Legal land is never fun.
The costumed men, habitual threats levied, ridiculous formal rituals, and attempts to force me to respect a system I abhor is enough to drive me crazy. It doesn’t because I don’t allow it to, because if it does they are winning and we all know I don’t want that! However, I must admit it is taking up a certain amount of my time and, worse, my energy. Legal land sucks. It truly is the worst part of civil disobedience. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and I choose to live free with the knowledge that, in one way or another, I will pay the price.
My recent legal adventures to which I’m referring are related to my trespass arrest on February 27th, when I was arrested for “trespassing” at Cheshire County “superior” court with Ian and Derrick J. Our court date, originally scheduled for April 17th, was continued due to motions filed by both Derrick and David Lauren, the individual representing “the state” in our persecution…er, I mean, prosecution. Anyways, the state was intending to try us all at once, but Derrick is in the process of plea negotiations for his victimless crime spree and most likely will not be tried with Ian and I. Additionally, David Lauren claimed to want to continue the trial because he supposedly has some new video evidence (likely our own videos) having to do with the fact that we were served with some paperwork, which is just silly as no one from either side is disputing that fact. Yawn.
So here’s the bottomline: The prosecutor’s office has also filed a motion to have our charges dropped from class A misdemeanors to class B misdemeanors. The charges against me are criminal trespass and breach of bail. Charged as class A, in combination they are punishable by up to two years in the cage, as class B they are punishable by up to a $2400 fine (again, combined), which translates to 48 days in the cage at $50 a day since I will sit in a cage rather than pay to support this system of violence imposed upon me. Charged as class A, I am eligible for jury trial. As class B, my case will be held in front of Burke, who I’ve been actively campaigning to impeach.
I could potentially win in front of a jury. Burke will almost certainly find me guilty.
David Lauren claimed that he filed the motion to have the charges reduced from class A to class B because he felt it was more appropriate to the facts of the case, and expects us to feel grateful as it carries a much lower potential sentence. However, Ian is not at all grateful and actually filed a counter motion to have his charge tried as a class A in front of a jury. Nor do I feel particularly grateful for thrown crumbs, and a big part of me wants to do the same. Act on principle, stand behind my actions and let the cards fall as they may. Roll the dice. The inherent personal risk is serious, but it’s the right thing to do….or is it? How much risk am I willing to take for my principles?
To complicate matters further, the persecutor then offered a deal where he would drop the criminal trespass to a simple violation and drop the breach of bail charge entirely, in exchange for my plea of guilty. My punishment would consist of a $500 fine, equal to ten days in jail. I would be completely finished with this case and could move on to whatever the future might hold. I could be free to do more civil disobedience. Unfortunately, I don’t think I could freely sleep at night knowing that I bowed to Leviathan.
To be an effective activist, one must be consistent, and it has been proven time and time again that the longevity of civil disobedience activists is directly related to their ability to avoid being completely crushed by the state. If I were to lose at jury trial, I would most likely not only be caged for several months, but my activism afterwards would be bound by the overriding threat of an even longer suspended sentence if I were to be arrested again within whatever arbitrary period of time the court decided to impose. Is it worth the risk? Don’t I owe it to this movement to extend my longevity as an activist as far as possible? Don’t I owe it to myself to stand for what is right? Or is it the other way around?
I hate legal land. I hate the constant attack on my principles, and I hate the fact that the threat of violence still makes even me question myself.
I have much to think about.