The problem. We the People have witnessed the erosion of our inherent right to determine how our communities will be governed and evolve. The denial of the rights of individuals and communities is readily manifest in current efforts to force the damaging processes of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and its related industries and infrastructures on our communities.
Vision. We envision a New York State where people have genuine governing authority to say NO to anything, such as fracking and related industrial activities, that will harm our health and welfare, our community, and the natural world it inhabits, and to say YES to that which we believe promotes the health and vibrancy of our land, our resources, and our selves.
Mission. To create an environment in which we claim the right to run a government truly of, for, and by the people. To together work against those corporations, organizations, governments, and regulatory agencies that operate with disregard for people and nature. Stopping fracking and its infrastructure and related industrial activities is our primary initial battle and represents the many barriers we must overcome to achieve our vision.
Terminology. “Fracking” is our word, chosen carefully, with deep understanding of the history and practice of the fossil-fuel industries. We use “fracking” to mean all the processes involved in exploring, developing, extracting, disposing, storing, and distributing shale gas (so-called “natural” gas) via unconventional drilling, and all related industrial activities. We use it secondarily but equally importantly to denote the “fracturing” of our health, environment, properties, communities, legislatures, media, justice system, rights, relationships, and way of life by those who would usurp and abrogate our rights.
We also do not use the term “natural” gas. The only natural state for gas (mostly methane) trapped within shale rock deep in the ground underlying us is to remain where it is. The term “natural,” like many other carefully chosen terms used by industry, is intended to give the false impression that shale gas is a benign and “clean, green” fuel, when in fact its extraction via fracking is likely as dirty as coal, as shown in non-industry-funded scientific studies.
Who we are. We are rural, urban, and suburban, and we live in Western, Central, and Southern Tier counties of New York State (see rough map). We are young, middle-aged, and elder. We are from all walks of life, professions, political persuasions, personal philosophies, and avocations. We are all volunteers. We are self-funded. We take no money or donations from political parties, corporations, or organizations of any kind. We are united in our vision (above) and in our shared values (below). We are determined to achieve our vision and clearly focused on our mission. We welcome new members and allies who share these goals, have energy to commit to furthering our necessary outcome, and agree with our overall strategy.
What we do. Research. Learn. Think. Strategize. Educate. Communicate. Inspire. Fight bad guys. Honor and enjoy Nature. Rally. Push. Foster energy conservation and renewable energy use. Engage.
Shared values. We are committed to building a society in which:
- Continued access to potable water, breathable air, secure food sources, and an unsullied natural environment is more valuable than the extraction of nonrenewable resources;
- Financial gain by a few individuals and businesses is not an acceptable trade-off for negatively affecting, contaminating, or degrading our health, environment, homes, food supply, small businesses, or quality of life;
- The human inhabitants of an environment are ethically responsible for the well-being of all other living creatures in that environment;
- People have an inherent right and obligation to refute and resist unreasonable imposed laws and any actions or inactions that threaten their health, safety, and well-being and those of future generations, as well as the natural world on which they rely for sustenance and survival;
- The lie of “corporate personhood” is ended and the people’s sovereignty is restored; and
- Public education is key in developing majority support for the above.
Collective Commitments. We resolve to:
- Stop fracking and related industries and infrastructures;
- Preserve and improve existing ecosystems rather than allowing their destruction for financial profit;
- Educate ourselves and our communities about the inherent dangers of current industry practices and ways to combat the erosion of our rights and threats to our quality of life;
- Consistently act toward building a broad-based, mass movement of people who are receptive to these values, goals, and strategies;
- Act for the mutual benefit of members of all communities, even though discussions and decisions may be charged with emotion and the dynamics around money;
- Emphasize our commitment to local organizing and education while remaining engaged in statewide, interstate, and international efforts;
- Move beyond the current structure of law and assist communities to establish the rights of self-protection from imposed threats;
- Provide leadership and support for building a movement to make fracking a felony crime in NYS;
- Live our values when choosing, purchasing, and using goods, services, and energy as much as possible given current strictures and structures that are set up to keep us dependent on fossil fuels;
- Act with integrity and a firm conviction that our vision is achievable.
The Plan. Public education, local ban laws, state law to make fracking a crime, and nonviolent creative action.
Educational Forums. We will conduct, sponsor, or cosponsor public education forums that focus on eliminating fracking and related infrastructure and all other corporate-state practices that abuse people’s rights and community health, safety, and longevity. These forums will be customized to audiences as determined by local organizers. Each forum will conclude with identified action steps that individual citizens and communities can consider taking.
Make Local Law. Each community has its own unique characteristics and culture. We champion the rights of each community to develop and implement law that protects and fosters that uniqueness and the health, safety, and well-being of its residents and nature in the ways that a community’s members decide are best for them. We will help municipalities to pass laws that will prohibit fracking and other practices that adversely affect residents, nature, and the resources on which their communities rely.
Outlaw Fracking by Making it a Crime. Deliberate poisoning of people and nature is criminal by any civilized standard. Thus we support NY Public Law No. 1, drafted by the people to criminalize fracking and related activities throughout the state. Making fracking a crime removes it from the regulatory system and places it within the criminal code, adding another layer of protection (although admittedly still within a broken and corrupted system). New York Public Law No. 1 validates our authority as We the People over elected representatives. Together we will build a powerful statewide movement with the goal of permanently outlawing fracking and related activities in and near New York State.
Our mission is accomplished by people who commit to involvement. You can get involved by signing on your local group, and joining us for our monthly meetings (last Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. generally held in centrally located southern Schuyler County) to learn more and take on some critically important tasks that best reflect your abilities and interests. If you are at a point in your life where circumstances don’t allow you time to devote to the hard work of being an antifracktivist, we would be grateful for your financial support (as long as you are an individual and not a corporation or organization or government or political entity of any kind). Click on the “Donate” button at right if you’d like to chip in. We are completely self funded, and we are all volunteers. Even our website is paid for out of pocket by devoted members, but we always appreciate help from friends!
We hope you will join us!