Maine: Judge punishes community servants by forcing them to do community service

In the case of the three women in Maine, the judge went so far as to
stipulate that the community service work must be “for a nonprofit
agency that does not advocate civil disobedience as one of their
goals.” Huh? So the judge thinks that these activists — who locked
themselves together inside the Land Use Regulation Office building in
Augusta, Maine — are merely obsessed with civil disobedience, rather
than actual concerned citizens? They have to be forced to do something
positive for their communities?

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And anyway, what kind of organization advocates civil disobedience as
a goal? Civil disobedience is never a goal, it’s merely a tactic that
is used to achieve goals. To the three activists who received
community service for the act to stop development in the pristine
Moosehead Lake region of Maine: try to enjoy your 60 hours outside
planting trees or rehabilitating wildlife. I know it’ll be rough.
While a punishment like theirs makes me laugh, others end up with jail
time, probation, or hefty fines for their acts of civil disobedience.
Those punishments aren’t amusing, but with civil disobedience comes a
willingness to accept the consequences. It’d be nice, however, if
those consequences were more consistent. With the recent arrest of
four activists under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, it’s
becoming clear that even activists who engage in only legal forms of
protest can be targeted and labeled as “terrorists.”
And that’s not funny at all.

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9-30-08 — Four Earth First! protesters, locked together by bicycle
locks, were arrested Monday after being forcibly removed from a state
office building. The protesters, all women from central Maine, entered
the Land Use Regulation Commission office building, locked themselves
together with large U-shaped locks generally used to secure bikes, and
refused to leave as part of a protest against LURC’s favorable review
of a development plan for the Moosehead Lake region. Dozens of Maine
State Police and numerous other police responded to the scene, joining
about a dozen Earth First! protesters outside the building, on the
former grounds of Augusta Mental Health Institute. The building was
locked down for most of the day in response to the protesters.

Last week, LURC approved its own staff’s recommendation to approve
Seattle-based Plum Creek Timber Co.’s modified development plans, and
rezone a large tract of land on and near Moosehead Lake for
development of nearly 1,000 house lots and two large resorts. In
protest of that ruling, protesters sang songs, chanted and blew a horn
while locked together in a hallway of LURC’s Augusta headquarters on

Comments (1)

chelsea shankelMarch 25th, 2010 at 4:29 am

this picture is very beautiful

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