Bond Was Set Extra High for Keystone Pipeline Protesters, to Send Those Hippies a Message

Categories: Lost Causes

thib protest shot.jpg
Photo by Brandon Thibodeaux
Cherokee County Sheriff's deputies drag a recently maced protester to the paddy wagon in November.
For more than two weeks, three young people arrested on misdemeanor charges have remained in a Smith County jail, unable to bond about because a judge set bail at $65,000. They stand accused of misdemeanor criminal trespassing, resisting arrest and illegal dumping.

But the unusually high bond amounts are entirely artifacts of who they are and what they represent, not the misdemeanor crimes committed. They remain in jail because they trespassed on the right-of-way belonging to TransCanada, the company that will construct the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline.

Were they not pipeline protesters, these young people would almost certainly bond out for amounts in the four digits, not five. Last month, I attended a protest in Cherokee County, some three hours east of Dallas. Young men and women fastened themselves to heavy equipment used to clear the pipeline's right of way through the pine woods, and mounted platforms in the trees, anchored to machinery on the ground. All the while, Cherokee County Sheriff's deputies and Alto and Rusk police worked to extricate them and to keep protesters at bay, often through the indiscriminate use of pepper spray.

I suspect such manpower does not come cheap for rural counties and municipalities. I suspect the law enforcement officers would rather not tramp through the woods, clutching zipcuffs. And perhaps that is the message these extraordinarily high bail amounts intend to telegraph: That your ends do not comport with ours. That your means -- non-violent though they may be -- are a costly nuisance. That there are plenty of East Texas landowners who welcome a TransCanada check in return for an easement. Perhaps most of all, it is intended to remind them that they do not belong here.

The bail's incongruity sends another message, too: That the protesters are a unique class of defendant, separate and distinct from the other misdemeanor defendants who appear in Smith County court. There is a constitutional prohibition to making such distinctions, when the bond and the alleged crime are not in proportion to one another.

If Smith County aims to hold these young people to account for breaking the law, and if justice is its goal, it can start by setting a just bond.


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19 comments
sweetliberty17761776
sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

no one mentions Obamas connection to this whole Keystone pipeline


how un political you 've become


ahahahahahaaaa

sweetliberty17761776
sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

It all starts from the top


The message and what is acceptable as set forth by the POTUS ( and you cant say he has nothing to do with this:)


When you let the New Black Panthers go after they are caught on video threatening white voters at a polling location in 2008 ( civil rights attorneys were witnesses ) and then in 2012 you have hired the same NBP to stand outside the polling place


the message is loud and clear


you got YOUR MESSAGE with an "unfair" bond



director21
director21

NAZI Fascism is alive and well among MANY law enforcement agencies of the United States, and this is a perfect example that it also has spread to the judiciary. It is getting all too close to the time when citizens have to remind those in power of whom they serve, and why. It took major revolutions in France, Russia, Spain, Germany, Italy and other places to remove the corrupt and self-serving people who were the leaders and, unfortunately, it will probably take that same kind of action here to clean up our own corrupt government at all levels from top to bottom. Obviously, Smith County is at the very bottom!

bifftannen
bifftannen

Please give east Texas back to Louisiana, where it belongs.

All of you coming to the police/sheriff's defense are naive. Most likely they are bought and paid for by the pipeline company. That is the way it works in Wise County.

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

Were there any protesters with ties to Texas besides coming in for a weekend for a quick protest? Bail's sole purpose is to ensure person appears for trial. In this case the local authorities are likely completely within their authority to have these limits. If these protesters had supporters, I am sure they could put up property as bond and avoid the fees. Everyone knows the real plan is these people leave jail and then the state, assuming no one would extradite on a trespassing charge. It also means the bond agents will not touch them since they do not want to lose the other 90 per cent. Of course 20 years from now we would then have to endure one more sob story about how a supposedly upstanding, "progressive" adult got a traffic ticket driving through Texas from Cool Coast West to Cool Coast East and got flagged as bail jumper. Boo hoo.

NNB
NNB

I am weary of professional protesters.  They seem to have more rights than the rest of us.

apathy4512
apathy4512

Hey if it's not in your backyard who cares right?!

DOCensors
DOCensors

And actually after looking a little closer, I missed this the first time "all ten have posted bail"

So more questions: Who are these 3? Can you provide a link to more information? Are they 3 new protesters or did they get released on bail and then arrested again? Or should we just take your persecution complex at face value?

DOCensors
DOCensors

Hey Brantley, Did you fail to mention where the protesters live because that would put a dent in your libtard victimization narrative?

Why don't you mention the other 7 that were arrested? Are they no longer in jail? Why not? What happened to them? 

You may want to try being a little more honest with your agenda if you don't want to look like a fool. 

"All but one are from outside Texas"

http://www.ktre.com/story/20160764/cherokee-county-sheriffs-office-releases-ids-of-arrested-protesters

Tom434
Tom434

They might try getting a lawyer and file a motion to reduce the bond but my guess is that these individuals are not Texas residents so the chance of them not showing up for their trial is fairly high. 

roo_ster
roo_ster

Can't do the time?  Don't do the crime.

Also, more rural polities can not afford (as in $$$) to constantly police this sort of foolishness.  Keeping the misrecants in jail saves the taxpayers money.  Want to get sprung in a jiffy?  Commit crimes of callowness back in the big city.

Also, I think we ought to pass a law that trespassers who deliberately chain themselves to equipment or otherwise interfere in the lawful use of such equipment have no recourse ( and the users no liability, criminal or civil) when they get squashed by a D-8 Cat.

Tom434
Tom434

@DOCensors Anybody want odds on if the fine and costs were paid?

lbartos1
lbartos1

@DOCensors Doesn't matter where they live  -- I thank them for caring enough about the rest of us to come a protest -- pollution doesn't stop at borders. 

DOCensors
DOCensors

@pathticwhitelibtardg The DO apparently only pays it's writers in alcohol. I thought Anna Merlan was joking when she said it but the quality and lack of lucidity in the writing has made me a believer. 

DOCensors
DOCensors

@lbartos1 @DOCensors Where they live certainly matters in the context of their bond. You know.. the subject of this article? Not pollution or how much they supposedly care about it. 

schermbeck
schermbeck

@DOCensors @pathticwhitelibtardg No doubt you would have also been in favor of throwing the book at those god-awful out-of-state Freedom Riders as well. Your erratic line of thinking as a very long and undistinguished history.

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