portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article announcements united states

environment | green scare | prisons & prisoners

A statement from the family of Chelsea Gerlach

A statement of love and support from the family of Chelsea Gerlach, a wrongly accused suspect of eco-vandalism.
In these normally joyous days before Christmas, our family has been gripped by the loss of our sister and daughter who has been suddenly and wrongfully incarcerated. We are both disturbed and baffled by the charges brought against her, as well as by the images presented in the press of a radical Chelsea Gerlach hardened by crime and malfeasance. The person we know and love is incapable of such acts and we have absolutely no reason to believe in her criminal involvement in these cases.

Though we have been kept in the dark by a legal system that tells us little about the status of our beloved sister and daughter, we have the utmost confidence that the federal courts will vindicate Chelsea and that these ludicrous charges will be dropped.

Unfortunately, none of us has any experience with legal matters and we fear that our ignorance will provide a disservice to Chelsea in her time of great need. For this reason we will only take questions through this email address:  freechelseagerlach@hotmail.com. A website will also be created shortly to form a base for the large network of support Chelsea has throughout the country. We are all dedicated to keeping a constant watch to make sure that she is treated fairly and with respect, so that her innocence will not be clouded by the fear-inspiring and unfounded labels of "terrorist." Chelsea is a good person and a loving sister and daughter and we support and pray for her during these hardships.


Thank you.
solidarity 14.Dec.2005 07:15

Friends of the Catalyst info@catalystinfoshop.org

We here in Arizona are facing a similar situation and want to offer our support and best wishes for Chelsea, her family, friends, and community. More info about our friend Bill, including statements issued by friends and community members, can be found at: www.catalystinfoshop.org or www.supportbill.org. In solidarity, . . . Friends of the Catalyst

with sympathy, and all due respect, an aside 14.Dec.2005 11:51

sad

you know, the other day I was looking at poll numbers regarding american conceptions of environmentalism (I'm not going to put any citations here, but it's not hard to find this information from Galllup and other polling orgs). In short, Americans went from a position of disregard to one in which, by the the late 80's/early 90's, the great majority identified themsleves as environmentalists. That outlook is no more. These days, it is a clear minority that views themselves as being environmentalists. It's interesting because support of environmental issues, even at the expense of the economy, is still more prevelant than not. It's the self-identification that has waned. I believe that this disconnect is directly related to radicalism (ELF, Earth First, etc.), and it's treatment, on the one hand, by the more accepted, "within-the-system" peaceniks that decry them, and on the other, the corporate media.

America is a culture of self-policing; social change of any kind must pass through a gauntlet of official sanctioning before it becomes valid in the eyes of its populace. And so, rather obviously, not much changes (sorry "progressives"). What does change never sticks, because American society gathers its concepts of reality from the top. Thus, left to be maintained by a system that opposes social change, sanctioned reform rots. Segregation? Labor rights? Logging regulations? Are any of these things improving due to reform. No! They degrade as soon as people stop bleeding for them. Thing is, people are still bleeding for them. Invisibly. In ghettos, prisons, pickets, tree-sits, and riots. The difference is that those still fighting are marginlized by you. In the case of radical environmentalists, erstwhile allies, such as the Sierra Club, represent the expert opinion that corporate media will use as their invalidation. Corporate media, of course, is the itself the expert opinion of the state, and the state, the representative of economic power. However, in the end it's the everyday liberal next-door that makes it all work.

So, when one uses a phrase like "a radical Chelsea Gerlach hardened by crime and malfeasance" one is using the language of systematic enforcement to vindicate it's enemy. Is the media's definition of malfeasance accurate? Is being radical necessarily a guilt? Chelsea is innocent, regardless of whether or not she carried out the actions described by the moral apparatus of this nation. There is no position within this system that can stand in reaasonable judgement of her. She should surely be vindicated, even within this culture's insipid standards. But her vindication should not be cause for the continued demonization of those among us who chose to base their actions on their principles, rather than the sanctioning of power.

Also with respect... 14.Dec.2005 12:41

Response to sad

I agree with everything you wrote, and was somewhat disapointed by the suggestion that "radicals" are bad people, but wanted to make a comment on something you wrote...

"Chelsea is innocent, regardless of whether or not she carried out the actions described by the moral apparatus of this nation."

In this case Chelsea is innocent because she simply did not do what the State claims she did. Her family is asking for people to support her on those grounds. Please just respect that for right now and realise the tremendous strain they are under.

hello 14.Dec.2005 13:41

please

Please don't let this person go down for this ,- we , all of use , should do something about this outrage

If they have there way this person will spend the rest of her life in Jail .. and thats not right .

SO get uot there in the streets evey day til it ends . Fuck being a target .

sorry to point this out 15.Dec.2005 17:21

--

but "getting out there in the streets every day" would be more likely to "make you a target" and do not that much good. planning and opposition: yes. emotional knee-jerk responses ... not always so useful.

Contact Chelsea's lawyer 16.Dec.2005 17:15

Paul Brown chelsea_lawyer@fd.org

I am an investigator with the Federal Public Defender for the District of Oregon. Our office represents Chelsea Gerlach. Please contact me directly and confidentially at  chelsea_lawyer@fd.org if you have any information that may assist Chelsea's defense. Please do not respond on this website but to me directly at  chelsea_lawyer@fd.org.

Paul Brown

paul brown's credentials 03.Jan.2006 05:20

kirsten anderberg

Paul Young keeps asking us to blindly email him...yet he is refusing thus far to reveal his actual credentials and experience in investigative work. And remember, he DOES get paid BY THE STATE. I have sent several emails to him asking for his experience in this field to which he does not reply. I am not comfortable with inexperienced investigators and we should know HIS credentials and experience if he is going ot keep putting these generic posts online telling us to contact him. WHO IS HE? And what is his past? I find it irresponsible that this man keeps posting this generic post telling us to contact him yet will tell us NOTHING about who he is.