Trespassing Charges Dropped Against Ithaca Chase Bank Protesters

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ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – Charges of criminal trespassing were dismissed against all eight defendants involved in a recent protest that shut down a branch of Chase Bank in Ithaca.

The charges were dismissed due to a lack of evidence to identify each person individually and link them to any specific crime.

Celia Clarke/WSKG

Members of Extinction Rebellion Ithaca. February 26, 2020. (L-R: Alexander Mora, Ellen Grady, Todd Saddler, Sabrina Johnston, Alisa Morrisey, Deborah Pittman, John Burger, Arthur Weaver. (Celia Clarke/WSKG)

The group was arrested on February 13th. The bank sit-in was part of two days of actions in support of the Wet’suwet’en peoples’ protests against the construction of a natural gas pipeline across their territory in western Canada.

Arthur Weaver was one of the protesters and part of Extinction Rebellion Ithaca. The group said it occupied the bank to protest its investment in the fossil fuel industry.

“Our Earth is dying and unless those of us who have privilege get out there and make the emergency known and it’s not only a climate emergency,” said Weaver.

He added that despite his arrest he plans to continue participating in non-violent civil disobedience actions.

“We’re going to keep trying to raise awareness of the climate and ecological crisis,” Weaver said.

Weaver said Chase Bank’s parent company, JP Morgan Chase, is not the only bank that needs to divest from the fossil fuel industry. He said the U.S. government has more to do to end the climate crisis. 

All but one of those arraigned are members of the group.