Valve-Turner Annette Klapstein was arraigned today, along with Emily Johnston and Steve Liptay in Bagley, MN. Below his her statement following her arraignment.
Today Emily Johnston and I have been charged with 4 charges in connection with our action on October 11: Criminal Damage to Property of critical public service facilities, aiding and abetting criminal damage to property of critical public service facilities, Trespass on critical public service facility and aiding and abetting Trespass on critical public service facility.
On October 11, we were part of a group of activists who shut down all the major tar sands pipelines coming into the US across 4 states. We shut down two Enbridge pipelines here in the state of Minnesota, in solidarity with our brothers and sisters at Standing Rock who are struggling to stop the DAPL Pipeline, and to call attention to the catastrophic climate emergency which the fossil fuel companies and their accomplices have created.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s battle against the DAPL pipeline has become the focal point of resistance to the depredations of the fossil fuel industry in this country. The people on the front lines there call themselves “protectors”, and we believe that we too were acting very much as protectors when we shut down the tar sands pipelines. As a mother, I am extremely concerned about the future my children and all future generations are facing due to climate disruption. The amount of climate change already caused by the burning of fossil fuels is a crisis right now. 2015 was the hottest year ever recorded since record-keeping began, and 2016 is undoubtedly going to surpass it. Just in the past year or so, Haiti was hit by a devastating hurricane, the Phillipines have suffered one super-typhoon after another, the Great Barrier Reef has been killed, Pacific Islands are rapidly being inundated by rising seas, and the inundation of coastal cities like Miami and New Orleans are not far in the future. The tar sands which we shut down last month are among the dirtiest and most carbon-intense fossil fuels on the planet. If we do not take drastic measures to reduce carbon emissions immediately, we will condemn our children and grandchildren to live through the probable collapse of civilization due to catastrophic climate change.
I am 64 years old. I spent my working life as an attorney, so I certainly have tried to make the system work. I have signed petitions, I have testified at hearings I have marched in the streets – in short, I have used every legal means available to me. But what I have learned is that our political system is utterly unresponsive to the grave threat to our existence that climate change represents, so it is up to us to stop the fossil fuel industry from continuing to conduct “business as usual” – a business which is guaranteed to cause the complete destruction of the only climate under which human civilization has ever existed.
I find it particularly ironic that we are charged with damage to “critical public service” facilities. In the first place, there is nothing “public” about it – Enbridge is a private company whose sole objective is to make a profit by any means, even if it is over the dead bodies of future generations and our mother earth. And the idea that they are providing a “public service” is ludicrous. What the fossil fuel companies are providing is a death sentence to human existence, and Emily and I provided a true public service in shutting them down.
Nov 14, 2016
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