Today, October 24, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in Michigan held another Mineral Rights Auction. The DNR is currently auctioning off 196,000 acres of land in Michigan. This auction is one of the first steps toward Horizontal Hydrolic Fracturing in Michigan.
Similar to the last DNR auction in May of this year, today’s event was filled with protests and disruptions. More photos and stories will be coming out, but for now, here is a quick run-down of some of todays anti-fracking activities:
8:20am- Activists from around the state gather outside the Lansing Center to show their opposition to Horizontal Hydrolic Fracturing in Michigan.
8:40am- Just 20 minutes before the auction was set to begin, activists entered the Lansing Center with 2 large paper banners tied to dozens of balloons. In the middle of the main hallway, where the ceilings are 40+ feet, the banners were released to float up. One read “If You Frack, We’ll Be Back, Earth First!”, the other “Deep Water Earth First!” with a large fist drawn on.
8:42am- Just after the deployment of the Balloon Banners, another balloon was released. This time it was carrying a “persynal alarm” (a small device that lets out a continuous shrill noise for 1 hour). Auction attendees and Lansing Center employees were heard expressing a great deal of confusion about the source of the noise.
8:45am- Chanting starts in the auction room. “No Fracking, No Way! Not Ever, Not Today!”.
8:50am- Another “persynal alarm” goes off, this time in the auction room itself. During the confusion, activists attempted to lockdown in front of the podium. Unfortunately, police intercepted them, and they are now incarcerated and charged with one felony (Resisting and Obstructing an Officer), and one misdemeanor (Disrupting a Public Event) each. Donate to Bail
Most people that were out of their seats at the time of the lockdown attempt were removed from the room, and protests continued outside the building.
10:30am- 2 people randomly snatched by police. One is being held on the same charges as above, the other just the misdemeanor and has been released.
3:00pm- One videographer taping the auction while it was happening was removed from the room and arrested. Currently it is not understood why he was singled out so late in the day.
The protest out front, and inside the room continued throughout the entire auction. In all 3 dozen people were removed from the room for causing disruptions.
The prosecutor is refusing to hold bail hearings until Thursday morning, meaning that anyone charged with a felony will be spending at least tonight in jail. Please donate any amount of money to help free these activists. Donate Here