Tree-sitter contests proposed restitution

2013-05-30T14:00:00Z Tree-sitter contests proposed restitutionBy CYNDY COLE Sun Staff Reporter Arizona Daily Sun
May 30, 2013 2:00 pm  • 

The man convicted of littering and trespassing while perched in a tree at Lowell Observatory last August also faces possible restitution.

Protester James Kennedy was attempting to stop construction on a pipeline headed to Arizona Snowbowl by raising a wooden platform about 70 feet in a tree at Lowell and tying it to construction equipment below.

The Flagstaff Fire Department proposes to charge Kennedy nearly $612 in restitution for costs related to getting Kennedy out of the tree.

Kennedy left the tree during a lightning storm, just ahead of firefighters’ moves to evacuate him, a chief at the Flagstaff Fire Department said.

“The act that I am convicted of is an act of nonviolent civil disobedience,” he told the judge Wednesday.

Kennedy requested community service, citing his work and volunteerism with homeless, suicidal and abused teens, drug addicts and preschoolers, and his status as a double-major at Northern Arizona University.

“I am unemployed and completely broke,” he said.

Kennedy asked for a hearing on restitution, challenging the amount sought.

The move prolonged his sentencing and added a hearing, set for June 20 at 9 a.m.

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(7) Comments

  1. clifffalling
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    clifffalling - June 04, 2013 4:29 pm
    That's the idea of civil disobedience. You know you are breaking the law. You should then suffer the consequences. That's part of the deal.
  2. Bob
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    Bob - June 01, 2013 2:17 pm
    Why must it always be about the have and have nots. Kennedy could have protested loud and clear and not been fined. He could have , like so many, occupied the City Hall lawn to "speak out against injustice". But instead, he chose a method that was illegal and for that reason a fine is appropriate. And if he is poor and broke, then maybe less time tree sitting and more time job seeking. He wanted attention on his perch and now it is time to pay the piper.
  3. kboggs
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    kboggs - May 31, 2013 3:51 pm
    The comments here are predictably terrible. I'd like to see folks pause before making assumptions about people they don't know. Quigley: A silly game? Defending human rights and ecological sanity likely isn't a game to everyone. Take a moment to consider your own privileges which underlie such statements. Kennedy shouldn't have to pay--not just because he descended the tree on his own--but it effectually tells low-income citizens that only moderately wealthy people can speak out against injustice
  4. Matthew Quigley
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    Matthew Quigley - May 31, 2013 2:27 pm
    gldngrn,
    Do your own research. Mr. Kennedy had an encounter with law enforcement on the Snow Bowl road recently. If Mr. Kennedy wants to play his silly games, I suggest he find a job flipping burgers in order to cover his court costs.
  5. brasstacks
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    brasstacks - May 31, 2013 4:45 am
    Mr. Kennedy thinks his choice to be unemployed is an excuse for not covering the costs of his actions. Hopefully he'll figure out soon that the more he delays sentencing the higher his court fees will be. Get a job Mr. Kennedy.
  6. gldngrn
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    gldngrn - May 30, 2013 8:34 pm
    What is this "second offense" you speak of, Mr. Quigley?
  7. Matthew Quigley
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    Matthew Quigley - May 30, 2013 2:17 pm
    This is someone who has twice, made very poor choices. The fact that this is his second offense, that he apparently didn't learn anything after he broke the law the first time should be an aggravating factor in his sentencing. Any community service should not include placing him in an environment with others who could be influenced into making poor decisions. "A double major at NAU"? Perhaps Mr. Kennedy should consider taking a course in "Constructive Life Choices 101". Just a suggestion.
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