Just in case you’ve been as worried as I’ve been about activist Diane Wilson, I’m pleased to tell you that she’s footloose and fancy-free!
For those who don’t know, Diane was arrested twice in Washington DC this June for protesting the government’s failure to adequately respond to the BP fiasco. Basically, she yelled at Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, during a Senate committee meeting, “We’re tired of being dumped on in the Gulf!” And she yelled at former BP CEO Tony Hayward, during a House hearing, “You ought to be charged with a crime!”
And even though it would be really hard to find many people who don’t agree with those statements, in the weird moment in which we live, actually standing up and shouting them counts as a crime.
(And I want to stress that Diane is a fourth-generation shrimper from South Texas, whose livelihood has been utterly wiped out by Big Oil. So in my mind, she’s got a right to shout whatever the hell she wants.)
Anyway, those two arrests could have earned Wilson up to TWO YEARS in prison! But blessedly, the judge let her off. He said that if she doesn’t get arrested for nine months, they’ll drop the charges.
For those who know Wilson, that’s not particularly reassuring. Because, for Wilson, protesting and speaking out are almost biological functions: Eat, Sleep, Protest.
So, we’ll all have to keep our fingers crossed! But, at least for the moment, Diane Wilson is FREE!!!