Wednesday, March 6, 2013

When Unlocking is a Victory

Today was a powerful day on the campaign to stop the Tennessee Gas Pipeline.  After positioning themselves and locking down at 8:00 AM, activists in New Jersey waited for workers and police to show up and readied themselves to non-violently refuse to be moved.  As the number of police on site increased, Matt Smith of Wanaque, NJ and Jerome Wagner of Wayne, NJ expected to be extracted.  Instead, Ramapough Lunaape Nation fellow Chief Vincent Mann approached the blockaders and explained to them his desire that they stand down.  The news article explains the facts of what happened today, but we still thought it was important to share our perspective on how meaningful it was.

We fighting the Tennessee Gas Pipeline understand that our struggle is linked with communities across the world fighting dirty energy extraction and infrastructure.  We are part of a global movement against multiple forms of dirty energy, and are aware that part of what characterizes fracking is that it is bringing the misery of dirty energy to fresh communities.  We recognize that the struggle we now find ourselves in is one that indigenous communities have fought forcenturies.  It is a misnomer to say that national climate change and local environmental non-profits are creating a movement.  They, and we in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, are simply joining a movement and a fight that has been going on for centuries.   And so, our blockaders unlocked and walked away.  To empower Chief Vincent Mann and the Ramapough Lunaape Nation, to link our struggles together, and to renew and strengthen our unified opposition to the destruction of our environment.

Miles away, in West Trenton, New Jersey the Delaware River Basin Commission was also meeting while Chief Vincent Mann and the blockaders talked in the woods.  Boy, were they in for a surprise!  Thank you so much to the Delaware River Keepers, Protecting our Waters, and everyone else who came out to say “NO TO THE TENNESSEE GAS PIPELINE.”  Video of the public hearing is embedded below, and more information about the hearing can be found on the ProtectingOur Waters Blog.


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