Statement from Moriah Stephenson, one of the two activists facing potential “terrorism hoax” charges.

 

Moriah Stephenson, graduate student and concerned resident of Oklahoma

Moriah Stephenson, graduate student and concerned resident of Oklahoma

I grew up in Oklahoma chasing thunderstorms and running barefoot in pastures. I know the smell of a tornado. I know Oklahoma streams and smiles and sunsets and open spaces. I also know Oklahoma heartache. I know what fracking flaring looks like, when the excess natural gas is burned off into the air, sometimes for weeks, months, or years on end. I know what the water looks like after a frack site has wreaked its havoc, and I know what cancer looks like after the water has gone bad and the flares stop burning. I am saddened by the natural gas and oil industries’ greed and disregard for life, and I think it is important to draw attention to Devon’s involvement in fracking and tar sands mining through non-violent, peaceful acts of civil disobedience.

My name is Moriah Stephenson, and on December 13, 2013, I attended a non-violent, peaceful protest at the Devon Energy Building that was intended to draw attention to Devon’s involvement in hydraulic fracturing and tar sands mining. My intention was to hang a glittery banner that was dramatic, pretty, and would highlight the similarities between Devon’s disregard for life and “The Capitol’s” disregard for life as portrayed through the fictional story told in The Hunger Games. I am a waitress, and I am a student at the University of Oklahoma. I had two papers due the weekend of the 13th. After the protest, my intention was to go home and work on papers. I had no intention of going to jail or “scaring” anyone.

banner

When we unfurled the banner and saw the glitter fall to the ground, we immediately felt guilty because we knew the janitor would have to clean it up. There was no panic, and almost immediately Devon employees began touching the banner and taking it down. Our hope was for the banner to stay up as long as possible, not to create any kind of “scare.” As we exited the building a janitor began cleaning up the glitter with a broom. No HazMat. No FBI. Stefan Warner turned to her and apologized for the mess. We exited the building and rallied on a public sidewalk with other protesters. The police arrived and began looking for some way to book us all into jail. The police arrested two of us and booked us into jail under the charge of “terrorism hoax.”

 

I know the sound of terrorism. I felt the Murrah Building Bombing shake my body; I will never forget. My grandfather, a doctor, provided free medical care for those wounded. I was chosen to paint a tile for the memorial. Calling non-violent, peaceful protesting “terrorism” is an insult to all of those who suffered due to the indiscriminate violence that ensued April 19, 1995. Activism that is attempting to protect land and lives in Oklahoma is not terrorism. Charging us with “terrorism hoax” for hanging up a glittery banner is insulting, inconsiderate, and disrespectful to all of those who have actually experienced terrorist violence. TransCanada Corporation has been encouraging the police to charge environmental activists with varying charges that contain the word “terrorism” in order to scare and silence dissent.

My hometown is older than Oklahoma statehood and is now being destroyed by the oil and gas industry. In rural Oklahoma, where people go to see stars at night, I have seen the brightness of fracking flares dim out the stars. It is heartbreaking to think that we have reached a point in which I could face ten years in prison for peacefully hanging up a banner. Ultimately, this is an issue of free speech. A corporation is using scare tactics to try to silence my story and my voice. If nothing else, it is unfair for TransCanada and Devon to engage the government in silencing free speech through the threat of “terrorism” charges.

30 thoughts on “Statement from Moriah Stephenson, one of the two activists facing potential “terrorism hoax” charges.

  1. Terrorist hoax charges in this case are BEYOND outlandish. Civil non-violent disobedience is necessary at times in a democracy. People should not be imprisoned for participating non-violently in their community!

  2. Kudos to Moriah Stephenson for her activism – a life-affirming activity; much more than I did December 13.

    I’d like a follow up on the charges, assuming they hold. Is there a way to donate to her legal fund?

    • Thanks for your support! Donations for our legal fund are much appreciated. If you would like to donate online, please visit the link below. You can also send a check made out to Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance as well. Again, your support means more than you know. Thanks, Stefan

      https://www.wepay.com/donations/2099650188

    • Thanks for your support! Donations for our legal fund are much appreciated. If you would like to donate online, please visit the link below. You can also send a check made out to Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance as well. Again, your support means more than you know. Thanks, Stefan

      https://www.wepay.com/donations/2099650188

  3. A climate justice activist in Canada, I applaud the actions of these two and deplore the consequences..real and threatened..praying for a reasonable outcome

  4. Peace to you and your friends.

    The pain of the earth and humanity destruction is hard to bear. I too have had trouble with this for a long time. The world should reach out and help you and other who are going through this collective pain. This destruction is a part of all our collective consciousness and we are all suffering. Your act will surely liberate some hearts and your courage to stand tall will challenge the paradigm of oppression. Stand tall, build community to dismantle your personal injustice, encourage others to stand tall with you. If I was in Oklahoma I would. Regardless of what’s happening, remember to focus your intention on healing, justice, and spiritual growth. This could be an incredible journey and just what you’ve needed to grow. Don’t let the oppressors take away your mental clarity! Stand tall! Shine Bright!

    I will have you in my prayers. All the best to you.

