Ellen Gerhart sat in leg irons and cuffs, a guard standing behind her, as Houston-based pipeline giant Energy Transfer Partners made its case against her on Friday in a Pennsylvania courtroom. Seconds after Huntingdon County Court of Common Pleas Judge George Zanic found the 63-year old retired teacher guilty, he began the sentencing phase of the proceeding, reading from a prepared statement on his computer. Zanic sentenced Gerhart to two to six months in the Centre County Correctional Facility about an hour away from her home.
we are losing our rights to big business, has been happening for awhile but not so blatant and crybaby won’t change things. i think of the beautiful lands lost because of these practices and it is heartbreaking. here in oklahoma earthquakes are up by hundreds, thanks to fracking. the more people protest the harder it gets.
After the Supreme Court finalized the property rights of corporate citizens(sic) over private citizens in Kelo v. City of New London (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelo_v._City_of_New_London), the corporate citizens(sic) became like the quotation from Orwell’s Animal Farm. “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.” It’s all about the money and resources. All of it. Whatever they say about the war in Yemen, they are lying (https://therealnews.com/series/the-saudi-us-agenda-behind-destroying-yemen). When it is said that Russia meddled in our plutocracy,excuse me, democracy (https://videosenglish.telesurtv.net/video/638672/the-empire-files-638672/), it’s just more lies. The corporate elite always want more and more is never enough. American domestic policy is about more. American foreign policy is about oil and weapons sales otherwise known as more (oh and Israel). The corporate elites consider the average American to be lesser equal citizens otherwise known as sub-human. if anyone tells you different, they’re lying. If anyone believes their lies, then they’re dumber than a bag of Sarah Palins. Sorry, I needed a rant this morning.
Post Script-as the world burns.
A PA native in my family repeats the axiom that his home state somewhat models the nation: Major educated cities on both ends, and Alabama all across the middle. I live just across the Delaware River, in the corner of NJ that hosted the original oil pipelines built to compete by direct control by the drilling company with shipments by rail. Those pipelines are gone now, but I can identify with Gerhart’s wish to protect her land. Those of us lucky enough to have control of a few acres to privately, quietly conserve share her distress.
I’d like to know more about the trial and how Energy Partners “made its case,” I presume with a witness for the prosecution. Let’s hear about the collusion of the county prosecutor. Who waived a jury? And let’s figure out how Judge Zanic got his job and how to get him out of it. I trust Gerhart will appeal to a higher court, and then sue for damages, not only to her land, but to herself in being shackled while on trial for a nonviolent crime. If the sentence is only months in county jail, there’s no reason for the shackles.
Unless you can stop these pipeline politically or through the courts this is the type of situation that is likely to occur. The battle against Mariner East 2 has been taking place not only in central Pennsylvania but also in eastern Pennsylvania where the route goes through suburban areas and close to schools. Fracking is politically popular in the areas of the Pennsylvania where it takes place such as the southwestern part but many people in other parts of the state who are not cashing on the financial windfall can be adversely affected as this case illustrates all too clearly.
Please feel free to rant. There is much to rant about; oil and fossil fuels (killing all of us), Russiagate is a shameful deceit to dwell on (if any of it is at all true, at least Russia doesn’t include assainations in its so-called “election interference” as does our “so-proud-to-be-an-American” country) and more importantly, Russiagate is merely a Clinton Machine distraction to how much that woman is disliked in our country and shows us all that she and her news machine is willing to risk nuclear holocaust in order to wipe her tears: good riddance to her; now if she would only take it like the big girl she claims to be and just go home to her ill begotten wealth and leave us all alone; weapons sales are the only thing that holds the economy of the US together, and, Israel. Don’t get me started on Israel. A message to all: start doing some reading on Israel’s history. It compares a lot with our own in that we committed genocide against our native Americans, we committed the horrible atrocities on our fellow human beings with slavery and after that beatings and unprosecuted lynchings, etc, during Jim Crow. Look at apartheid in South Africa and the United States of America and you will find that the same people, the Zionists in Israel who have committed settler colonialism there just as we did in the US takeover and the Brits in S. Africa. There is no defending what horrible acts are/have been committed against others by a beligerant race, whites. Oh, but let those oppressed people try and fight back and all hell breaks loose. Netanyahu, and many others, should be hung just like they hung the German Nazis. There how was that for a rant? Oh, what do you expect from this so-called judge. He represents the plutocrats; now we are beginning to get a taste of what fascism does to all of us; black, white, Jewish, Palestinian, Muslim, Arab, Russian, whoever. However, kepp in mind that there are billions of us against a couple of million at most of them.
I read your rant twice. I can’t disagree with any of it. Much obliged.
What did Zanic get from ETP?
