Protesters Arrested Stopping Work at Denton’s New Fracking Site

day 2MEDIA RELEASE: June 2, 2015

Contact: Elida Tamez, 940-367-2159

For Live Updates: Follow @BPRisingTide on Twitter, Blackland Prairie Rising Tide on Facebook

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.

day 2 2“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.”

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Denton Residents Defend Fracking Ban, Blockade Site of First New Frack Well

Media Release: June 1, 2015

bprt 2Contact: Tara Linn Hunter, 806-535-2012

For Live Updates: Follow @BPRisingTide on Twitter, Blackland Prairie Rising Tide on Facebook

Denton Residents Defend Fracking Ban, Blockade Site of First New Frack Well

DENTON, TX — MONDAY, JUNE 1, 2015– Attempts to drill the first new frack well since Denton residents voted to pass a fracking ban last November have been met with acts of civil resistance. 3 local community members and volunteers with the Frack Free Denton movement blockaded the gates of fracking operator Vantage Energy’s newest well pad in defense of the city ordinance that nearly 60 percent of residents supported at the ballot box.

“How could I sleep at night or look my children in the eyes if I was not here today to mark, with my body as well as my words, this injustice?” Said Adam Briggle, a 37 year old father of two who was arrested for trespassing after blocking the frack site entrance with his body and refusing to leave.

bprt“I have more of a responsibility to do what is right than to comply with an unjust law that directly harms my neighbors and my own family,” said Tara Linn Hunter, volunteer coordinator of the Frack Free Denton movement and cofounder of the musical troupe The Frackettes, whose satirical videos have tens of thousands of views. “ We are no longer pleading with the oil soaked state politicians who have sold us out at the cost of our health and safety. We are taking direct action to enact the will of the people who voted fracking out of our community.”

With the recent passage of HB40, a law that preempts all local control of oil and gas production across Texas, Vantage Energy claims to have legal authority to frack within the city limits of Denton. “A just law would give those exposed to the harms of fracking a meaningful voice. An unjust law would subordinate those voices to the dictates of the powerful and wealthy. HB40 is an unjust law,” stated Briggle.

Also arrested was Niki Chochrek, another member of the Frackettes and a long time Frack Free Denton volunteer. “I believe our community has the right to defend itself from imminent threats,” she said. “The legislature in Austin wants us to believe that we must stand aside and allow ourselves to be poisoned by this reckless industry. I refuse to stand aside, and I believe most people in Denton feel the same way.”

Accompanying the 3 blockaders were a group of supporters who also blockaded the fracking gates until being dispersed by police. Supporters brought several banners, including one with the language of Denton’s fracking ban written large. “Sec.14.201 Prohibition of Hydraulic Fracturing. It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in hydraulic fracturing within the corporate limits of the City.”

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Climate justice groups call for mass actions in lead up to Paris climate talks

fTSFor Immediate Release: May 20th, 2015

Contact:

Scott Parkin, +1.415.235.0596

Keith Brunner, +1.802.363.9615

Climate justice groups call for mass actions in lead up to Paris climate talks

Rising Tide North America and allies today launched a call to “Flood the System” through a series of coordinated mass actions across the US and Canada in the leadup to the United Nations COP21 climate negotiations in Paris this fall. [1]

Organizers claim that the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process has been co-opted by elite interests and that any Paris outcomes will be insufficient to meaningfully address the climate crisis and ensure justice for the majority of the world’s people.

From September to the end of November, Flood the System envisions an escalating series of direct actions and demonstrations targeting the economic and political systems at the root of the crisis, inspired by recent movements led by low-wage workers, immigrants, and communities responding to police brutality.

Plans are already coming together from New England to the Pacific Northwest, where organizers hosted a “festival of resistance” this week involving a massive blockade of the terminal where the port of Seattle is hosting Royal Dutch Shell’s arctic drilling fleet.

“Communities on the front lines of fossil fuel extraction are fighting back,” said Ahmed Gaya, an organizer with Rising Tide Seattle. “From Seattle, to Alberta, to Appalachia, people are organized in opposition to extraction, and taking action to uproot the systems driving the crisis.”

Rising Tide NYC organizer Sandy Nurse said, “Last September four hundred thousand of us were in the streets of New York for the People’s Climate March. The next day, thousands joined the Flood Wall Street march and sit-in, shutting down the heart of global capitalism. Now it’s time to join with and support other movements in rapidly escalating the pace and scale of our resistance to the level of the crises we’re facing.” [2]

NOTES FOR EDITORS

1] https://floodthesystem.net

2] http://www.democracynow.org/2014/9/23/flood_wall_street_100_arrested_at

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Rising Tide North America is a grassroots climate justice network with over 50 chapters, local contacts and ally groups in Canada, Mexico and the United States confronting the root causes of climate change.

Tree-Sit Launched in Burrillville, RI to Prevent Spectra’s Fracked-Gas Pipeline Construction

fangTree-Sit Launched in Burrillville, RI to Prevent Spectra’s Fracked-Gas Pipeline Construction

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 19, 2015

Contact: Sherrie Anne Andre, 401-474-7666

Nick Katkevich, 401-572-8148, nick@fangtogether.org

Social Service Advocate Launches Tree-Sit to Prevent Pipeline Construction

BURRILLVILLE, RI – A local woman launched a tree sit at the edge of a gas compressor station in Burrillville this morning to prevent its proposed expansion. The station, owned and operated by Spectra Energy, pressurizes and moves gas along the “Algonquin” Pipeline. Spectra is planning to nearly double the capacity of the compressor station as part of the highly protested “AIM” pipeline expansion project.

Sherrie Anne Andre, a member of FANG (Fighting Against Naturals Gas), and a Rhode Island native is holding the tree-sit “indefinitely”. The sit is aimed at preventing the tree clearing necessary for constructing the addition to the compressor station.

Andre is occupying a platform that is suspended 60 feet high on a tree located just yards away from the existing gas compressor station. A banner hanging from the platform reads “Spectra’s Toxins are Trespassing on Our Bodies, #StopSpectra”, highlighting the health impacts that residents face during the extraction, transportation and burning of fracked-gas.

Citing her eight years of professional work as an advocate for survivors of sexual and domestic assault Andre relayed that, “Spectra’s proposed project would hurt families  along the pipeline route and in the areas where the gas is extracted. If I truly believe I am an advocate, then I am exactly where I need to be – participating in a nonviolent direct action to stop this harm.”

In her work with FANG, Andre researches the social impacts connected with the development of fossil fuel infrastructure. “From places of extraction like the Bakken oil fields that saw a 300% increase in sexual assault after industry moved in, to Pennsylvania’s shalefields where hard drug use rates have risen – the fossil fuel industry devastates communities.”

In March the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, charged with reviewing interstate gas pipeline projects, gave initial approval to the AIM pipeline project. Spectra has still has not received final approval from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council.

Last month, protestors delivered a “final notice” to Spectra, giving the company forty days to either cancel the AIM project or face increased community resistance. A national “week of action” targeting Spectra Energy is scheduled to start on June 6th, marking the end of the forty day window.

Sherrie called for people to participate saying “if you also believe that what Spectra is doing is wrong, I ask you to join me in taking action to stop them.”

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