Tag Archives: pennsylvania

Decarcerate PA Undertakes 100 Mile March To Demand End To Prison Construction

1 Jun

from Decarcerate PA

Philadelphia, PA – At 12 pm on Saturday, May 25th, a broad coalition of community groups, nonprofits, labor organizations, education advocates, and formerly incarcerated organizers will rally in Love Park to kick off their 113-mile march from Philadelphia to Harrisburg. The “March for a People’s Budget: Stop Prison Expansion Now!” will last for ten days, as members of the grassroots coalition, Decarcerate PA, make their way across Southeastern Pennsylvania to the state capital, where they will rally on June 3rd as the legislature returns to debate the budget. The marchers are demanding that the General Assembly take a stand against Pennsylvania’s out-of-control prison growth. In particular, they are asking legislators not to grant the Department of Corrections its requested $68 million increase in funding while prison construction continues, and to cancel the $400 million prisons slated to be built on the grounds of SCI Graterford in Montgomery County.

“Pennsylvania does not want, does not need, and cannot afford any more prisons,” said Decarcerate PA member Brian Mertens. “We want to see our taxpayer dollars invested in the things that make our communities stronger, like education, health care and social services, not in building more prison cells.”

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Same Company Building Keystone and Tennessee Pipelines

11 Apr

From Root Force

michelsTwo projects are currently being fought on the ground (and in the trees) halfway across the country from each other, and various sources (including an article in the Ecologist ) have confirmed that the same company is doing on-the-ground construction of both.

Michels Corp is a construction company that specializes in energy, transportation, telecommunications and utility infrastructure — especially pipelines. While Tar Sands Blockaders are busy stopping Michels from building the Keystone XL pipeline (which would bring more toxic tar sands into frontline communities in Houston), the coalition No Tennessee Pipeline is working to stop the same company from constructing a gas pipeline in Pennsylvania.

That means those of you living far from these pipelines’ construction sites now have twice the reason to get in touch with a Michels location near you and tell them what you think of their business decisions!

The fact that the same company is building these disparate projects draw an obvious connection between seemingly separate struggles. After all, working against a project that would destroy the places you love becomes an act of solidarity when that same company is also destroying the places that someone else loves.

On a deeper level, of course, all our struggles are connected. There are so many reasons to target infrastructure expansion: to act in solidarity with indigenous people across the continent and world; to stop evil corporations from making more money while impoverishing the rest of us; and perhaps most critically, because the very projects that Michels specializes in are the projects  needed to keep this death culture alive. Can there be any better reason for opposing them?

EF! blockade shuts down frack drilling in PA state forest

9 Jul

Banner hangs from “sky pod” blockade

Nearly 100 Earth First! activists, friends and allies forced a 70-foot-tall EQT hydrofracking drill rig to suspend operations for 12 hours yesterday in Pennsylvania’s Moshannon State Forest. This is the first time that protesters have shut down a hydrofrack drilling operation in the US. A tree sitter hung above the access road, with their anchor ropes blocking it. A second person was also in a tree to support the sitter while dozens of supporters guarded ten large debris piles that were across the road. Another group of 50 activists blockaded the entrance to the access road. The State Police, with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, dispersed the blockade around nine p.m. And removed the tree sitters with a ladder truck. Three arrests were made for disorderly conduct, but protesters were cited and released on-site.

EF! folks revel in shutting down frack site

There are a limited number of actual drill rigs in operation in the state which are ferried around from site to site on a tight schedule. By halting operations for a day on this site, the blockade has likely created a costly disruption for a handful of wells in the area which EQT apparently planned to drill in succession.

The activists reported that the police were reckless with the sitters’ safety, such as being quick to cut their anchor ropes.  The supporting sitter’s safety and descent ropes were cut by the police as he climbed higher in the tree.  The police in the ladder truck had no radios and communication to the ground was difficult over the noise of the diesel engine; at one point the ladder hit one of the sitter’s support lines. Police were seen taunting the sitter by waving around one of their anchor lines and making jokes at them while shaking the hammock.

The site is part of a high concentration of wells in Moshannon State Forest, one of the most heavily drilled state forests in Pennsylvania. Over half of the forest’s 190,000 acres have been leased for Marcellus drilling using hydraulic fracturing. Despite widespread public opposition, the former PA secretary of Conservation and Natural Resources predicts 12,000 Marcellus wells will be drilled in state forests in the coming decade1. A recent poll showed that the majority of Pennsylvanians are opposed to fracking on public lands Continue reading

Actual directions for the 2012 EF! Round River Rendezvous

17 Jun

Well, they were a bit slow in coming. But here they are. Real directions to “The Ultimate RRR site”… We’ll see you there!

Preventing Permits for Marcellus Shale Plus Video Link

19 Mar

West Virginia lawmakers are calling for a time out on Marcellus Shale drilling after the legislature failed to pass a bill regulating the industry.

Read more and see the video here:Preventing Permits for Marcellus Shale.