A judge has dismissed the charges against 11 more protesters, including 5 from Tompkins County, arrested for their role in the ongoing acts of civil disobedience at the gates of Crestwood Midstream in Schuyler County, according to a news release from the group “We Are Seneca Lake.”
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Judge Daniel J. Fitzsimmons granted a motion Wednesday night to dismiss the violation-level trespass and disorderly conduct charges brought against the protesters, the news release said.
About a week ago, 42 “We Are Seneca Lake” protesters also saw their charges dropped.
Here are the names and hometowns of those who saw their charges dropped on Wednesday:
1 – Bruce Agte, 58, Binghamton, Broome County
2 – Britton Doughtery, 28, Ovid, Seneca County
3 – Charles Geisler, 69, Ithaca, Tompkins County
4 – Patricia Heckart, 63, Trumansburg, Tompkins County
5 – Robert Henrie, 88, Wolcott, Wayne County
6 – Nancy Kasper, 56, North Rose, Wayne County
7 – Rosalie Richter-Goldberg, 70, Ithaca, Tompkins County
8 – Margie Rodgers, 60, Elmira, Chemung County
9 – Catherine Rossiter, 62, Sayre, Bradford County, PA
10 – Kathy Russell, 67, Dryden, Tompkins County
11 – Mark Scibilia-Carver, 62, Trumansburg, Tompkins County
Ithaca attorney Raymond Schlather represented the defendants. According to a news release, they all read the following statement in court:
“We only have this planet. We must safeguard it for those who follow. Would that it not be necessary, but sometimes citizens of good conscience must engage in non-violent acts of civil disobedience to protect that sacred trust.
As long as Crestwood Midstream Partners, or any other corporate or public or private entity, continues to threaten our way of life by the proven dangerous storage of highly compressed gas in the crumbling caverns at the Salt Point facility, I reserve the right to act as my conscience dictates in order to protect Seneca Lake, its citizens, and the surrounding environment. I reserve all rights to protest further at the Crestwood facility, although it is not my intent at this time to break the law in doing so.”
Wrote Sandra Steingraber, an Ithaca College scholar who has been leading much of the protests, in an email to The Voice:
“The judge clearly saw us as sincerely committed to peaceful action and answering to our conscience. Which is also how we see ourselves. Judge Fitzsimmons specifically pointed to our mandatory civil disobedience trainings for all participants as evidence of our “seriousness” (the first criteria of 10 that have to be met under a dismissal in the interests of justice motion).
That was an amazing moment for us. We do take our ongoing CD trainings very seriously and turn away potential participants who are not willing to attend one.