Monday, March 4, 2013

Resistance on Both Sides of the River

occupy the pipeline NJ


The resistance in Milford, PA was joined today by a group of land defenders in northern New Jersey!  Early in the morning on March 4th seven activists from Ringwood, NJ occupied the mile and a half of intact forest in the pipeline right of way, set up a banner and declared that patch of forest the “Last Stand.”  By 7:30 AM tree cutting crews arrived, and left after seeing the activist encampment.  The community members left the forest after dark, and no trees were felled today. 

Ruth Adams, a retired teacher and librarian from West Milford, NJ has come for her appreciation of the park, and also in opposition to fracking and natural gas extraction.  After more than fifty years working on local conservation projects, the pipeline expansion is contributing to something that Ruth says is “ruining the lives of countless families throughout the country, including here in Pennsylvania.”  In West Milford, NJ the Mayor opposes the project, and wasn’t notified until the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission had already made their final decision.  “The Tennessee Gas Pipeline is tearing through communities without the consent of any of the residents who are being impacted,” said Erica Panek, a landscaper and arborist from Vernon, NJ.  

Jerome Wagner, an engineer from Wayne, NJ said that through his involvement in the previous stages of opposition to the project, he now realizes that “physically standing in the path of the work is the only way left for me . . . because there is no Planet B for us.”

In addition to the continued occupation of the “Last Stand” there is also a solidarity march and pipeline teach-in.  The solidarity march begins at the Ramapo College Student Center at 9:30 AM on March 5th, and continues a quarter mile to the teach-in located at the main entrance of the Ramapo County Reservation.  This is the location of the pipeline terminus in Mahwah, NJ.  The teach-in is intended to help local New Jersey residents understand how their struggle to preserve the landscape of their communities is linked to the struggles of other communities impacted by energy extraction.

Questions, or want to get involved in NJ actions?  Contact Matt Smith at 201-321-1967 or msmith@fwwatch.org
 

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