  5. If Monsanto cannot successfully poison us thru GMOd foods, then the
    Tar Sands will poison our earth, water, and kill native folks and animals.
    And the government does NOTHING to protect us, the vulnerable.

  6. This is a bit like arresting someone as an enemy combatant in the war on drugs for lighting up a cigarette.

  7. Thanks for making the statement Moriah both here and during the protest. The ruling class will do anything to keep it’s power and $$$. They used to hire militias to burn down union halls and to hang organizers in the streets. They brought in the police to stomp out occupiers and have always used brute force to stop our masses from gathering. Keep at it friends, keep at it. :)

  8. You were brave. Continue to be brave. You aren’t the only one. Many of us have found our courage to speak out, to act out. Our “hired” protectors have all turned coat. Traditional sentinels of the EPA, Congress, Courts, President and the Media have all sold us. Now its up to young women such as yourself to be the defenders of all. Along with a few grannies such as myself. Love your article…

  9. Thank you, for being who you are.
    At the end of the day it is YOU who is free from betrayal to your own heart.
    By being honest you are the bravest.
    Besides, the article shows compassion and value of life other than just your own. Thats head and heart overflowing with mindfulness and loving kindness. May the nectar of kindness flow to the minds and hearts of all.

    Thank you for being who you are.
    Smiles

  10. thank you for your creative action. over the next years there will be a lot of repression of free speech and dissent. the charges against you are meant to frighten others from speaking out. each time one of us does an action and is repressed ten others must step forward a continue the struggle for sanity in how we live in our world. we all need more courage, more community and more education to renew our struggle every day. just recently in New York City two activists were charged with inciting to riot for singing inside a bank building. the charges were all reduced to almost nothing and hopefully everything will be dismissed. stay strong, hope to see your name again and again as we all work to create the world we want to be in.

  11. I commend your passion for what is basically right. When in times of things “not making sense” we know we are in a struggle against fascism, economic, political, and religious.
    They are polluting the ground water tables. They should be tried for crimes against humanity both of now and of the future. I have been a TI for 5 years and exposed intentionally with toxic gasses and now since Sept. Microwave. Both are horrid by horrid fascist people. They need to stand trial for crimes against humanity. Thank you for your sense of right and willingness to do that. Kindly in the dark struggle, Sky

  12. “Terrorism hoax” indeed. The real terrorists are the corporate executives and corporations that focus on money above all – with no regard for the universe or any living being. Keep us posted.

  13. What a sad state of affairs that Devon law enforcement are afraid of glitter! Just as B of A is afraid of chalk! A smart judge would throw this case out of court as a waste of tax payer money! Stand tall Moriah Stephenson! Your First Amendment rights must be protected!

  14. It helps put perspective on some of this to realize internal bombs had far more to do with the bombing of the Murrah Building than the fertlizer truck bomb assembled by the patsies on the street. That was followed by 9/11 WTC demolition of the twin towers & bldg 7 — if you’re not aware of this , it helps greatly to go to AE911, Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, and view the free documentaries demonstrating those buildings came down with expert demolition using nanotech thermitic compounds. In my view FRACKING IS GENOCIDE and ties in as part of the internal destruction of the America we grew up in, and it is very important to put as much constructive pressure as we can on regaining our Constitution and doing away with Citizens United and related fascist agendas. It appears real that the top 1% do plan to reduce the population by 90%, and that includes virtually all of us. HAARP, as in manmade weather modification, has been misused. Monsanto was owned by Rockefeller as a tool of war. These are ugly times, balanced only by the natural beauty and the peoples of America. Grinspan pointed out that the United States is a CORPORATION — oops, that’s not the Constitution of we the people. So, we have to do our homework best we can mixed in with the inevitability of the need to protest, to affirm our right to live and to maintain our communities and provide for clean food and water.

  15. Bought and paid for Police in your home town are the other culprits in this madness. They should be harassed in their homes and not permitted to perform their duties. The Politicians in your town are the bigger culprits as they give the orders to the police. Fir all of them, have the community rize up to take action, use the church and civic organizations, the garden club, the PTA all of these fold need to be awakened. Solidarity is our only recourse.

  16. I hope that a Petition is forthcoming? These police should be held accountable for wasting the tax payers money and terrorizing peaceful citizens with undue charges! Glitter is not terrorism! Stupid police with guns are!

  17. This is beyond outrageous. We need people like Moriah to speak for us, and even accusing her of a crime is wrong. This is how we lose our freedoms, a bit at a time.

  18. Pingback: Statement from Moriah Stephenson, one of the two activists facing potential “terrorism hoax” charges. | Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance |

  19. This makes me even more of a conservation animal rights’ activist.
    Your courage inspires me to push the corporate government bullies more on protecting animals & their homes.

  20. If you can prove that anyone from TransCanada and/or Devon was involved in your arrest, you may have grounds for a federal law suit under 42 USC 1983 against them personally and probably the corporation for deprivation of 1st Amendment rights.

  21. No money to donate. Are they going to press charges, and if so, is there going to be a protest during her hearing?

  22. Pingback: Climate Activists With Terrorist Charges for Protesting Oil and Gas Company Devon Energy

  23. Pingback: TRANSCEND MEDIA SERVICE » Climate Activists Slapped With Terrorism Charges for Devon Energy Protest

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