markowitz right…after the damage is done they will go back up the Mtn and reforest the areas…I assume she meant the road areas that had to widened…My Q is how will they get the Turbines down when they explode,,,Sorry for my attitude….

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