Civil Disobedience, by Mollee Francisco

From the Chaska Herald, September 16, 2011. Full story here.

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Gary and Nancy Haaheim knew it was only a matter of time before their son Justin was arrested. When it finally happened on Aug. 31, they marked the occasion by sending out a press release.

?Honestly, I couldn?t be prouder,? said mom Nancy in a phone interview.

Nancy?s reaction might not be the typical parent?s reaction to news of their child?s arrest, but the Haaheims stand behind their son completely.

Justin, 27, a 2002 Chaska High School graduate, was one of 1,252 people arrested in front of the White House in Washington, D.C. as part of a two-week sit-in by Tar Sands Action of TransCanada?s Keystone XL pipeline project.

?This is the third time I?ve risked arrest,? explained Justin, noting that while their protest was peaceful, stationing themselves in front of the White House is against the law. (?You have to keep moving,? he said.) Haaheim was not formally charged with a crime.

Arrests are all part of a carefully orchestrated strategy designed to attract attention to a cause. ?People turn to civil disobedience when they feel like they?ve worked through all the other channels available,? he said.

Justin works as a community clean energy organizer at Clean Water Action in Hartford, Conn. and is both the Connecticut regional coordinator at?350.org?and lead organizer for New Haven environmental group?ActNH.org. He graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in 2006 and went on to receive his Master?s Degree in environmental ethics and philosophy from Yale Divinity School in 2010.

?This is basically his life,? said father Gary in a phone interview.

?He?s quite passionate,? agreed Nancy. ?The more research he does, the more passionate he gets.?

?I have a deep sense of importance for what I do,? said Justin.

Read more:?Chaska Herald – Civil disobedience


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