Bigotry is alive and well in Pennsylvania!
People wonder how Hitler and Nazism got started and grew so fast in Germany in the 1930s.
Now, we get to see it up close and too personal in the
US Fourth Reich of Agolf Twitler and his fascist appointees to every agency that was controlling, to some extent, the evils visited upon us by corporate greed and power. We are watching the suborning of the Supreme Court, which was once tasked with ensuring the constitutionality of protested laws, but which now seems tasked with making sure no protests interfere with power and profit. We have watched all references to science and scientific conclusions being erased or banned when dealing with problems from hunger to destruction, of people and environment. We are watching every program which was to help hungry or starving people to eat, to provide food for school children who were going hungry at home, being made illegal by government by twit tweet. We are seeing violence against minorities and immigrants growing daily, with inhuman treatment of families, separation from their children, and direct violation of court orders to return the children to their families. Apparently, many of the quasi-governmental groups didn’t even bother to keep records of many of the children they abducted. Meanwhile, police and ICE, not to mention a number of other agencies are given protection to continue their cruelty, with a promise of a pardon if they are convicted of any of their actions, including the shooting of unarmed civilians.
*There is nothing going on here that didn’t go on in 1930s Germany as it turned into Nazi Germany, where all checks and balances were removed as, “The Fuehrer is always right, Heil Hitler!” About the only difference is the level of technology used against the people and the world. Had Hitler had the same level, we would all be speaking German today.
*Now, We the People are facing the same thing the German People faced in the '30s. It took the blood and wealth of a generation to get rid of Hitler’s Reich.
*What will it take to rid the world of Agolf Twitler and his wealthy and powerful masters?
*The number of nuclear and thermonuclear weapons available in the world today make survival problematical. Especially when the whole thing is controlled by a handful of very wealthy people who’s game is, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” They would much rather the world be destroyed than give up any of their pelf, locked away in vaults and kept as score cards in the above mentioned game.
As a nuclear veteran, I know whereof I speak.
I think what we have to do is participate fully in democracy. That means vote and get people to vote against those supporting autocracy like Trump and many people in his administration as well as many Republicans in Congress who are going along because of their voters. We are in a very difficult situation because the Russians are very cleverly using the internet to try to destroy democracy. They are trying to get Americans to vote for an autocracy and have been very successful. And we can not count on Trump to defend us from this cyber attack because he does not believe it. The US security agencies know who is doing it in Russia but the Russians will continue to attack even as they are caught. Everyone who wants to defend democracy needs to stick together even though there are serious disagreements among us. I would say we are in serious trouble and right now the Russians are winning as democracy in the US is in big trouble. It is absolutely critical to show up for the election this November and defeat as many Republicans as possible. That is the short term objective to avoid becoming a fascist state.
Ahhhhhh, let’s keep the rants coming. One has to only go to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, to understand how quickly the Nazi’s gained power and the rest is a history of the horrors that resulted. What is not told quite so well is how many ‘good’, intelligent Germans turned their heads and pretended blindness to the horrors they remain rightly blamed for over half a century later. We must wake up and take control of our government as our bombs are doing horrible deeds to others around the world in our names.
So we are left with what after voting out Republicans? Do you mean to tell me the Clinton machine will change anything? Respectfully, I ask you to grow up and quit imagining that fairy tales come true.
No, let’s get back on topic and quit compounding the injustice to Ellen Gerhart. Remember her? Shackled and jailed for “baiting” wildlife to reclaim her land?
Zanic didn’t come across as impartial. Don’t know why Gerhart waived her right to a jury, unless PA has found a way to violate the 6th Amendment.
Aha. Apparently the charge was criminal contempt of the earlier court order that she stay out of the way of the construction crews.
This coverage preceded the hearing, and that the charge was contempt explains both Judge Zanic’s … well, contempt for her and the absence of a jury of her peers. I plan to follow this “reporting project” of NPR and PA public-radio stations. I’m in NJ, in my state’s only electric-power coop, but we get much of our energy from across the river.
Also aha that Energy Partners seems to be a front for Sunoco. Back to boycotting them.
You are absolutely correct. Sorry I strayed. So my question is: How can eminent domain be used to take a person’s land when e-d is supposed to only be used to take land for a needed ‘public good’? Since fossil fuels are having a very serious effect in causing climate destruction how can a pipeline used to transport
such products be considered a ‘public good’? Therefore, how can a person be jailed for not only trying to protect their property from damage; but also keep it from being used in such a way to cause harm to society in general and life on Earth in particular. Looks like a case for the Supreme Court to me. In the interim the defendants should be immediately released from custody.
Sorry, we are not a democracy and never really have been. Otherwise I much agree with you, but the USA is an Empire.
Angry rants are so 2018.