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Visiting Our Friends in Jail

Glen, Matt and Isabel are still in jail and we lack the funds to bail them out. Please donate to their legal fund or get in touch if you’d like to organize a fund-raiser in your home town. Check out our facebook and help spread the word.

I went to see my friend Glen in jail a few days ago. The visiting room has a long plexiglass window with a series of holes to speak through. You have to mash your face up to the window to hear, and shout into the hole to be heard. Despite the barriers between us, it was a relief to see him all in one piece after being yanked out of a section of the KXL pipe. When I asked how his wrist was doing he told me it was still sore, and that before the chain around it broke he felt like his chest was going to be ripped apart.

Ever dedicated, he didn’t talk much about himself. He spent most of the half-hour visit advising us on how to fix our array of broken-down vehicles, with a sprinkling of advice on properly cooking breakfast potatoes (Glen has been waking up before dawn to make breakfast for all of us every day he has been here in Texas). He also wanted to know what was being said about his arrest in the media and wanted the story of solidarity between those working to end mountain top removal coal mining and other anti-extraction movements such as Tar Sands Blockade to be told.

I first met Glen in 2007 while doing relief work in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. I was only able to volunteer in New Orleans for a few months, but Glen had moved there and dedicated himself full-time to the relief efforts.

Our paths crossed again five years later in West Virginia, where Glen has been working for years to help Appalachian communities hurt by mountaintop removal coal mining to stand up for their rights to good health and clean water. Glen came here to show solidarity between anti-extraction movements, saying “This fight in East Texas against tar sands exploitation is one and the same as our fight in the hollers of West Virginia. Dirty energy extraction doesn’t just threaten my home; it threatens the collective future of the planet. “

Glen told me he was managing being locked up all right but is very eager to get out of jail and return home to West Virgina and his efforts to preserve the mountains and waterways of Appalachia.

- Clark Santee

Permanent link to this article: http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/glen-visi/