Video by Joseph Campbell for Gas Free Seneca. Share playlist.
Press Release Wednesday, September 19th, 2012
|The Three local citizens that were arrested on September 6th at the Kansas City based, Inergy Midstream owned, Compressor station gates on State Rte 14, went before Reading Town Justice, Raymond H. Berry to answer charges of trespassing. Nearly 100 people were there to show their support wearing 8X10 photos of the protest pinned to their shirts.|
|Jeremy Alderson tried to make a motion that both Town Justices had a conflict of interest and that there should be a change of venue but was not allowed to speak. Gary Judson pleaded guilty and was fined $275.00 and was also not permitted to make a statement. The people in the courtroom collected enough money on the spot to not only pay Mr. Judson’s fine, but also Mr. Alderson’s and Ms. Walker’s should the need arise.
53 year old Susan Walker, after pleading guilty, refused to pay the fine! She tried to read a statement, at one point telling the judge that if she were a corporation, she would be able to refuse a fine and not be sent to jail. The Honorable Mr. Berry replied that, “You’re not a corporation”, and promptly sentenced her to the MAXIMUM sentence allowed by law of 15 days in County Jail. As she was led to the police car, the crowd outside clapped and cheered.
|We were told at the sherriff’s office that Schuyler County does not have provisions for housing female prisoners and had to make other arrangements.
Ms. Walker was then taken to the Chemung County Jail, rather than Yates County which would be closer to her home, and where her elderly mother would be able to visit her.
Summary by Doug Couchon
Margie Rogers and I drove up to the Reading Town Court tonight in support of the Seneca Three, three brave people who got arrested for blocking a gate to the Inergy Compressor Station on September 6th – a violation, less than a misdemeanor. Justice was not done tonight, in my opinion.
When the judge entered he scanned the courtroom, spotted a small video cam set upon a tripod, and told the equipment owner in a gruff manner to “get rid of that.” The tone was set for the evening. Jeremy Alderson was first up. He requested counsel and was given another court date. Before Jeremy stepped back, and frustrated that he was not permitted to ask the judge to make a motion which would have been that the judge recuse himself, Jeremy presented the judge with a copy of a gas lease the judge signed in 2005. After balking, the judge took ownership of his signature on the lease.
Gary Judson was next. He pleaded guilty and was fined $275. There were over 80 witnesses present to support the Seneca Three, evenly split inside and outside of the small courtroom. Everyone opened their wallets and within a minute over $500 was collected. These funds were used to pay Gary’s fine and to cover the bulk of the fine Jeremy will likely receive.
|Susan Walker pleaded guilty and then told the judge that she would not pay the fine. The judge asked Susan if she thought she was better than everyone else. I did not hear Susan’s response. He said her choice was to pay a fine or go to jail. Susan told the judge that if a corporation faced this charge that it wouldn’t be sent to jail. The judge told her that this was about her, not a corporation. She responded by saying that if SHE were a corporation she would not be going to jail. The judge proceeded to sentenc Susan to 15 days in jail at which point she was taken away by the court officer to a standing ovation. The judge gaveled for silence.
Susan will serve her sentence at the Chemung County jail located at 211 William Street, Elmira between Church and E. Market Streets. The jail is just west of St. Joseph’s Hospital. Visiting hours are from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. A visitor schedule for the 15 day period will need to be organized. Please send lots of cards and letters.
|A vigil is planned to begin outside the jail tomorrow night (Thursday, September 20th) at 7:00 PM. Details to follow. Please pass this information along.
Support the Seneca Three Arrestees (Archive) Facebook Event
Vigil for Susan Walker of the “Seneca Three” Facebook Event
The Seneca Three Hearing 9-19-12 and Vigil for Susan Walker by Gas Free Seneca, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.