Activists draw a line in the sand in the fight against fracking (Photo originally posted here)
On Saturday, May 19th, participants in the Occupy Well Street campaign against fracking are calling for a Day of Direct Action Against Extraction. We invite all who are opposed to the widespread use of energy extraction methods such as hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, mountaintop removal coal mining, and tar sands oil distillation to take creative, public direct action at local or regional points of production in these industries. All who participate are encouraged to employ a wide spectrum of tactics that appeal to their experience and comfort level, such as handing out literature, arranging speaking events, orchestrating colorful street theater, or taking up space by creative means.
Why a Day of Action? We have many reasons: We are tired of our communities being divided and conquered by gas corporations in pursuit of ever higher profits. The water that flows through our bioregion is being sold off for fracking as fast as those granted responsibility for our rivers and watersheds can rubber stamp withdrawal permits. Despite promises of gas drilling and fracking operations creating a surplus of local and regional jobs, our region is teeming with highly paid out of state rigworkers, engineers and other “specialists”, while the local jobs largely consist of temporary truck driving and dangerous “roustabout” positions. We are being lied to and manipulated, but we refuse to be passive participants in these destructive activities.
While there are many differences between fracking, mountaintop removal coal mining and the tar sands megaprojects, they are all too similar in their effects on the health of human and animal communities. Countless trucks clog the roads, the air fills with pollutants, the water becomes undrinkable, land and forests are cleared, and communities suffer from conflict and illness.
One of the main goals of the Occupy Well Street campaign is to create solidarity among all those resisting energy extraction. Our communities may be separated geographically, but voices and actions can offer effective support between regions and allow us to continue sustaining our struggles against extraction. We must communicate within and between movements, share information and knowledge, and support each others’ efforts in order to grow and evolve.
The last place the gas companies want concerned community members to show up is at their fracking sites, pipeline projects, compressor stations, water withdrawal sites, and other important facilities. The points of production are where the physical damage occurs, and we invite you to join us in throwing a wrench in the gears on May 19th!
What have participants in the Occupy Well Street campaign been up to? Groups have picketed active fracking sites, blocked industry truck traffic, drawn attention to water withdrawal sites hidden in plain view, held industry analysts and “reporters” accountable in public meetings, and distributed literature at pro-industry events. Occupy Well Street is committed to finding common ground between all those fighting extraction industries, and networking is ongoing. Stay tuned for more news soon!