Grandparents “Rock to Block” Fracking Wells Near Schools with Rocking Chair Blockade

Older Generation Stands Up to Protect School Children
Check out http://threeriversrisingtide.org/grandparents-rock-to-block-fracking-wells-near-schools-with-rocking-chair-blockade/ for updates and photos!

Middlesex Township, Butler, PA – A group of grandparents and seniors shut down an unconventional natural gas drilling (fracking) site near the Mars Area School District with a “rock to block” rocking chair blockade on Monday, December 21. Rex Energy is currently drilling unconventional horizontal hydraulic fracturing gas wells (“fracking”) on the Geyer well pad. The well pad will contain a controversial cluster of wells located about a half mile away from 3,200 students at the Mars Area School District campus. Gas wells and related infrastructure such as processing plants, compressor stations and pipelines emit harmful air pollution, and have the potential to cause water pollution and safety risks. Children are especially vulnerable to environmental hazards. There is also a real safety risk due to accidental explosions and fires.

The group blocked the entrance to the Geyer well pad site because it is the only recourse left to protect the children of the Mars Area School District, as well as all children put at risk when gas wells and infrastructure are placed nearby schools. This blockade is a stand against the gas industry’s reckless rush to frack in pursuit of profits over the health and safety of the children nearby and against politicians who have persistently failed in their duty to act in the public interest over special interests.

Michael Bagdes-Canning, a Butler County grandparent of three, stated, “Since neither the government officials, Rex and others in the industry, or lease holders will act to defend the health and welfare of our communities, our grandchildren, and future generations, we decided to stand up for them by sitting down (in the rocking chairs).”
Laurel Colonello, a Middlesex Twp. grandparent, stated “It is not ok that this toxic industry has moved into our community. The gas industry and local officials have consistently chosen wealth over the health and safety of our community, especially our children.”
Rex Energy called the Adams and Middlesex township police demanding that the grandparents be arrested and removed. Police refused to arrest anyone because there was no no-trespassing sign at the gate. Rex energy shut down operations for the day, installed a brand new no trespassing sign (but on the side that we were looking at it didn’t say anything) and went home. The rocking chair blockade stayed up a few hours and when it was clear Rex wasn’t coming back the grandparents packed up.

The grannies see “rock to block” as a Holiday gift to all children who will be exposed to the health and safety risks inherent in fracking and who in turn will pass on a tainted land and degraded environment to their own children. The group of rockers believe we are all stewards of the environment; to quote an old Native American saying expresses, We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.

If Rex restarts operations at the Geyer well they can expect to hear from some angry grandparents who are hell-bent on protecting their grandchildren.

Get Involved in Rising Tide!

If you’re interested in becoming part of the Rising Tide Network let me be the first to welcome you.

Before you go any further, however, we’d like you to take a look at our What is RT? section, especially the Rising Tide Principles. Groups interested in joining the RT Network should be in alignment with these basic principals that help shape and guide our work.

As well, please familiarize yourself with how our different RT Network support structures operate and what our various Working Groups do and how they function.

There are basically three different ways to get involved with Rising Tide.

1. Become a Rising Tide Contact

The RT network is made up of a lot of individuals who live in isolated places, already work with organizations and don’t have the capacity to start something new, or simply can’t creat a climate organization from scratch right now. If you decide to become an RT Contact you will have access to our RT-Local list, a post-able list that connects you to all the other contacts and chapters in the network. As well you will receive our general newsletter and be able to join the various RT Working Groups.

2. Start a new Rising Tide group

We encourage all our contacts to start thinking about what organizing in their local communities might look like. The biggest part of the reason for the RT collective’s existence is to support new groups starting from scratch in local areas. Check out our Resources for Network Groups section to find out all the ways Rising Tide can help your group get on its feet. All the RT Network group function autonomously, so you won’t have anybody breathing down your neck telling you what to do. The RT collective is here to help and guide, not demand that your group focus on only one thing in one particular way. As part of the Network you will be connected to other groups via our RT-local list, optional bi-monthly calls with other groups, access to all RT support resources, and ability to join RT working groups.

If you are interested in becoming an RT Chapter please email us at
local@risingtidenorthamerica.org
for more information.

3. Bring your existing group into the Network

If you are already a part of an existing group or organization, and you agree with the RT Principals, we invite your organization to join our network. Many other existing groups have found alignment in becoming a part of Rising Tide and forged new relationships with other grassroots radicals and frontline community organizations and individuals. Again, all network group function autonomously so in no way will joining the RT Network affect the work your organization or group is already doing. As a part of the Rt network you will have access to all the mechanism for organizing and communication available to any other Network Group.

If you are interested in making your organization a part of the RT Network please contact
local@risingtidenorthamerica.org

About Us

Rising Tide is an international, all-volunteer, grassroots network of groups and individuals who organize locally, promote community-based solutions to the climate crisis and take direct action to confront the root causes of climate change.

Rising Tide was born out of the conviction that corporate-friendly “solutions” to climate change will not save us and that most government efforts are half-measures at best. We organize through decentralized local groups that support one another with shared resources, ideas, fundraising, training and collaborations. Our activities include grassroots community organizing, publishing educational materials, organizing creative direct actions and protests, and holding public education events in order to further the struggle for climate justice.

Rising Tide is committed to stopping the extraction of fossil fuels and preventing the construction of new fossil fuel infrastructure. Equally important, we must make a just transition to sustainable livelihoods that foster local autonomy and self-sufficiency.

Rising Tide’s tactics are diverse and creative, taking a bottom-up approach to connecting the dots between colonialism, corporate power, climate disruption, social justice, and biocentrism. The systems that are destroying the planet are systems rooted in oppression; combating climate change is therefore not just a matter of carbon emissions, but of confronting the institutions that destroy communities, cultures and the Earth.

The international Rising Tide network now spans four continents. We know that whatever we achieve in our local struggles is amplified by the energy of the growing global movement for climate justice.

Vote for Rising Tide North America!

Want to raise money for radical climate justice organizing without spending a dime? Now you can!

Rising Tide is excited to announce that we’re on CREDO Action June Donation Ballot. Being on the ballot makes us eligible for funding to use in our work fighting the root causes of climate change and supporting frontline communities throughout North America. How much we receive depends on you.

CREDO is a progressive activist network and a provider of mobile and long distance phone services, as well as the CREDO credit card. They donate a portion of their revenue to a wide range of nonprofit groups. Last year they donated more than $2 million.

Rising Tide could receive more than $40,000 from CREDO. Here’s the catch. CREDO asks its members to vote for which groups they think should receive funding. So your vote could secure money we need to support direct action and frontline communities challenging the climate crisis.

Anyone can become a CREDO member and vote, so this could be huge for Rising Tide.

Be sure to act before the deadline of June 30:

vote1. If you are a CREDO customer or CREDO action member go to www.credodonations.com and vote for Rising Tide on CREDO Action’s June Ballot

2. If you are not a member, you can become a CREDO Action member by signing a petition at CREDOAction.com. After you sign, head over to www.credodonations.com and vote for Rising Tide!

Rising Tide North America is going big in 2015. These funds couldn’t be more crucial. In the last two weeks alone, Rising Tide chapters have blockaded fracking sites in Texas and Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet in Seattle. For the fall, we’re undertaking our largest endeavor yet: organizing escalating actions to #FloodTheSystem across the continent.

Every vote we get, gives us a larger percentage of this month’s pot of money. So PLEASE share this with your friends, families, co-workers, folks you think might want to support us.

AND DON’T FORGET TO VOTE BEFORE THE JUNE 30 DEADLINE!