Fred Gillen Jr.

Fuel for the Revolution

This is my blog. I started it back in 1998 when the term "blog" was new and I'd certainly never heard of it. At the time I didn't know I was blogging, I just wanted to post some non- edited pieces I'd written in my notebooks. I do not revise or censor this material in any way. Please feel free to email me through the "contact" page on this site if you have anything to say about what you read here.

Civil Disobedience

"That on the 23rd day of April, 2018 at 4:38 p.m. in the city of Albany, county of Albany, the defendant did intentionally, knowingly, and unlawfully commit the violation of disorderly conduct. A person is guilty of disorderly conduct when with the intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof; he or she congregates with other persons in a public place and refuses to comply with a lawful order of the police to disperse.

To wit: At the above mentioned date and time, the defendant did participate in a sit in with 55 other co-defendants, in front of the entrance to the Hall of Governors on the second floor of the New York State Capital building intentionally blocking entry and egress from said entrance. The defendant did refuse a lawful order of a uniformed member of the New York State Police to remove themselves from the area."

The above is from my copy of the court record from my appearance in Albany City Court on May 1, 2018. We were told, as the police warned us they were going to arrest us if we did not move, that our assembly was unlawful.

You'd better believe we intentionally blocked access to the Hall of Governors. The hall where our elected officials are supposed to represent the well-being of The People and therefore the planet. We also covered the state seal with a giant sun. "Excelsior" is what the state seal says. We the People are fed up with bearing all the risk of fracked gas infrastructure while getting no benefit as the methane in the state's pipelines flows to port for export for the profit of gas companies, most of which are not even run from this country or state. We are tired of gas companies using Eminent Domain precedents to take citizens' land for profit. We are tired of corporations destroying rivers and lakes and when caught paying the slap-on-the-wrist fines as a "cost of doing business." We are tired of our governor talking the talk but not walking the walk. This is why I went to Albany and committed the violation of disorderly conduct. I will not be silent as Denmark and Sweden get their electricity from 100% renewable sources, India and China solarize, Iceland uses almost 100% geothermal heat and New York does almost nothing.

This is not about "fighting for what you believe in." Climate change is not something to believe or not believe in. It is real. It is happening. It is happening at an exponential rate. We're almost out of time. If you want to have the ridiculous argument about whether it is caused by human activity, feel free. While you're doing that I'll be fighting to do something about it. We have the technology and resources to make New York green. In Albany they don't have the will. The People need to step up, and when necessary we break the law.

Our arrest and our court experience were very easy. I've sat in court many hours in support of my friends who committed acts of civil disobedience, and I've watched poor black and brown people have a much different experience than I had in court. When poor people go to court it often does not end well. I'm grateful for how easy it was but I'm still proud to have blocked the halls of government and caused a bit of a ruckus. Former candidate for governor Howie Hawkins and actor James Cromwell were arrested with us. Some of the most badass human beings I've ever met were arrested with us, particularly Kim Fraczek and Monica Hunken and my wife Peg Taylor.

The experience overall was extremely moving. Being in handcuffs is horrible. Being processed and searched is horrible. Even so it was an empowering experience, especially with 54 other people who felt as strongly as I did. I think we got a bit of attention from the people in the capital, even as some did their best to ignore us. In the end our number was too big to ignore. We are taking up four morning slots in court, all week. We didn't get a lot of attention from the mainstream media, which is in some cases owned or partly owned by fossil fuel companies. Some day if we lose this fight, people will see how harmful it was to let the corporations control the media. Right now we just do our best to spread the word without them.

Carry on enthusiastically. People have the power.

