Vera Scroggins is, once again, demonstrating her contempt for the peace of her neighbors and, this time, may be in contempt of court, too.
We’ve monitored the Vera Scroggins trespassing case with great interest here, knowing how she has recklessly endangered others and disrupted the peace of the community where she resides in her dogged pursuit for attention. She has bamboozled more New York State politicians and newspaper reporters than anyone as she has conducted her gas field tours business in the backyards of her neighbors, all the while doing her golden girl activist schtick to great effect among those with politically correct templates.
Local reporters long ago realized who Vera Scroggins really was and stopped taking the bait (if they ever did) but she still managed to gain the sympathy of reporters such as Suzanne Goldenberg at the Guardian who, more or less, bought her fake story about being denied access to her doctor and having to search court records to learn where she could shop, even as Scroggins had in hand papers making it clear she didn’t need to do so. Something’s happened though. The Vera schtick may have crescendoed if the latest story by Suzanne Goldenberg is any indication.
Our friend Doug Berkley saw it first and Tweeted out “She’s far from peaceful & defied court orders: Anti-#fracking activist faces fines/jail time,” causing me to read Goldenberg’s new piece in the Guardian. What I immediately noticed was a big change in tone. This was a mostly factual story that spelled out why Vera Scroggins may have crossed a line. Scroggins crossed it long ago, of course, but to read a story, from the same reporter who helped perpetuate the myth of her being denied medical care, that now acknowledges she may have gone too far is a gigantic leap in the world of dealing with media bias.
Still, Goldenberg can’t quite surrender her bias. Here are some self-explanatory excerpts from the latest Goldenberg story (emphasis added):
An oil and gas company is seeking fines and jail time for a peaceful anti-fracking activist in Pennsylvania, according to court documents.
In a motion filed this week, lawyers for Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation, one of the biggest operators in Pennsylvania, asked the Susquehanna County court to find longtime activist Vera Scroggins in contempt of an injunction barring her from areas near its well sites.
The row between Cabot and Scroggins became notorious in environmental and human rights circles after the company sought last year to ban the activist from an area of about 310 sq miles (803 sq km) – or about half the entire county. The scope of that ban was later reduced.
In the latest legal move, lawyers for Cabot argued that Scroggins showed “blatant disregard” for the ban when she escorted a Green Party politician and others on a tour of rural areas subject to heavy drilling.
The lawyers noted a contempt finding against Scroggins could trigger fines and jail time.
“Ms Scroggins may be subject to the following penalties for violating this court’s order: (i) fines; (ii) assessment of attorney fees; and/or (iii) incarceration”, the lawyers wrote.
The lawyers go on to demand Scroggins pay Cabot’s legal costs and attorney fees.
Included in the motion are photographs of Scroggins and other activists standing on a roadside which, Cabot alleged, was within 100ft (3om) of an access road leading to one of its wells in Dimock, Pennsylvania. An injunction in force since last March bars Scroggins from approaching within 100ft of access roads – even if she is standing on a public road, or on a homeowners’ private land.
Scroggins is well-known locally in Pennsylvania’s gas lands after making it her mission to conduct tours of heavily drilled areas in the countryside.
She has continued the tours, despite the injunction and despite being regularly photographed by security contractors for Cabot as she goes about her rounds. “If they see me, they always take pictures,” she said. “Every week.”
But Scroggins said she was not in violation of the injunction. “I would say no,” she said.
George Stark, a Cabot spokesman, said in an email that the company was acting on safety concerns. “Cabot is forced to take action because Ms Scroggins continues to defy a court order designed to protect her and others, including members of the public. Her actions are a direct violation of the court’s standing order,” he wrote.
“Cabot fully believes she understands the order, but has chosen to disregard the judicial system and the rights of neighbors and private property owners … Cabot respects Ms Scroggins’ right to free speech, but we also respect the court order and will act to enforce it. Nothing in the order restricts Ms Scroggins’ free speech.”
One is forced to question, as did Doug Berkley, what part of “peaceful” Suzanne Goldenberg doesn’t understand if she thinks an individual determined to block fire exits in a movie theater and invades other people’s property fits the bill. And, what’s this nonsense about “human rights groups” anyway? Yet, one cannot read the article without realizing the truth may finally be starting to descend upon Goldenberg: that Vera Scroggins deliberatively disturbs the peace by taking reckless actions intended to fill her pockets with sweet notoriety and loose cash from the money she charges for her tours.
One can sense in the report that Goldenberg is asking herself why Vera Scroggins would be so stupid as to violate a court injunction. It is, after all, one thing to take on Cabot and another to thumb your nose at the courts who have the power to jail you. Any reporter around as long as Goldenberg knows that much at least. Everyone in Susquehanna County knows why, of course; because Scroggins believes Goldenberg will make her a martyr if she goes to jail and no one wants martyrdom more than Vera Scroggins. It’s the purpose of her existence, the only thing that will satisfy her intense craving for attention, her real “mission.” That’s why she’s perpetually in contempt of peace, if not the court.
The only question is whether Goldenberg will play her designated role in Vera’s script. My guess is that she’d love to do it, but is having second thoughts about now. She should be.