Thousands Rally in “Global Frackdown”
Saturday people from all over the world hosted events to ban fracking. From New York, Raleigh, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and San Francisco, across the U.S. to Cape Breton (Nova Scotia), to Capetown (South Africa), and in Europe, people gathered to protect human health and the environment from the risks associated with fracking. Global Frackdown is the first coordinated international day of action against fracking that united activists on five continents at more than 150 events calling for a ban on fracking in their communities and to advocate for the development of clean, sustainable energy solutions.
“The events taking place around the world as part of the Global Frackdown prove that people are tired of the lies from big oil and gas,” said Jim Dean, chair of Democracy for America. “Time and again, studies prove fracking is unsafe—for our communities, our families and our country. We’ve learned our lessons from Love Canal and the Horizon oil spill—when money is involved, corporations lie to the people to keep their profits up. It’s time to end the lies.”
“This past summer, we’ve gotten one stark reminder after another of the human and economic costs of a climate system starting to spiral out of control,” said Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth. “Substituting one bad fossil for another doesn’t solve the climate crisis. But the good news is that communities all over the world aren’t buying what the oil and gas industry is selling—more extreme energy fueling more extreme weather. They’re organizing inspiring actions all over the world to turn up the heat on the fossil fuel industry and its bought-and-paid-for political cronies.”
At the Cincinnati Frackdown in Ohio, the people met in Piatt Park to hear speakers and take action on the local, state and federal levels. Speakers conveyed the need to be good stewards of the Earth, frustration with state laws that make it difficult for local communities to protect human health and safety, and the need for a statewide ban on fracking. After the rally, protestors marched to Cincinnati City Hall to recognize the strong stand Cincinnati has taken against fracking.
Photos are still coming in from this tremendous day of action across the globe to ban fracking.
1,000 Protesters in Philly for Shale Gas Outrage
More than 1,000 people from Pennsylvania and the shale regions of neighboring New York, Ohio, West Virginia and beyond, along with downstreamers from Maryland and Delaware, joined together to protest the Marcellus Shale Coalition’s industry convention in downtown Philadelphia on September 20, making a unified statement to “Stop Fracking Now.”
This Shale Gas Outrage was led by Protecting Our Waters and endorsed by more than 45 organizations, all calling for a moratorium on shale gas development wherever it is occurring.
A boisterous march through Philadelphia streets followed the high-energy rally. Marchers stopped at four locations to bring the message of Stop Fracking Now. At President Barack Obama’s election campaign headquarters, marchers demanded “Not One More Drop” be withdrawn from the Susquehanna River for fracking. President Obama votes through the Army Corps of Engineers on the Susquehanna and Delaware River Basin Commissions. Marchers also demanded sustainable, clean energy instead of shale gas and fossil fuels. Marchers confronted PNC Bank (heavily invested in shale gas development and mountaintop removal), Governor Tom Corbett’s office (for a statewide moratorium and to stop polluting our communities and environment) and the PA Chamber of Commerce (which has opposed regulating greenhouse gas emissions and aggressively promotes shale gas exports overseas).
Speakers included Josh Fox, Bill McKibben, Maya van Rossum, Sandra Steingraber, Stephen Cleghorn, Stewart Acuff, Wes Gillingham, John Scorsone, Wenonah Hauter and Doug Shields. Members of Pennsylvania communities impacted by gas extraction and development also had the chance to speak at the rally, including Tammy Manning and her granddaughter Madison from Susquehanna County; farmers Carol French and Carolyn Knapp from Bradford County; Craig Stevens of Susquehanna County; Mary Rodriguez, a nurse from Luzerne County, and Kevin Heatley, an ecologist from Lycoming County also spoke at the rally. Musical talent contributed to the day, including Rhetta Morgan, singer from Philadelphia; Spiritchild from Brooklyn; singer song writer Zach Freidhof, and Pennsylvania guitarist Freebo.
Two of the speakers verged on tears as they described the hardships and losses their families have suffered due to the rush to drill. Bradford County dairy farmer Carol French explained in her talk about her daughter who experienced abdominal pain and an enlarged spleen and liver after their water was fouled by shale gas drilling.
“The nearest wellpad was 4,000 feet from my house. After my family’s water became saturated with methane, officials told us not to use the kitchen stove because it could cause a flash fire… My granddaughter began vomiting, and only got better after they brought us a water buffalo [tank for clean water],” said Tammy Manning, one of many speakers whose lives have been turned upside down by gas drilling.
On Friday, September 21, participants attended the Health Impacts Symposium at College of Physicians of Philadelphia, 19. S. 22nd St., Philadelphia, PA.
Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.