Monday, April 5, 2010

More on Rev. Billy's arrest

Following up on the item from earlier today....

Some excerpts from Courthouse News (via Gawker):

The self-ordained Rev. Billy Talen was arrested on Easter Sunday after putting a "holy hex" on JPMorgan Chase bank, which he calls the nation's largest financier of coal-mining mountaintop removal. The former New York City mayoral candidate and his green-robed chorus put the hex on two bank branches, saying Morgan Chase has helped destroy more than 450 Appalachian mountains, deforested 800 square miles and polluted more than 1,200 miles of streams.

The police did not arrive until the choir reached a second branch, at Astor Place, where the choir left another "deposit" of West Virginia dirt.

As Talen concluded his sermon, NYPD Officer William Svenstrup ordered him to withdraw his deposit of dirt from the bank floor.

The Rev. Billy refused.

"Then you are coming with me," Svenstrop said, while another officer took out the cuffs, and used them, and the choir chanted, "Free speech! Free press! Free people! Repressed!" Then the choir sang the text of the First Amendment.

Choir member Gaylen Hamilton said in an interview that Talen's wife was two weeks overdue on her pregnancy and had started experiencing contractions that morning. Several other choir members were worried that Talen would miss the birth of his child.

But at the 9th Precinct, an officer said that Talen had been released shortly after his arrest. Arresting Officer William Svenstrup, spotted at the precinct, would not reveal the charges, if any, against the Rev. Billy.


Seth Gordon said...

You know, I feel for Rev Billy and his issues to some degree - but making this an issue of "free speech" is horseshit. Had they stood outside, protested, chanted, whatever - fine. But dumping a load of dirt is at least littering and arguably vandalism.

Too bad the Reverend didn't think about the poor working schmoe janitor who never did anything to anybody that's gonna be the one stuck cleaning it up.

Anonymous said...

Take a cursory look at the results of mountaintop removal. -That's-, like, litter.

Anonymous said...

tha janitor chooses to work for Chase, that's his choice, and Chase gets to pay him to clean it up.

but let's be real here, you don't actually give a damn about janitors, you're just annoyed that business as usual was impeded for a couple minutes. never mind that business as usual is well on its way to rendering our entire planet unliveable.