Telescope project protester faces court charges today

By Cara Miller

Arizona Daily Wildcat

At the stroke of 9 a.m. today, Abel Duffy will have his day in court.

In March, the 22-year-old New Mexico student climbed the Student Union Clock tower to protest the University of Arizona's involvement in the Mount Graham telescope project.

During the protest, Duffy, a member of the Southwest Student Environmental Action Coalition, hung banners saying "University of Extinction" and "No Scopes."

He stayed on the tower for six days and nine hours until Tucson Police and fire officials removed him with a "cherry picker," a metal basket and movable ladder attached to a fire truck.

Duffy faces charges of interfering with the peaceful conduct of an educational institution.

"I hope justice will be served. I take full responsibility for my actions," he said. "I am not trying to run away or avoid the responsibility."

Duffy also said he learned a lot from the experience.

"I was surprised to find that peole felt as powerless as they did," he said.

"People don't realize how powerful they can be in determining public policy," Duffy said.

Pima County Superior Court, 110 W. Congress, will be hearing Duffy's case today.

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