An Oregon man sent to prison for collecting rainwater on his own property began the first day of his jail sentence with a warning that the American people need to stand up to a government that is operating completely outside the boundaries of common sense unless they wish to see liberty vanish.
After an 11-year battle with the state of Oregon, landowner Gary Harrington was found guilty under a 1925 law and sentenced to spend 30 days in jail for collecting rainwater in three “illegal reservoirs” despite the fact that they are on his property.
After refusing to follow an order to empty the “reservoirs” (which in reality are little more than large ponds), Harrington decided to follow through with the jail sentence as an example to other Americans as to how far the country has slipped from its constitutional values.
Harrington’s case has become a cause célèbre for Americans sick to the back teeth of big government interfering in property rights.
Flanked by protesters gathered outside of the Jackson County (Ore.) Jail, Harrington said he loved his country and was willing to go to jail “to get the truth out and restore freedom and common sense in America.”
Accusing Oregon state officials of failing to uphold their oath of office and pledge of allegiance, Harrington pointed out that citizens did not consent to be governed by those who fail to understand the rights enshrined in the constitution, adding that officials did not take into account the “historically understood” legal right to collect rain water during wet season.
Harrington pointed out that the state had broken their own law by issuing permits to individuals allowing them to divert water from public supplies, whereas Harrington was merely collecting rainwater that fell on his own property and was not taken from municipal supplies.