Contact: Elida Tamez, 940-367-2159
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Protesters Arrested Stopping Work at Denton’s New Fracking Site
DENTON, TX – June 2, 2015 -Today, three more citizens of Denton were arrested in an act of civil disobedience after refusing leave Vantage Energy’s new fracking site. Gathering with several dozen other community members at the site, the three intentionally refused to leave the driveway to the drilling area after police dispersal orders were issued with the intention of stopping work.
“I want to enforce our fracking ban and I believe that democracy is not being served,” said Elida Tamez, a former University of North Texas employee who was among those arrested, “I’m very angry at the state legislature because the people have voted and majority rules. I’m doing it because I feel that it is a very unjust situation at hand.”
Today’s action taken by the three citizens comes just a day after three others were arrested for also refusing to leave the site. The ongoing protests come just after the passage of HB 40, which overturned Denton’s ban on hydraulic fracturing. In November the citizens of Denton voted for the ban in a landslide vote. Less than 48 hours after the ban was declared unenforceable, Colorado based Vantage Energy announced that they would bring fracking back to Denton at the site located directly across the street from a neighborhood and several businesses.
“I chose not to move after receiving a dispersal order from the police. I participated in civil disobedience not only because of environmental and health reasons but also because of the threat to our democracy that HB 40 poses,” said Jonathon Vann, a long-time resident and Frack Free Denton volunteer arrested today. “The will of the people must be respected and that is why I refused to stand aside today.”
Despite claims to be a “good neighbor” to the people living near the site, community members are concerned with the company’s record on public safety. On May 7 it was a Vantage well that was struck by lightning in Denton, which then burned off for over 7 hours while firefighters awaited Vantage’s emergency response team. On April 11, a serious mishap happened during the fracking process in Arlington, Texas causing a blowout at the well and forced 115 homes to be evacuated.
“Last November I took part in one of our country’s most authentic expressions of democracy. A popular referendum,” said Rodney Love, a longtime resident and small-business owner. “Despite overwhelming odds, our city voted to restrict future hydraulic fracturing within our city limits. We chose together to protect our water, air, and the health of our children. I stand with my fellow citizens to protect our right to decide what is best for our community within a free democracy.”