REVEREND BILLY FACES ONE YEAR IN JAIL, ASKS FOR PETITION SIGNATURES.
  • Petitioned District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.

This petition was delivered to:

NYC District Attorney's Office
District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.

REVEREND BILLY FACES ONE YEAR IN JAIL, ASKS FOR PETITION SIGNATURES.

    1. Petition by

      Friends of the Church of Stop Shopping

"EXTINCTION SERMON" IN CHASE BANK LOBBY GETS REV AND MUSICIAN NEHEMIAH LUCKETT CHARGES OF "RIOT" AND "MENACE."

On a Thursday afternoon last month, a dozen singing activists from the Church of Stop Shopping in NYC performed in the role of extinct Golden Toads in a "wealth management bank" of JPMorgan Chase at 56th and 6th in Manhattan. The dancing, singing toads offered bank workers and customers information sheets about the impact of Chase investments on the environment. 

Reverend Billy Talen and the music director of the Stop Shopping Choir, Nehemiah Luckett, were arrested minutes later on a subway platform. The two were charged with riot in the second degree, menacing in the third degree, unlawful assembly, and two counts of disorderly conduct. The DA's office requested one year in prison for "this criminal stunt." But Atty. Wylie Stecklow, defending the two activists, insisted that the "15 minutes of performance art about the Earth's crisis" was well within "expressive political activity" protected by the 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution. The lawyers went back and forth: "Art!" "Crime!" "Art!" "Crime!" "Art!" 

The Church of Stop Shopping, - a activist collective of musicians and other artists uses the research from BankTrack.Org of the Netherlands and the World Development Movement based in London to show that Chase Bank is a top financier of extractive fossil projects, responsible for more CO2 emissions release than any other institution, with the possible exception of the Chinese Communist Party.  The church believes that we must reach out to the workers within the fossil fuel cartel if change is to come. 

Show support for the Rev and Nehemiah by signing this petition, which will be presented to the court on December 9th.  The Stop Shopping Choir, with (hopefully) Reverend Billy preaching and Nehemiah at the piano - opens a series of performances Nov. 24 through Dec 22 at Joe's Pub at the Public Theater in New York.

with thanks,

Rev & Nehemiah and Friends of the Stop Shopping Church

Recent signatures

    News

    1. The DA decided our "Riot" is actually a "Musical Presentation"

      Dear Friends,

      Today, Earthalujah! we celebrate a victory -- with an improbable turn of events. The New York District Attorney dropped charges of Riot and Menacing against me and Nehemiah. We still face charges of Trespass, but the threat of one year jail is gone. Upon viewing the actual evidence, the District Attorney decided our "Riot" is actually a "Musical Presentation." Well, the extinct Golden Toads who sang inside Chase that day …we are touched.

      Our legal struggle continues. Our attorneys filed motions to dismiss all the Trespass charges in the interest of justice. Our next hearing is on February 27th, 2014.

      Many of you gave money and signed the petition, which was presented in court on Monday. You are climate activists with us. Our New Year’s resolution to you, ourselves and our children (not to mention the life forms all around us) is to defend our First Amendment rights and expand our Earth Cry throughout the land.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-zka33sZwQ&feature=y

    2. Reached 12,500 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Michael Binkley BROOKLYN, NY
      • about 1 month ago

      because we live in a free society. This is not Russia.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Jane King DAVIS, CA
      • 4 months ago

      The earth is our mother!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Joyce Schneider ASHLEY FALLS, MA
      • 4 months ago

      Reverend Billy has found a nonviolent and artistic way to address important current issues. This should not be considered criminal.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Gloria Justen SAN FRANCISCO, CA
      • 4 months ago

      Peaceful protest is not a crime! Apparently the content of their message struck a nerve.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Mariel Morison BLUE LAKE, CA
      • 4 months ago

      Someone has to speak up about the banks' role in global climate change. This man has the guts to do it.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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