Email received September 7, 1:30 AM Colorado time, ten hours after the dumpster divers were notified of their release:
I admire your conviction to stand up for the two gentlemen recently imprisoned in Steamboat. However, I do feel that you have not accurately portrayed some of the information regarding this case on http://groups.yahoo.com/group/coloradofreedom.
You state "hunger is not a crime" which I whole-heartedly agree with. But I DO NOT feel that having close to $500 cash between the two men qualifies them into the "hunger" category that you speak of. You also state on the site that "all the stores in Steamboat Springs, Colorado were closed." These men were arrested roughly 8:30 pm. I live in Steamboat, the stores were NOT closed. As a matter of fact both of the grocery stores were open until 10pm on the night in question. Not to mention that Sweet Pea Market shares space with Sunpies that has inexpensive sandwhiches (roughly $4) and is open late because it is also an outside bar. There are over 75 restaurants in Steamboat to choose from and they had a car and easy access to any one of them with $500 cash in hand.
In my opinion, your discredit your site because of inaccurate representation of the facts. That is an injustice itself. If you are going to rally people around your cause, shouldn't you provide them with most accurate informtaion that you possibly can.
The only true fact in this case as I see it is that these gentlemen made a very poor decision to jump the fence and put themselves in the situation in the first place. I do feel that the 6 month sentence seems a bit excessive, BUT they still had an opportunity to plead NOT GUILTY, noone forced them to choose that sentence. As a person that has had an "innocent" run-in with law enforcement in the past, I have learned you should not put yourself in a compromising position that calls you into question in the first place.
I challenge you to correct the misinformation on your site and allow the public to make a more informed decision whether to support your cause and sign the petition.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Thank you for your thoughts.
I have some questions for you.
If it is in the newspapers, is it then true? Or is it perhaps someone's spin?
(Well, it could be either. But sometimes it is all we have to go by.)
Every "fact" stated on the Colorado Freedom website comes from the newspapers. There are newspaper articles across the country saying that all the stores were closed. At the time these were published, not one (that i saw) mentioned money in the pocket.
If you were watching my website, you would have noticed that i corrected one particular fact as soon as more information came to light. It states,
Giles Charle of Somersworth New Hampshire and David Siller of Wayne Pennsylvania needed food, but most of the stores in Steamboat Springs, Colorado were closed.
It has stated this since the first moment i learned the "fact" of all the stores being closed was disputed. Unfortunately, there is no mechanism for changing the wording of the petition. This is because it would be unethical to change wording of a petition that people have already signed.
Who do you think told the truth between the District Attorney's office, and the owner of Sweet Pea Produce? One said there was a burglary, the other has said repeatedly, in comments linked from my web page, that there was no burglary.
Where is truth, when a District Attorney is forced to end an ill-gotten sentence? The two dumpster divers are out. The world now believes they never broke into the store, mostly because the owners of the store assert this as fact. Only the District Attorney and the [captain] of police still assert that they broke in. Which is true?
And look at the situation right now. Two men who were in jail are released, having served seven days out of 180 of their sentence. If we accept what most of the world believes as truth, they probably should never have been in jail in the first place.
"Truth" is a commodity that is parlayed into dollars in this society. The wealthy can easily buy their own truth, and the poor cannot get enough of it. But that is the case only for those of us who work for a living and sometimes must choose between health care and food.
As concepts go, i think "justice" is also worthy of your consideration. Shall we have a conversation about what is just, in a society of astonishing affluence and unmitigated poverty?