Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Press Advisory - All Charges Dropped on 14 Activists Arrested at MDEQ in June 2014 Who Called for State Health and Environmental Protections

For Immediate Release

Michigan Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival
***Media Advisory***

Monday, May 13, 2019
Contact: Sylvia Orduño smorduno AT gmail.com 734.846.946FIVE

ALL CHARGES DROPPED: Protestors Still Demand Changes to Environmental Policy
Michigan Poor People’s Campaign to continue calls for justice after being freed by Ingham County judge

MICHIGAN – In the wake of their third legal victory after civil disobedience arrests, members of the Michigan Poor People’s Campaign (PPC) will hold a telephone press conference to demand changes to Michigan environmental policies. The group will call for the same changes in environmental policies that they highlighted during their protest outside the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (now the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.)

Last week, “in the interest of justice,” the Ingham County prosecutor chose to drop all charges against 13 defendants arrested for blocking the entrance of the MDEQ. Community leaders asserted that harm caused by MDEQ’s role in the Flint Water Poisoning, the oil spill threat of Enbridge’s Line 5, permitting massive waste treatment expansion by US Ecology and Nestlé’s exploitation of the Great Lakes were all far worse than nonviolent action by those arrested.

This follows Michigan PPC members being acquitted by a Detroit jury a few months ago and a three-year legal ordeal, prior to the PPC, when the City of Detroit dropped charges against the “Homrich 9” for protecting Detroit families by blocking water shutoff trucks. In all cases, defendants asserted the “necessity defense,” proclaiming their nonviolent actions were justified by the harm caused to families by bad government and corporate policies and practices.

Telephone Press Conference – Michigan Poor People’s Campaign’s legal victories show the need to protect Michigan Families
Nonviolent protestors from the Michigan Poor People’s Campaign recently freed of all charges
Supporters of Michigan PPC
Counsel for protestors

When: Tuesday, May 14, 2:00 p.m.

Where: Dial (605) 313-566NINE Access Code 85463SEVEN -- PRESS ONLY PLEASE!

Read: Court Exhibits from National Lawyers Guild Attorneys

See: 30 second facebook video of protest photos


More information:

Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/michigansppc/

Michigan Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is the Michigan Chapter of the PPC. Initially envisioned by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 50 years ago just before his assassination, the Poor People’s Campaign aims to combat the “four evils” of American society: poverty, systematic racism, the war economy and environmental devastation.

Read: Updates on the arrests and court actions from 40 Days of Direct Action

Read: Press release: MI PPC water activists' press conference 1/16/19
Michigan residents from across the state rally at the State Capitol against public health and environmental problems that are not being properly addressed by the MDEQ, especially against low income and vulnerable communities (6/4/18).
(R-L) Defendants Rev. Liz Theoharis of NYC and National Co-Chair of the Poor People's Campaign and Claire McClinton of Flint block doors at Constitution Hall in protest of MDEQ criminal actions on Flint water crisis (6/4/18).
A Michigan resident connects the harmful and very concerning connection between Flint water contamination and the real potential of a large and damaging oil spill in Lake Huron from Line 5 (6/4/18).
Dozens of protesters surround Constitution Hall -- home of the former MDEQ (now EGLE) -- in crime tape and march outside all four exits in protest of the state environmental agency's failure to protect and be accountable for public health and environmental catastrophes across the Great Lakes state. In total 30 people where arrested on misdemeanor charges of civil disturbance (6/4/18).
(In blue shirt) Defendant Deb Hanson being warned of arrest by MI State Police if she doesn't stop blocking parking lot at Constitution Hall in protest of MDEQ's inactions on Line 5 (6/4/18).

Photos are Creative Commons with attribution to Valerie Jean, MI PPC photographer, or Truth Dig.