Earth First! vows to fight against industrial wind power

FARMINGTON — Earth First! activists vowed Tuesday to continue its opposition to locating wind turbines in Maine, according to a press release.

Willow Cordes-Eklund, of Earth First! is locked to the underside of a truck bound for Kibby Mountain in this July 6, 2010, photo provided by Earth First!. The Minneapolis woman was arrested and charged with failure to disperse. Her case and that of three others charged in the protest will go to a jury trial expected to begin Monday in Farmington.

The statement follows the conviction of two of its associated members this week for failure to disperse during a demonstration in Franklin County last summer.

“We feel strongly that industrial wind is a false solution to climate change, and remain committed to defending Maine’s mountain forests as a carbon-sink and as habitat for rare and endangered species” said Jessie Dowling of Maine Earth First!

A Franklin County Superior Court justice sentenced Erik Gillard, 27, of Plainfield, Vt., and Willow Cordes-Eklund, 27, of Minneapolis, Minn., to each serve 10 days in jail and each pay a $500 fine.

The sentence was a significant departure from typical sentencing in civil disobedience cases, the press release said. Individuals convicted of civil disobedience are most often sentenced to community service, it stated.

The two were involved in a protest against an industrial wind development project in Kibby Township and Chain of Ponds Township on July 6, 2010.

TransCanada has installed 44 turbines on Kibby mountain and range, and has received a permit to install 11 turbines on adjacent Sisk Mountain.

The latter permit issued by Maine Land Use Regulation Committee is under appeal to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court to overturn it due to the process followed, the release states. After sentencing Tuesday, Cordes-Eklund said that while the sentence was unexpectedly severe, she is prepared to serve it, the release states.

“Though I find the sentence to be harsh, I came to court knowing the possible consequences,” she said. “Going to trial was my attempt to continue the fight against industrial wind power.”

Other activists present to watch the conclusion of the trial questioned the wisdom of spending taxpayer money to jail nonviolent activists.

Jim Freeman of Verona Island said, “Is it really worth spending money jailing these people who pose no danger to society? There are better uses for public funds in these tight budget times,” according to the release.

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Alice Barnett's picture

civil disobedience to wake up civil rights

Erik and Willow and EF know the traditional avenues of governmental change were being sold off. people being bought the tax subsidized Wind Industry. Our mountain tops sold by selectmen of the town.

civil rights to a moratorium revote in Carthage Maine'
civil rights to petition as much as you want..casinos, et al.

nope no civil Civil Rights in Carthage...2 petitions refused, one way or we cannot stop this permit process....

citizens even have lawyers working on the refusal of right to petition but the permit process marches right along at DEP.

DEP pretty much sold their soul to Wind industry...

I am sorry EF needs to use such media driven tactics. I am sorry Erik and Willow are treated as criminals when we know no harm was done to anyone except Sisk Mountain...

If editors do indeed read the will be embarrassed when these big wind turbines ruin Maine. OR in ten years when Angus King owns multi-million dollar homes with best views going, paid by the taxpayers. I hope these home owners find water on top of those mountains and I do hope they pay property taxes.

Robert Boutin's picture

wind turbines

The world has changed since I was a kid...74 now, and we need to make use of all sorts of energy...oil in the ground...natural power to heat our homes...( can't remember the name ) drilling into the ground for energy source that keeps your house at a constant temperature year round....and what does that leave us?..."WIND"!!
Lets capture it...make use of it...hey, it's "free"...well, almost.
Well what it takes for these turbines to be installed is a lot of confusion by the general public...roads being built in the north woods that "temporarily" will disrupt our nice quiet forest..and again temporarily disrupt all the critters nearby..."but" guess what?...all that confusion, construction, noise, etc etc...will all go away when it's all said and done, and now we have one more energy source.
Someone said
habitat for rare and endangered species are in did that happen?...
Now as for the cost of building these things, it better be on their dime...not ours...not one penny!!..."and" put them out of sight and not ruin the beautiful mountain views for all the enjoy.
Well, in short...I'm just an old guy...but that's my opinion...Amen!!

Karen  Pease's picture

From an old gal...

Hi Robert,

No matter what your age, I love that you care enough to weigh in on this important issue.

I just wanted to say one thing. You and I ARE paying for these wind projects, in many, many ways. 60-70% of the cost of these developments is picked up by the American taxpayer; thru 1603 cash grants (not loans--it's free money to developers) of up to 30% of the cost, and then the developers make use of a multitude of other tax-payer provided perks. TIF's. Tax Production Credits. Renewable Energy Credits. Accelerated Depreciation. One small, $200 million dollar project can reap $120 million from you and me.

And that's just one small part of a very big story. I appreciate your interest, and I hope you will do independent research on this topic.

Have a great day.
Karen Pease
Lexington Twp., Maine


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