Hundreds March in Pittsburgh Saying “No Fracking in Allegheny County Parks”

protest our parksHundreds march, tell Rich Fitzgerald “No fracking in Allegheny county parks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 19, 2013
Contact: Ashley Bittner 412-370-2310

Saturday October 19 – Pittsburgh – At 2pm this afternoon Protect Our Parks
will lead a march from the David Lawrence Convention Center to the
Allegheny County Courthouse demanding that Rich Fitzgerald revoke the
Request for Proposals for fracking in Deer Lakes Park and stop all efforts
to open county parks up for fossil fuel extraction.

The march is intended as a celebration of the parks which make one of the
nations largest county parks systems with over 12,000 acres of protected
area.  Participants will bring beach balls, fishing poles and other
equipment they use to enjoy the parks.   “We're here to show Fitzgerald who
the parks belong to and what they are really for,” said Ashley Bittner,
Protect Our Parks member and life-long Allegheny County resident.  “These
are public lands for residents and visitors of Allegheny county, and we
will not allow them to be exploited for private profit.”

Polls from the Post-Gazette and Tribune review show that a majority of
county residents oppose fracking in the parks.

“The County Council has an opportunity to show that they actually have the
interest of the public at heart and distinguish themselves Mr. Fitzgerald
who has so blatantly sold out to the gas industry,” continued Bittner.

The March coincides with Power Shift 2013 a youth climate conference
happening at the David Lawrence Convention Center throughout the weekend.
Over 5,000 young people will come to Pittsburgh for a weekend of workshops,
trainings, and actions to build the movement to stop climate change.
Conference organizers are working to help highlight the work being done
locally against fossil fuel extraction and many conference attendees will
be joining the march.

Keith Brunner of Rising Tide Vermont came to Pittsburgh for the conference,
“We stand in solidarity with the Protect Our Parks campaign, knowing that
this fight is part of a much larger movement against all forms of fossil
fuel extraction which are devastating local communities and the climate.”

Power Shift will culminate with a day of action on Monday, October 21 with
several actions planned across the city targeting key institutions which
are standing in the way of a clean energy future.

Today's march will feature a giant puppet show starring a marionette of
Rich Fitzgerald controlled by his gas industry manipulators.  It will
conclude with a rally at the County Courthouse.  Speakers will include
Protect Our Parks organizers, community members living near county parks,
and residents who have been impacted by fracking in other parts of the
region.  The march is also part of the Global Frackdown, an international
day of action against fracking organized by Food and Water Watch.

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