Wednesday, May 2nd 2018

 05/20/2018     Abortion and Guns
==>05/2/2018     Civil Disobedience
 12/1/2017     Price of Progress
 01/28/2017     Prayer for America
 05/27/2014     "Free" music
 12/30/2013     Happy New Year
 09/26/2013     Ignorant Bliss
 11/29/2012     Gillen & Turk 2008 Opening for Todd Rungren
 08/27/2012     Shallow Money Trench
 06/22/2012     Crazy Horse
 05/9/2012     Talk
 01/19/2012     Freedom
 12/31/2011     Happy New Year
 12/13/2011     Men of Business
 11/19/2011     WAR
 11/18/2011     Earth And Spirit
 10/10/2011     Occupy Wall Street
 10/6/2011     Independence
 09/20/2011     Anger and Love
 09/6/2011     You Can't Have Everything
 09/1/2011     The Instruments
 08/30/2011     Fathers
 08/2/2011     On Being An Artist
 05/11/2011     Speaking The Truth
 04/25/2011     Tuning the lead vocal
 03/17/2011     Instilling Values
 01/14/2011     The Current Music Business
 11/5/2010     Even The Air
 10/19/2010     Rednecks, Racism, This-ism, that-ism
 09/8/2010     9/11
 07/18/2010     Being Ecumenical
 07/6/2010     Dust
 06/30/2010     Gay Rights/ Marriage
 03/11/2010     The heart
 03/11/2010     Culture
 01/5/2010     Coats
 12/11/2009     Pete Seeger
 12/2/2009     Environmental Protest Songs
 10/5/2009     Adam & Eve
 06/18/2009     The World Rolls Along
 06/11/2009     Clearwater
 06/10/2009     The World Rolls Along
 06/10/2009     War Machine
 06/9/2009     alternative media
 06/9/2009     alternative media
 05/14/2008     God
 02/24/2008     broke
 02/11/2008     HOPE MACHINE
 01/6/2008     Dennis Kucinich
 12/27/2007     NYPD
 10/4/2007     Mitakuye Oyasin
 05/21/2007     The Past
 04/15/2007     Kurt Vonnegut, Indian Point
 10/8/2006     God
 06/26/2006     From the Pe Sla -the heart of the heart of Lakota sacred land -the Black Hills of South Dakota
 06/5/2006     Mowing The Lawn
 03/24/2006     Gone Gone Gone
 02/25/2006     grace
 09/26/2005     Sky To Mountain
 09/22/2005     Love
 09/14/2005     Look Down
 04/19/2005     April 2005
 01/27/2005     Poverty
 01/11/2005     Grace
 12/3/2004     Standing Up 2
 12/1/2004     Tired
 11/29/2004     Standing Up
 11/29/2004     Mercy
 09/18/2004     Beaten
 08/7/2004     Half Full
 07/16/2004     Hallelujia!
 07/16/2004     Battered Feathers
 03/14/2004     gifts
 03/1/2004     Ancestors
 03/1/2004     A Prayer
 12/24/2003     "The Bomb"
 05/16/2003     Safe
 05/16/2003     Satan
 05/5/2003     Faith, Hope, Love
 03/10/2003     Tatoo
 02/11/2003     Folk Music is alive and well!
 01/13/2003     Revolution
 01/2/2003     January 2003
 11/17/2002     FEAR
 11/9/2002     Election Day
 10/30/2002     Election Day
 10/14/2002     Checkpoint Charlie
 06/17/2002     Revolution
 06/3/2002     Gold
 06/3/2002     WAGE LOVE!
 06/3/2002     Mercy
 06/3/2002     New World Order?
 04/4/2002     Real?
 04/4/2002     Billboards
 04/4/2002     Faith
 03/22/2002     Living into the 21st century
 03/22/2002     Comfort
 03/22/2002     Barren Ground
 03/22/2002     Dreams
 03/14/2002     March 11, 2002
 02/25/2002     Germany
 12/14/2001     NOW
 09/19/2001     September 11, 2001
 08/6/2001     #5 Taking Responsibility
 07/12/2001     Television
 06/11/2001     #3: Sprawl
 05/16/2001     #2
 05/16/2001     #1


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