Support Fund for Cove Point Defenders

For: SEED activists Carling Sothoron and Heather Doyle
Washington, DC
Organizer: SEED
$6,560
of $6,000 goal.
Raised by 122 donors
100% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

SUMMARY

Carling Sothoron and Heather Doyle, two activists associated with SEED (Stopping Extraction and Exports Destruction) are facing criminal charges after filing complaints with the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office regarding their unsafe extraction and assault from a crane sit in February. Please help support their fight against these charges by donating. Thank you! Read on below for the full story.

THE STORY

Earlier this year, Carling Sothoron and Heather Doyle, two activists associated with SEED (Stopping Extraction and Exports Destruction), took action to support people living in Cove Point, along the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay in southern Maryland, Piscataway territory. This small, rural community is being threatened by Dominion, a large energy company that is building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility to send gas produced by hydraulic fracturing along the Marcellus Shale for consumption across the globe. Carling and Heather wanted to draw attention to the issues of dangerous LNG exports, potential hydraulic fracturing in Western Maryland, and the likely catastrophic and chronic health effects of this facility on the people of Cove Point. They climbed onto a crane during a chilly morning in February on one of the export terminal's construction sites and completed a successful crane sit and banner drop in protest of Dominion's plans and against the extractive fracked gas industry that is impacting rural communities across the mid-Atlantic. During the extraction and arrest, both Carling and Heather, who are expert climbers, experienced an unsafe extraction by the Calvert County Sheriff's Office and Heather was assaulted during her arrest.  

Both activists pled guilty to misdemeanor trespass charges in April. Carling is serving a three-year probation and was ordered to pay a $500 fine. Heather served a 40-day sentence in the Calvert County Detention Center. After their legal proceedings were concluded, Carling and Heather filed formal complaints with the Calvert County Sheriff's Office about their mistreatment by the Calvert County officers. The Sheriff's Office has responded to the complaints by charging both Carling and Heather with misdemeanor false statement to an officer. The sentencing guidelines for this new charge recommends a maximum penalty of up to six months in jail and/or a $500 fine. In the next few months, both Carling and Heather are preparing to go to trial to defend themselves against this attempt by the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office to silence activists and retaliate against people who are resisting the construction of this Dominion LNG export facility.


These new charges are a part of a larger pattern of intimidation and excessive force against people protesting Dominion's plans for Cove Point. The Calvert County Sheriff's Office is being paid by Dominion to act as a private security force and to suppress opposition of the project within Calvert County. Some of their tactics include extremely long probationary periods for people who were otherwise willing to serve jail sentences and harassment including suspicious vehicle searches for people commuting to peaceful protests. The Calvert County Sheriffs in their official duties and separately as contracted security officers for the corporation, are doing Dominion's dirty work in suppressing people willing to put themselves on the line to defend the community of Cove Point.

Carling and Heather acknowledge that the police violence they experienced was a direct result of the intentional political protest they were involved in and understand that their experience with the criminal justice system does not reflect how Black, Brown, and poor folks are treated by the justice system in Calvert County and throughout the US. They recognize that their ability to challenge the charges against them is greatly influenced by their privileges and the resources and support they have and will continue to receive.

SEED believes it is extremely important to stand up to these ugly tactics designed to distract us, exhaust our resources and our resolve, and that is why we are asking for your support. By fighting these charges we are committing to supporting the impacted community of Cove Point and to challenging the way the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office has responded to activists. We won't back down. This work takes money, which is why we need your help. SEED fundraises for anticipated legal fees associated with our actions but these charges require additional resources.  

We are immensely grateful for any amount you can give! Please share our story and amplify our message. If you can support this effort in a non-monetary way (such as hosting a fundraising event), please be in touch. Alternatively, if you are interested, in exchange for donations, SEED also would be happy to offer workshops about direct action or the fight at Cove Point. Have an idea for how we can work together? Contact us!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

To learn more about our work, please visit SEED's website at seedcoalition.wordpress.com

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on January 7, 2016

Posted on January 7, 2016

It's a new year, and we just wanted to give an extra thanks to everyone who contributed to make this crowdfunding effort so successful. We are so blessed to have such good friends and supporters through this process. Thank you so much, each of y'all.

We are continuing to put on events and work on raising the remaining funds needed to pay for Heather's lawyer fees and expected court expenses. Her case will go to trial sometime this late winter or spring. For updates on this case, please continue to visit SEED's website and social media. We will try to post some updates on this fundraising site as well.

Please expect to be hearing from us to get a mailing address to send you a proper thank you for helping us continue fighting this charge so we can go back to the work of stopping Dominion Cove Point and resisting fracked gas infrastructure across the mid-Atlantic. All the best to you, friends!

Posted on December 22, 2015

Posted on December 22, 2015

Today's our final day! We are nearing 65% of our original goal. SEED is very grateful for all of the support and how many people have been able to contribute, and to share our story. Now's the final push, and we are hoping to get to 70% of our goal, and our stretch goal-besides actually raising 100%-is to get up to $4500 today.  We also have a matching donation from a SEEDling going on for the next $250 that is raised.  

On this last day of our crowdfunding campaign, can you help us get to 1,000 shares through social media? Can you help us by sharing our story and encouraging any of your friends or networks to make a contribution up until midnight tonight? These funds will go a long way to helping us deal with these new charges. We are pretty resourceful, and these donations will be put to good use. 

Thanks everyone for a great run, and let's make this a strong finish together. 

So much gratitude and thanks!

Posted on December 18, 2015

Posted on December 18, 2015

Hey everyone! We have made it past the 50% mark now with generous support of over 68 different supporters. Thank you again so much. We have five days left in our campaign, and we are hoping to get to $4,000 by the end of the campaign (though our fingers are crossed to meet our goal we know that we still have a long way to go).  Even getting to 65% of our goal would go a long way to helping us out. Besides this crowdfunding page, we are hard at work putting on fancy dinners-like the one tonight in Baltimore happening with the support of the badass Pots and Pans Kitchen Collective-scheduling presentations in Maryland and DC, and planning a speaking tour to spread the word of the resistance at Cove Point and the larger picture of stopping Dominion Cove Point gas exports! If you are able to help us a bit more spreading the word about the final days of this crowdfunding fundraiser to all your friends, we'd greatly appreciate the signal boost. Much love to all of you. Power to the people working together!

About the Organizer

Report Fundraiser

Report Fundraiser

Please report potential fraud and Terms of Service violations only. Personal disputes will not be reviewed.

We require this in case we need to contact you for further details.*

* YouCaring will not distribute your phone number to any third parties or use it for marketing purposes.

Comments

Supporters

Add Our Donation Widget to Your Site
Grab Our Widget

Support Fund for Cove Point Defenders

Grab Our Widget