Rising Tide North America Statement in Response to “Citizens for Local Governance” Smear Campaign in North Texas

DRC_FLIER_50098751Rising Tide North America Statement in Response to “Citizens for Local Governance” Smear Campaign in North Texas

In response to the recent smear campaign on members of Blackland Prairie Rising Tide by “Citizens for Local Governance,” Rising Tide North America issued the following statement:

Rising Tide North America stands in solidarity with our friends in Blackland Prairie Rising Tide and other like-minded individuals in Denton, TX.

A Political Action Committee (PAC) in Texas is targeting residents of Denton who have been organizing to unseat establishment, status-quo candidates in their local City Council elections next month. The PAC is trying to delegitimize all opposition to their crony candidates by falsely asserting that Blackland Prairie Rising Tide (BPRT) is behind it all.

BPRT is in no way involved with any electoral campaigning, though some of its members are being subjected to McCarthyistic attacks. The PAC is attempting to smear all Rising Tide organizing, silence legitimate dissent in Denton and stop the good work being done to end fracking in North Texas. These attacks have come in the form of a website full of inaccuracies about Rising Tide North America, Blackland Prairie Rising Tide and friends in Denton, and a postcard mailed to thousands of registered voters in Denton with similar information.

We condemn the efforts of the Citizens for Local Governance. The organization implies through its smear campaign that dissent and non-violent civil disobedience are wrong and deserve the scrutiny of federal authorities. Citizens for Local Governance includes conservative activists associated with the fossil fuel industry.

Citizens for Local Governance has a moneyed interest in stifling free speech and real liberty from the corporate state. Its members worship at the altar of money, power and status, and thus are directly threatened by Rising Tide North America. For that reason, we know we’re doing our work right when attacked by groups like this. Smear campaigns like this only embolden us in fighting for a just and stable climate.”

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92 Year Old Great Grandmother And Son Block Denton Fracking Operation

texasCross-posted from Blackland Prairie Rising Tide

92 Year Old Great Grandmother And Son Block Denton Fracking Operation

In Acts of Civil Disobedience, Elder Mother and Son Stage Sit-In for Local Control to Stop First Post-HB40 Fracking in Denton

DENTON, TX–TUESDAY, JUNE 16, 2015– Two Denton residents have blocked the entrance  to the city’s first active fracking operation since the passage of HB40, a state bill which strips local control of fracking from all cities across Texas. Violet Palmer, a 92 year old great grandmother, and her son Theron Palmer, seated themselves in front of fracking trucks attempting to enter Vantage Energy’s urban fracking site. Theron has locked himself to the gates of the site and both are refusing to leave.

“I am standing up today because never in my lifetime has there been such an egregious disregard for the democratic process in Texas,” said Violet. “We, the citizens of Denton clearly indicated our frustrations with regulating fracking when we voted for the fracking ban last November. The Texas legislature ignored our vote and our community standards.”

Denton’s prohibition on hydraulic fracturing was supported by nearly 60 percent of voters last November; however, industry-sponsored state lawmakers responded with the passage of HB40, a law that effectively preempts all local control of oil and gas regulations statewide. Less than 48 hours after HB40 was signed into law, Colorado based Vantage Energy announced that it would bring fracking back to Denton at a site located directly across the street from a neighborhood and several businesses.

“To imply that the expertise to regulate oil and gas resides only within the confines of Austin, is a condescending slap at the intelligence and due diligence of our local citizenry,” stated Theron Palmer.  “We clearly expressed our community standards, now nullified and replaced by the very narrow interests of those economic elites who dominate oil and gas development and hence the Texas legislature.”

Over the course of the last two weeks Denton residents have been taking direct action to enforce the city’s fracking ban. In the first week since fracking operations returned to Denton, dozens of residents blocked the gates, resulting in seven arrests. Residents have also organized weekly events dubbed “Frack Free Fridays,” promising to maintain a large presence at Vantage Energy’s site until the operator respects Denton’s vote and permanently ends all fracking within city limits.

“To paraphrase Edmund Burke, the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good women to do nothing. So I am doing something,” said Violet Palmer.

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

For future updates and information: http://bprisingtide.org
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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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#GulfSouthRising Remembers and Resists BP’s Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster

Today we remember and resist.

Five years ago BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. 11 workers were killed and oil gushed into the Gulf for 87 days. This remains the largest accidental oil disaster in human history.

Today, Gulf South Rising—with representatives from across the region—are holding a memorial at BP’s headquarters in Houston, Texas. This afternoon, they will march in New Orleans to demand BP must stop lying and pay for what it’s done. BP must admit the oil remains in the Gulf region and continues to damage communities and ecosystems. BP must pay for the billions in health and environmental damages they caused.

Will you stand in solidarity with Gulf South Rising? There are two ways you can help right now.

  1. Give a shout out to #GulfSouthRising by sharing this photo from the march on BP headquarters to Facebook and Twitter right now!
    Make BP Pay
  2. Donate. Gulf South Rising is organizing powerful communities for climate justice in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. They are in it for the long haul and need your support.

Gulf South Rising are throwing down big this week.

The BP Week of Action will stage events in more than 13 cities culminating in at the BP Headquarters in Houston On April 20. Gulf South Rising is demanding BP must stop lying and pay what it owes from the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the largest oil disaster in history. 

Five years since the beginning of the BP oil disaster, the Gulf’s people and wildlife continue to reel from the impacts of BP’s negligence: health problems from exposure to oil and toxic chemical dispersants, diminished seafood populations that sustain local communities, disrupted ecosystems and wildlife die-offs.

Gulf South Rising is a regional movement organizing coordinated actions and events to highlight the impact of the global climate crisisThe BP Week of Action could be their most important effort yet.

In their own words, “Gulf coast residents are banding together and rising up to call for the restoration of our Gulf communities, cultures and environment. BP must stop lying and pay what they owe. The oil and gas industry must be held accountable for their ongoing desecration of our bioregion, and ultimately we must work towards a just transition to a more sustainable clean energy economy.”

Support climate resistance in the Gulf Coast region. Donate to Gulf South Rising today.