Anti-Fracking Activist Fights Trespass Charges Over Light Display in Boulder

On the evening of November 7th 2017, David Paul and a group of anti-fracking activists, the Boulder Protectors, gathered outside the Boulder Theater where a celebration was happening to mark 50 years of the county’s open space program.



“We were out in front of the theater to educate the public in Boulder and Boulder County that oil and gas fracking is not only coming to Boulder County, but that open space is at risk. Our treasured open space that we’ve been collecting and gathering for 50 years.”

Crestone Resources plans to drill within 12 square miles between Lafayette and Longmont, near U.S. 287 and Colo. 52.

Paul and the other activists used a theater spotlight to project “Ban Fracking” and a skull and crossbones image on the county courthouse. “It was not a sign that was attached to the building, it did no damage to the building. The light projection was there to educate the public and it harmed nobody. It harmed no person, it harmed no animal, it harmed no eco-system, unlike fracking.”

County Attorney Ben Pearlman, who was attending the event at the Boulder Theater, asked the police to have the protestors take down the projection. When Paul refused to do so, he was ultimately charged with trespass. “For me that felt like the Boulder County attorney and the Boulder County government starting to create sanctions for the Boulder Protectors who are peaceful protestors.”

David Paul pleaded not guilty in court on Monday December 11th. His attorney has filed a motion to dismiss the case. The city’s attorney must file a response, that is due by Friday, so a decision on whether or not to dismiss the case should come within a week. If the case is not dismissed, there will be a jury trial on February 15th.