The Four Necessity Valve Turners are to be Released Today
Updated: Feb 7, 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.