Happening Nearby: Supporters gather around Delta 5 before trial begins

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    Supporters surround the Delta 5 and offer words of courage before heading into the court room on Monday morning. (All photos by Natalie Covate)

    More than 100 people gathered in front of the South Snohomish County District Court in Lynnwood Monday to show their support for five activists who effectively blockaded an oil train for eight hours.

    The group calls themselves the “Delta 5.” They now face charges of trespass and blocking a train following the Sept. 2, 2014 protest at the BNSF Delta Yard in Everett.

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    Supporters begin gathering just before 8 a.m. on Monday morning outside the Lynnwood courthouse.

    Supporters gathered from near and far. At least one person came from Vermont. Two others came from Boston.

    Those in attendance had several reasons for coming.

    “I believe what they did was justified. I believe if things keep going the way they’re going, we’re heading toward climate disaster,” Diane Cortese, of north Seattle, said.

    “I believe in what they did,” Illeen Weber, of south Everett, said. “If I had the guts, I would have been out there with them.”

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    “We are all the Delta 5,” said Patrick Mazza, one of the members of the Delta 5, pictured on the left wearing a green jacket.

    Members of the Delta 5 thanked supporters for coming out.

    “The Seahawks have the 12th man, and you are our sixth fan,” said Liz Spoerri of the Delta 5.

    This is the first time a judge will allow a necessity defense because of the threat of climate change.

    Many supporters were interested in that defense.

    “In order to see change, we’re all going to need more civil disobedience,” Cortese said.

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    Members of the Delta 5 close their eyes and bow their heads as supporters offer words of courage.

    Monday, a jury was selected for the case. Opening arguments began at 1 p.m.

    -By Natalie Covate

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    Crowds prepare to enter the courtroom.

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