Mike D Holds His Own, in Spite of Everything
After asking if they could only find him guilty of "inconveniencing" the public, rather than annoying or alarming the public, the jury has returned a verdict of guilty.
Mike D has been found guilty of disorderly conduct, but the failure to appear charges have been dismissed because, as the judge stated, "I've had enough of your circus." By "circus," she meant that he was attempting to exercise his rights as an American citizen in the courtroom, rather than kissing judicial ass in awe. The state had deigned to reduce the failure to appear charges to a violation with a $200 fine, but none of us believed he would go for that. In the end, he wanted to maintain his right to a jury trial, which is what brought on the judge's outburst. It all worked out, though, because as I said, the failure to appear charge was dismissed.
As for the DisCon charge, it remains to be seen what will happen. He has been found guilty, but has not yet been sentenced. The state requested that he receive 18 months of probation and 40 hours of community service. Mike D asked what the equivalent time would be, as, "I have no interest in probation." Judge Miller announced at that point that if she gives him probation, he will do probation. She then asked whether he was ready to be sentenced and would waive his right to 48 hours before sentencing. He refused to wave the right. This brought about another outburst from the judge, who pointed out that he would be in jail until Monday then, expecting him to buckle at that word. Clearly, she does not know Mike D. He continued to politely refuse to wave the right. Judge Miller seemed baffled that anyone would put their legal and constitutional rights above convenience, and admonished him to see things her way.
Said Judge Miller, "I know this is in your best interest. Your attorney understands that this is in your best interest. Probably all those people in the back [motioned toward us] recognize this is in your best interest." We all shook our heads to signify that no, we did not agree with her. She dropped her last shreds of composure at this point, and muttered something like, "Well, then...these people need to all be...more informed about...the issues."
In any event, we will find out on Monday what the sentence will be. Mike D also refused to sign a confirmation paper of his Monday court date. Shortly thereafter, he was led away in chains. He smiled calmly while the heavy wooden doors swung shut on him and the sheriffs escorted him away. The judge gave his lawyer 15 minutes to convince him to accept his sentencing today. Fifteen minutes later, the lawyer returned with word that he continued to refuse to accept the kind offer.
This is my short synopsis of today's events. There is more to say about this trial, but I haven't the time and I haven't access to a computer for some time, so hopefully others will pick up where I have left off. Let me just add that my two favorite moments in this 2-day ordeal were as follows:
1. The judge explained to the defense that Mike D and his attorney would not be able to say, during the trial, that the dis con charges were unconstitutional, because it would "imply that he has a right that he does not have." Specifically, she said, he does not have a right to free speech. She then stated that he would not be allowed to use the words "first amendment" or even "free speech," because again, "that would imply that you have a constitutional protection that you do not have." (As if we didn't already know that.)
2. The first witness, Clackamas County Sheriff William Behan, explained that the reason Mike D was singled out was that he was clearly our leader. And, to make things worse, Mike D refused to "call off his people." So, just to remind everyone, we are now Mike D's people.
My least favorite moment was seeing Mike D in chains. His arms and legs were shackled, with chains hanging from his waist, wrists, and ankles. It was really sickening to see. He asked that his arms be unchained in the courtroom so that he could look through his notes and write, but his request was denied. Later, the judge asked that he be unchained, but the 4 sheriffs guarding him refused. They finally offered to unchain one hand so he could write, but would go no further. He was not unchained until several hours later, as the jury was being led in.
Thanks to everyone who showed up to support Mike D. We filled the courtroom, with people in the hallway outside who could not get in. It's great to see so many people willing to show up for something like this. We're going to need this kind of solidarity....
By the way, Homeland Security is profiling everyone who was at Solo. If anyone had any doubts about what the PATRIOT act was really all about, now you know. It was intended to target environmental and political activists. Not that we didn't know that, but it pays to be reminded.
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