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Protestor Trial Begins 

Wayne Harvey

Day one of the jury trial of one of the Plum Creek protestors who interrupted a meeting of the Land Use Regulation Commission meeting in September.Dozens of protestors held up signs across the street from the courthouse for about an hour before the trial began, requesting that the charges be dropped against Christian ” Will” Neils .”We feel that when Will is charged by a jury of his peers that will be very unlikely that he’ll be proven guilty because he was voicing his opinion to an undemocratic process so we hope that will be heard by the public,” said Meg Gilmartin of Maine Earth First.Neils is facing charges of resisting arrest, having a concealed weapon, and disorderly conduct.Those charges stem from a meeting when six protestors were arrested for interrupting a LURC meeting about the Plum Creek proposal for development of the Moosehead Lake Region. The other five had their charges dropped.”His goal was to gain attention from the media that was present in the room, to make his statement,” said Penobscot County Deputy District Attorney Mike Roberts. ” And he used those officers to get that attention by resisting them and by shouting in a loud voice and in a disorderly manner.”Defense Attorney Lenny Sharon said Neils was at the meeting not to be a part of the protest, but he was there for another reason. “His role was to be the police liaison, his role was to make sure the police understood why they were there, his role was to make sure everything went smoothly for all concerned.”The trial is expected to wrap up Tuesday.