Betty Krawczyk was sentenced to 10 months in prison today for her involvement in protests against highway expansion at Eagleridge Bluffs. When observers of the proceedings attempted to ask questions about the extraordinary security measures in place, the court security responded by locking down the courts for almost two hours.
Hundreds of people had shown up well before the 9 AM start time for the hearing. Many were angry that Krawczyk was being sentenced by the same judge who had recently sentenced Harriet Nahanee. Nahanee died from pneumonia which she may have picked up while in jail.
Courtroom security decided to implement extraordinary security measures, checking bags, refusing entry to those with bags and even doing prolonged inspections of bicycle helmets. These security measures had not been in place for any other trail involving Eagleridge Bluff protesters.
By slowing the process for people entering the courtroom, less than one third of the observers were able to get into the courtroom before the sentence was passed.
When Krawczyk's supporters asked members of the sherrif's department why they public was not allowed full access to the hearing, they were told to go to an office in the
A short while later these supporters re-entered the law courts building and headed toward the office they had been told to visit. However, security forcibly prevented them
from entering the office and formed a blockade in front of the
offices. The supporters sat down waiting to talk with someone about
lack of public access to the courts. In response, the law courts
security decided to lock down parts of the court preventing everyone
except lawyers from entering.
They kept the lock down in place for about two hours. At the that time an injunction was read to the
supporters sitting in the building foyer. Most chose to leave but
two were arrested.