This morning a small group of supporters visited The Four Necessity Valve Turners in Itasca County Jail. Allyson was her usual happy self, making comments about the food. Michelle had updates about what exactly happened on site during the action and afterwards. Brenna is still not receiving her medication, which means she is not able to eat without a lot of pain. Some friends are co-ordinating a calling campaign to seek to help the jail in expediting the nurse review process so she can eat something tonight. We hope that it has been a small oversight, but we recognize that this is not an uncommon situation, and that many with even more critical medications are denied them in jail. Daniel is doing well and told us how he shared his mittens with the police officer who came out to the site without them, glad to offer compassion. He also has been enjoying watching tv, playing backgammon and cribbage.
All of The Four Necessity Valve Turners will be arraigned tomorrow. The hearings start at 11 am at the Itasca County Courthouse in Grand Rapids. Confirmation of the order in which hearings will take place will be posted at the county court website at 7 am in the morning.
A supporter from the Fond du Lac band of Ojibwe organized a pack-the-court Facebook event in honor of the Four Necessity Valve Turners. The event begins at 10:30 am in Grand Rapids and including a brief rally at 10:45 am prior to entering the court room.
We will be sending members of our team to the arraignment. If the current charges (misdemeanor property damage and misdemeanor trespassing) are the only charges, it would be typical for the court to release The Four Necessity Valve Turners on personal recognizance (that is, without money bond). In speaking to people knowledgeable with the local court, it seems that it is unusual that our friends were held this long for two misdemeanors, which may signal that Enbridge may press additional charges. In either case, we will know more tomorrow.
We invite you to pray with us in your own tradition that this action will continue to bring justice and healing.