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Home and doing the dishes!

As one of the 4Necessity valve turners, I just wanted to let you, my friends, know that I was honored to be part of this group. We all came to this action of shutting off the poisonious tarsands oil that has been flowing through the belly of our mother earth for far too long with our faith, hope and love. It was a humble act and we know that any long lasting effects of keeping the oil off, of leaving the fossil fuel industry behind us and opening a door to clean and just energy technologies will come through changing of hearts and minds.

Please know that we took this action for the common good and for the good of all creation. Our catholic worker identity is not rooted in the institution of the Catholic Church. Rather we are rooted in the social justice teachings which are rather universal running through all the great faiths and spiritual traditions. . These teachings call on us to love one another, that all life is sacred, that we are our brothers and sisters keepers, that we stand up against violence in all its forms (racism, militarism, poverty, sexism, etc). We will not use violence to stand against violence, but rather we will actively love our enemy and hope that we can even make our enemies our friends as the great Mahatma Gandhi did in his time.

The symbols we used and the sacred objects that we left at the site of the block valve came from all different faith and spiritual traditions. From Buddhist prayer flags, rosaries, medallions of saints, tobacco prayer ties, we left those objects at the site with the hope that all the saints, ancestors, and cloud of witnesses that have gone before us would enter into this pact of love and healing of our earth. We hope that our humble action will be joined with the many, many actions that are taking place across the world. Even though our approach or our symbols might be different, our intent is the same, which is to show reverence and to help with the healing process of all creation. Our strength is in our diversity We are now out of jail. We were released on our own recognizance with conditions. Our next hearing is at the Itasca Co. Court in Grand Rapids MN on Feb. 19. It will be one of many many court hearings. We intend to plead not guilty to both the misdemeanor and felony charge. We are working with lawyers who are the best in climate defense.

We have a website; https://4necessitymn.wixsite.com/valveturners. This has all the updates, court hearings, etc. Please follow that if you want to be updated. Please feel free to share that site with your friends that might be interested.

Thank you to all my friends, here and across the world working for the common good. May we always support and hold each other up for the sake of our common home and world..

In solidarity and in love, Michele Naar-Obed


 

Also, this tweet from Jill Stein, former Green Party candidate for president delighted us. We're glad to be a part of the lineage of Valve Turners, inspired by indigenous Canadians and U.S. based activists alike.




 

We are heartened by Representative Ilhan Omar's stance on Line 3. May more elected officials take action on climate change.



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Updated: Feb 6, 2019


Today Judge Sarah McBroom presided over the court in the Itasca County Courthouse that arraigned The Four Necessity Valve Turners. No phones or cameras were allowed in the courtroom. Each appeared in an orange suit of clothes including socks, and sandals. Each was in handcuffs and ankle cuffs connected with chains, at the wrists those chains passed through a steel loop on a thick leather belt.



MN350, Loaves and Fishes Catholic Worker, and Honor the Earth promoted packing the court room. The crowd numbered between 30 and 40 persons, many water protectors. Catholic workers from Duluth, local Ojibwe Band Members, members of activist groups like Stop Line 3, and other activists arrived to offer support. Several carried signs or wore safety gear or blue in solidarity with the Valve Turners and participated in a rally outside the courthouse prior to the hearing. As a group all stood "for justice" in advance of the arrival of the judge.



The Four Necessity Valve Turners each received identical charges. One, property destruction in the fourth degree (a misdemeanor - 90 days or $1,000) was known. The second was a felony for aiding and abetting attempted damage to a pipeline (5 years or $10,000).



Each of the Four Necessity Valve Turners were brought before the judge, asked in verify their full name and address before the prosecutor for the state gave the terms for release. Each was stated to have no "known" criminal record and no connection to the Itasca county community and were thus given a $10,000 bond with no conditions or release on their personal recognizance with very standard conditions - law abiding behavior, appearing at all hearings, meeting with their lawyers, and refraining from contact with Enbridge and their property.


Each accepted the conditions and will be released on personal recognizance to us in the coming hours.


Daniel, the first to be released, asks the public to celebrate their existence and do so in part by seeking justice.

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