Activists attending Gore's book-signing held a banner and distributed fliers to call attention to climate change and the incarceration of a young activist, Jeffrey Luers.
Hundreds of Al Gore fans lined up at Barnes & Nobles on Union Sq. in Manhattan to hear the former Vice President speak out against the growing detachment of American culture. "When there's more who focus on Paris Hilton than on climate change, when people know more about American Idol than Iraq, we know our country has become desensitized to the real world. This is very dangerous".
All attendees of the events learned about Jeffrey Luers, the incarcerated climate activist. In June 2001, the 23 year-old forest defense activist was sentenced to 22 years and 8 months in prison for actions in Eugene, Oregon. His stated purpose was to raise awareness about global warming and the role that SUVs play in that process. No one was hurt in this action nor was that the intent.
However, despite the fact that this action hurt no one, Jeff was sent to prison for a sentence considerably longer than those convicted of murder, kidnapping and rape in Oregon state. Even the City Human Rights Commission stated "...We found that similar crimes have not been met with such harsh sentences, and we are concerned about the length of Mr. Luers' sentence".
Margaret Langstrom, one of the climate activists taking part in the flyering and banner action, challenged Gore: "Yes, the culture is detached. But this man (Jeffrey Luers) is being punished for his climate activism. Gore should stand in defense of this young man who acted to wake our culture up to the catastrophe our species faces."
Thomas Silvagreen added, "Sentences disproportionate to the crime violate our constitution and should be challenged by voters those who believe in our way of life and value our 1st Amendment. This young man's vandalism was perhaps mistaken; but climate change caused by SUVs and other sources of emissions is already costing our country billions of dollars and killing people and species from habitat destruction, drought, flooding, and extreme storms. I know Al Gore remembers Hurricane Katrina. Even if George Bush doesn't".
Go to the website his family and friends established and join efforts to reduce his sentence. www.freefreenow.org
Free's Legal Defense Fund POB 3, Eugene, OR 97440 email@example.com
<b>Reminder: June 9, 2007 is the International DAY OF SOLIDARITY With JEFFREY LUERS.</b>