Big News Today!

BIG NEWS 1. Just announced outside the courtroom in Mount Vernon, Washington: Ken Ward, one of the people who, on October 11, 2016, turned off five separate tar sands pipelines coming into the United States, was found not guilty by way of a hung jury! Things did not look good. The judge would not allow a “necessity defense.” The judge himself offered the opinion that climate change was “controversial,” not caused by human beings. The prosecutor and defense attorneys did not dispute one fact in the trial, offering the video of Ken turning off the valve. But Ken, when he got on the stand, told the jury the details about how dire our situation is, how our climate is coming up against the tipping points of climate catastrophe. The jury debated for five hours and could not find him guilty.

BIG NEWS 2. Senator Tester voted against Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. Here’s the note I sent him: “Thank you, Senator, for voting against Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. When we went into Iraq based on lies at the highest level of our government, the oil companies had a direct but hidden pipeline to American foreign policy through George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Let’s just say that didn’t work out so well. With Tillerson as Secretary of State, there isn’t even the pretense of separating what’s good for the oil-a-garchs from our foreign policies. I have a real bad feeling about that, and I congratulate you for voting with the people against this incompetence.”

Jeff Smith, co-chair, 350 Montana