NH Activists in Action: West Roxbury, MA
NH SUPPORTING FRIENDS IN MA WHO SUPPORTED US
How do you repay nearly two years of friendship and support in your most desperate time of need? You try to get arrested.
NED pipeline opponents Sue Durling of Winchester, Pat Martin and Gail DuFresne of Rindge, spent Tuesday supporting residents in the Spectra pipeline construction zone. Now that the NED pipeline has been withdrawn, the three are willing to risk arrest to stop work at the Roxbury, MA construction site.
"The point of us going was to give the locals a break. They are out there every day. One of the slogans is #StandWithMary for Mary Boyle who stands a vigil 6 mornings per week." says Pat Martin of Rindge.
While some activists risk arrest, others document the action by taking photos and video, keep track of where arrested activists are being taken (sometimes multiple jails), have their personal information and belongings, make sure they are safe, sing, chant, bear witness during the action, and more.
Demonstrations take place at an active site while work is going on. In West Roxbury, that's 6 days a week. Activists engaged in civil disobedience disrupt the work day, making the project more costly. It’s one tactic used to discourage fossil fuel infrastructure projects. No one from the group was arrested this time, but their presence caused work to cease for 45 minutes. Mission accomplished.
When the NED pipeline was re-routed into New Hampshire, MA activists came to the rescue providing nearly 2 years of full time support and guidance. Now NH activists are returning the favor, lending their support.
ECHO Action’s “Roaring Brook” affinity group received civil disobedience training this spring. The NED pipeline may be withdrawn, but pipeline opposition continues while they promote energy efficiency, renewables, a ban on fracking and climate action.
Gail DuFresne felt inspired by her first civil disobedience action. "It was uplifting to see so many people working in harmony with each other for one common goal...to shut down the Spectra pipeline....raising awareness throughout the community of the seriousness of our climate changes."
The combined actions of fractivists in New England, the United States and globally has risen dramatically, leading to increased pressure on legislators to ban fracking. The process forces clean, potable water, combined with toxic chemicals (many of which are trade secrets), into the ground to extract so-called natural gas.
Nations around the world have concerns about fracking and some have already banned the process. Fracking is a prominent issue presidential candidates have been faced with during the 2016 election season. So far, there has been no movement on the issue from either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, the anticipated Democratic and Republican party nominees.
Sue Durling stated that MA pipeline opponents, "came to us as soon as the pipeline was pushed North and started helping. I am feeling excited that we get to help them. If we all keep touching new lives and reaching out and helping each other, maybe we will have a room in the world left to give to our children."
Concerns about fracking and it's effect on water, air, health and climate, will be key in the climate march in Philadelphia at the end of July, during the Democratic National Convention. As a part of what is being called "Escalation Summer", ECHO Action members plan to attend the "March for a Clean Energy Revolution", expected to bring thousands to the City of Brotherly Love.
For more photos of this event and others, visit our gallery!
Karen, Pat, Gail and Sue
Thank you Pat Martin and Sue Durling for the photos!