Stamford 14 Head to Court for Standing Up to UBS
Today, fourteen activists from Hands Off Appalachia head to court in Stamford, CT in connection to protests at the UBS North American Headquarters last November. After a week-long training camp in Voluntown, CT where organizers in the northeast trained in nonviolent direct action, fourteen brave individuals took a stand against UBS at the home of their US headquarters and demanded that UBS stop funding mountaintop removal.
All fourteen are in court because they stood in solidarity with the people and mountains of Appalachia. Support these activists by donating to our legal defense fund and sharing our stories far and wide!
A statement from Hands Off Appalachia organizer Ricki Draper
Walking into court today with thirteen of my friends is equally as empowering as it is painful.
Over the last two years, I have visited UBS’s offices over 30 times pleading with them to stop the destruction of Appalachian communities. On November 25th, I stopped asking and started demanding an end to UBS’s financing of mountaintop removal. I entered the UBS National Headquarters and dropped a banner from their front entrance and refused to leave.
Today, court is an incredibly hard place to be. I arrive at 10am, and watch person after person stand in front of the judge. I witness the criminalization of poverty. People are sentenced to jail time, fines are levied, and families are separated.
Honestly, I am scared of judges and police and jails. I am scared of having a criminal record and how worried my mom is when I call her from jail.
Even though the legal system scares me, I promise you that I will never stop fighting. As UBS profits and poisons communities, as poor people are imprisoned and people of color are marginalized, as the pipeline is built and parents are deported, we will fight back. As long as injustice is legal and those in power are criminals, I will fight back.
While our criminal justice system is insidious and our enemies strong, I believe that we are going to win.
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