Friday, May 25, 2007

"Country Girl" sentenced to penal farm

Well, prison, actually, but I was determined to get that "country girl/farm" joke in. Anyway, eco-arsonist Chelsea Gerlach was sentenced today to nine years in prison:

As a member of a small clandestine group that called itself "the Family," Gerlach and others helped cell leader Bill Rodgers in October of 1998 haul fuel up Vail ski area. There, under the cloak of darkness, he torched the stately Two Elk Lodge and several other buildings and lifts, causing an estimated $24 million in damages.

Additionally, she confessed to participating in arsons at the Childers Meat Co., a Boise Cascade Corp. facilty, a Eugene police substation and the Jefferson Poplar Farm, and she helped topple a high-voltage power-line tower, all in Oregon.

Meat, lumber, a pig pen (hat tip: myself), a high-voltage tower, the (stately!) Two Elk Lodge--they really mixed up their targets. At an earlier court appearance in Oregon Gerlach apologized in an "I'm a gentle hippie gone astray" way:

Gerlach has declined interview requests pending her sentencing, but in July, she told the Eugene federal court: "I would like to first apologize to everyone who has been hurt by my actions. It was not my intention to hurt anyone or to invoke fear. I'm sorry my actions had that effect.

"These actions were motivated by a deep sense of despair and anger at the deteriorating state of the global environment and the escalating inequities within society," she continued. "But I realized years ago, this was not an effective or appropriate way to effect positive change. I now know that it is better to act from love than from anger, better to create than destroy and better to plant gardens than to burn down buildings."

So her basic assumptions are unchanged: the global environment is deteriorating and social "inequities" escalating. No question about it. A likely lass, the Country Girl. She'll have her Ph.D. in four years and be a "distinguished professor" in ten.

"Country Boy," aka Stanislaus Gregory Meyerhoff, was sentenced earlier this week to 13 years in prison for his part in the arsons. He offered this pathetic excuse:
"I also wanted to be part of the scene, to be accepted," Meyerhoff said in a court filing requesting leniency. "And to be accepted as man enough for Chelsea Gerlach, who always treated me as though I was not made of the mettle demanded of a true 'Eco-Warrior."
Man, that is whipped. Here's an earlier overview of the case and its participants. As you might expect, they're a bunch of immature self-involved pseudo-intellectual jerks.

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