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General News    H3'ed 9/14/09

Police Harassment of Journalists in the Coal Fields of WV

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"Why are you on suicide watch?
"I refused to take the TB test."
"Why would you do that?"
"I take no pharmaceuticals for health or pleasure and I don't trust that the test will not harm me"
"Why would you think that?"
"Because it's a fact that pharmaceutical companies test new drugs on inmates and Military personnel and I'm not willing to be a guinea pig"
"Are you overly paranoid about anything else?"
"I'm not overly paranoid about anything, it's a fact."

All 4 of us were taken off suicide watch. The other 2 graduated back to orange pajamas and were introduced into the general population. Joe and I remained in the suicide tank with our blue flannel muumuus because we were not going to be allowed into the general population without taking the TB test.

After the relief of being able to stretch our legs got old; I found an appropriate time to request my phone call. I was informed by the guard that we STILL would not be getting our phone call because of refusing the TB test. He said he didn't know what our problem was; that he had a family to go home to and didn't want to be bringing my Tuberculous back to them, he continued, that he gets the test every year and he's never had TB. He was raising his voice at this time and .. so did I as I reminded him that it was just a Test not a Vaccine AND that the test DID NOT INDICATE POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE FOR 3 DAYS therefore it did nothing to prevent him or anyone else in general population from getting TB from an infected inmate. He yelled back that I was one of those Know-It-Alls and reiterated that we would not be getting a phone call. Shortly after this Joe noticed that he had gone into a side room and came out with a new pepper spray canister on his side.

Somewhere around 4:20 pm yesterday I overheard the guards preparing to release someone. It turned out to be me. As they were checking me out I was shown a piece paper and told to sign it.

"What is it?"
"It just says you didn't have any cash on you when you came in so you're not getting any back"
"Then I'm not signing it cause it's not true sir. I saw the envelope with my name and $99.00 written on it when I was processed"
hem haw... hem haw ... assistant chimes in
"oh, yeah, here it is"

They deducted the 30 dollar jail fee from my cash and WROTE ME A CHECK for the rest, walked me out of the building and handed me a brown paper bag with all of my non clothing belongings in it with no opportunity for me to verify that everything was there.

I was now 10-20 miles from anything, on top of a former Mountaintop Removal site, with a dead cell phone, having been allowed to call no one. None of the others arrested with me had been released with me, I had no cash, I had no idea why I was released or what had happened to the vehicle I had driven to the protest.

After a few minutes of repacking my stuff into my vest while uttering obscenities regarding my situation; a car pulled up with some Climate Ground Zero activists in it. They had bailed me out: 3 thousand dollars CASH. Presumably they did this to foster good relations with the press. Knowing that every journalist that attempts to cover their actions will likely have their rights violated, I can now assume that they intend to make sure those journalists with enough balls to be there will not be disappeared into the system with no phone call, rotting in a 1 person cell with 3 others while waiting months for a court date.

It's touching and honorable that they would put up money for me before taking care of their own. It is testament to the integrity of their organization. If you would like to help cover some of the cost to them for my wrongful arrest you can make a donation at their website. Tell them thank you for me, I'm sure they would appreciate it and put the money to good use.

make donations at

PS. Who wants to be my lawyer?

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I currently travel and work from a vegetable Oil powered school bus. The NOmadjik Media bus will be attending major political and societal functions throughout the continental US until it is not longer possible.
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Police Harassment of Journalists in the Coal Fields of WV

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