June 4, 2012 by SCNCC
From the campaign to Save the Riverdale Mobile Home Park. Come join the encampment!
International Day of Solidarity with the Riverdale Community on Monday, June 4
“Help Us Keep the River in Riverdale”: International Day of Solidarity with the Riverdale Community on Monday, June 4
Riverdale residents and supporters are calling for an international day of solidarity action in support of the Riverdale community this Monday, June 4. As relocation resister Deb Eck has put it, you are invited to come down and “help us keep the River in Riverdale.”
Friday, residents of the Riverdale Mobile Home Park and supporters set up barricades at the entrance of Riverdale to stop the community from being displaced by Aqua America’s plans to construct a fracking water withdrawal facility and send a powerful message to perpetrators of environmental and economic injustice. And so far, it is working. Though Aqua America had announced that it would begin construction on June 1, company representatives were unseen around Riverdale yesterday, and no construction has yet begun.
Now, we need your help.
Residents of the Riverdale Mobile Home Park are going into negotiation with Aqua America PVRon Tuesday. They are demanding the Aqua America PVR allow them to remain in their homes, compensate those residents who have been displaced, and acknowledge the right of return to those who have left but wish to come back. We are calling on you to support Riverdale residents over the next several days and help them hold onto their homes and enter negotiations strong. If you would like to participate in Monday’s day of action, this is what we need:
More people. An Aqua America representative stated in today’s newspaper that construction is scheduled to begin soon, possibly on Monday. While about 30 supporters converged on Riverdale yetserday, unfortunately some have had to leave. Our strength is in numbers, and we need you here on Monday to ensure that Riverdale residents can continue to remain in their homes. The encampment is located at 7 Riverdale Lane, Jersey Shore, PA. We can arrange rides to pick up supporters in Danville, Bloomsburg, or Williamsport. Please call (510) 318-1549 if you need to be picked up, and email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need or can offer a ride.
If you can’t make it to Riverdale, we are calling for solidarity actions against Aqua America PVR and it stakeholders and financiers across the world, as well as the governors of Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, and President Obama, all of which are represented on the SRBC and voted to authorize permission for this water withdrawal site. Please take action to hold these corporations and politicians accountable on Monday. As a first step (but not a substitute for your own autonomous actions), we encourage folks to call-in to Aqua America corporate headquarters on Monday at (610) 527-8000 and let them know that you think displacing the residents of Riverdale is unacceptable. You can also pay Aqua CEO Nick DeBenedictis a visit at his mansion at 231 Golfview Rd., Ardmore, PA. Click here for more information about PVR shareholders (see bottom of page). Please email email@example.com if you would like to organize an action in your community.
Money. Though our encampment is not luxurious, we do need to provide food to those supporters who are giving their time and putting their bodies on the line to stop construction. We also need bail money so that we can support Riverdale residents as well as supporters if and when human blockades become necessary. Other expenditures will include art supplies, paper and ink for flyers, and a wi-fi hotspot so that we can keep the world updated about resistance in Riverdale without driving to Sheetz. We also accept in-kind donations. Click here to donate to the Save Riverdale general fund and here for the Occupy Well Street bail fund, and email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can donate supplies (see wishlist here).
Resist extraction, displacement, and other forms of environmental and economic injustice in your own community. The attempted displacement of Riverdale is one more example of the sheer brutality and inhumanity of extractive industries from natural gas to coal to oil to uranium across the globe. We urge everybody to engage in your local community struggle against these and other forms of injustice.
Riverdale residents and allies have received an outpouring of local support; even fracking brine trucks honk as they drive by the park, and local television and newspaper coverage has been outstanding. Both residents and supporters have been emboldened by this experience (see a short set of images from yesterday).
Stopping construction of this water withdrawal facility will not only allow Riverdale residents to remain in their homes, but will also hinder the fracking industry’s ability to access the water sources necessary to operate additional drilling rigs in the surrounding area.