Charges against protesters unfair
Published 10:47 pm Wednesday, May 2, 2018
To the editor:
Red Terry and her daughter are on trial for sacrificing their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness by clinging to tree stands on their property for about a month now to prevent the Mountain Valley Pipeline from taking the land that has been in their family for seven generations.
They are being charged with trespassing (on their own land), for obstruction of justice (for whom?) and perhaps a few other charges that authorities think might stick.
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This quick legal action stands in contrast to the slow pace mandated by the courts for challenges against the Mountain Valley Pipeline and Atlantic Coast Pipeline. These challenges are based on solid evidence that approvals for these pipelines by several government agencies were made illegally and without fully considering project need, alternatives and the numerous negative impacts these projects would bring, not only to those tens of thousands of persons on or near the pipelines, but to all of us.
I question this rush to judgment against Red and her daughter, while leaving the lawsuits that would protect all of us from these unjust pipelines languishing in legal limbo.
Red’s courageous action at most inconveniences the Mountain Valley Pipeline. They can wait on the legal outcome of this case while moving forward with the other 99.8 percent of their project.
However, the tens of thousands of persons whose lives would be negatively impacted by this project must wait many months for a chance at justice, even while the pipeline companies proceed to take their property, reduce its value, cut down their trees, despoil their land, pollute their water and place a dangerous pipeline near them and their loved ones.
Anyone can see the unjust disparity in these cases. Our legal system is supposed to be fair.
How did we move so far away from the fundamental framework of freedom that our forefathers gave us? I believe that our laws have been systematically twisted and perverted by those that have the power to do so, and now all Americans can’t hope to be treated fairly.
As my friend Barry Marshall told me, we will get all of the justice our money can buy.