June 27, 2012
A MESSAGE TO OUR FRIENDS AND ALLIES
The Coalition to Protect New York was well represented in today’s grassroots action at the offices of Talisman Energy, Inc., in Big Flats, New York. Members of CPNY and at least 29 affiliated or allied organizations joined with Shaleshock Direct Action Alliance to tell the behemoth fracking corporation, which has been cited with 300 violations while fracking just 200 wells in Pennsylvania, that the people of the Southern Tier and all of New York will not be fracked.
Led by young activists from Shaleshock Direct Action Alliance, some 115 people from the five “sacrifice zone” counties of Chemung, Chenango, Broome, Tioga, and Steuben, joined by allies from nearly a dozen other counties around New York State, held a peaceful rally and songfest at Talisman’s regional headquarters. Several people from the region, including a nine-year-old girl named Fenya, spoke, and poetry and song rounded out the day.
The message was simple: We will not allow fracking here. We cannot. This is our lives you are playing with, Talisman and your cronies. We will not step aside so you can come in and destroy everything we care about. This is just the beginning of a summer full of actions that will make it clear we are willing to put our bodies on the line to protect our water, air, food supply, properties, and quality of life.
Each speaker was greeted with enthusiastic applause. Not surprisingly to many in the crowd, someone in authority at Talisman hustled all the employees into a center section of the building, telling them “not to look at those people [us] outside.” There they huddled throughout the 45-minute peaceful protest, not to be seen again.
We can only surmise that, much like Governor Cuomo, who refused to face the grassroots who gathered to greet him with a similar message in Corning on April 27, the Talisman people were too chicken to face us, look us in the eye, and tell us they’re planning to frack us no matter what we want or how much we will be harmed by this foul and vile industry.
Our retort: No matter how rich and powerful you are, you are waging war on us and our families. We will fight you to the end, and we will win. Because this is a moral and ethical issue as well as a personal one. There will be no fracking in New York State. This is not negotiable.
Our heartfelt thanks go out to the organizers (You Rock!) and to all who joined today (Antifracktivists are the best people in the world).
Please let’s keep each other informed about upcoming actions. We’ll let you know about ours and hope we will all support each other’s efforts. We are all in this together!
Groups we counted today (let us know if we missed yours, and forgive us!):
BACK TO DEMOCRACY
CITY of BINGHAMTON AGAINST FRACKING
COALITION to PROTECT NEW YORK
COMMITTEE to PRESERVE the FINGER LAKES
CONCERNED CITIZENS of ALLEGANY COUNTY
CONCERNED CITIZENS of CHENANGO COUNTY
CONCERNED CITIZENS of ULYSSES
DRYDEN RESOURCE AWARENESS COALITION
ENSAW (ENFIELD NEIGHBORS for SAFE AIR and WATER)
FRACK FREE GENESEE
FRACK FREE NEW YORK
FRACK FREE NATION
GAS DRILLING AWARENESS of CORTLAND COUNTY
GAS FREE SENECA
NEW YORKERS AGAINST FRACKING
PEOPLE for a HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT, INC.
PHYSICIANS, SCIENTISTS and ENGINEERS for HEALTHY ENERGY
RAFT (RESIDENTS AGAINST FRACKING TIOGA [NY])
ROUSE (RESIDENTS OPPOSING UNSAFE SHALE-GAS EXTRACTION)
SAVE S-VE (SPENCER-VAN ETTEN)
SHALESHOCK ACTION ALLIANCE
SHALESHOCK DIRECT ACTION ALLIANCE
SOVEREIGN PEOPLE’S ACTION NETWORK
VeRSE (VESTAL RESIDENTS for SAFE ENERGY)
WALK ABOUT WATER
CONTACT: Maura Stephens, Maura@coalitiontoprotectnewyork.org, 607-351-3766