Activists escalate struggle against fracking in NYC

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September 15, 2012 by SCNCC

Six people in New York City occupied the site of the incoming, mega-fracked-gas Spectra Pipeline Wednesday, shutting down construction. Two activists used a U-shaped bike lock to chain themselves to heavy machinery. Three others, including myself, sat down in a soft-lock, linking our arms. Later, another comrade snuck on site and waved a banner along the rocky pier on the Hudson.I managed to take the above photo after wrangling my cellphone from a man who later identified himself as an NYPD officer and who threatened to throw it in the water. It shows with Dave Publow with OWS Environmental Solidarity sitting like a Cheetah on top of a back-hoe twenty feet in the air.

We’ve petitioned, testified at public hearings, and filed lawsuits. But we have been steamrolled over and pushed aside by Spectra’s money and influence. On Wednesday we decided to do with our bodies what legal channels have failed to do, to shut the pipeline down. The below testimony is from Monica Hunken, fresh out of “The Tombs”:

Freedom. My brave comrades and I were released from the tombs tonight. I spent 32 hours in the clink. After the 31st hour I was really starting to lose hope, fearing another cold loud night with non-stop buzz of insipid television, Katie Couric talking about vulnerability. I was fortunate to be surrounded by strong women, not only my fellow frack fighters, but also the women of NY who are subjected to the merciless buffoonery of our criminal justice system.

As I locked my neck down to the dredge machine yesterday at the Spectra construction site, while workers looked on begging me to be careful, I had no idea what awaited me. The key was nestled in my bra next to my heart but I ended up chucking it into the dirt and committing to this course of action. Dave was suddenly balanced like a linx on top of the Caterpillar bulldozer. We biked past the site the night before to witness their cutting into the west side highway. Since the HRPT law suit filing, Spectra construction has escalated at a rapid fire rate and we find ourselves in a vulnerable, buzzing state of reactivity, trying to maintain our own escalation but always feeling like were constantly tying to catch up and adjust to their latest curve balls. Yesterday morning, I had hoped to not be arrested but was once again overwhelmed by the enormity of the urgency and my duty as a citizen of New York City to stand up for the health of it’s many splendored inhabitants. There is no other option at this point. I decided to run in over the rocks and rebar with Dave, carrying my U-lock hot in my hand with a mad intent. Lopi, Sandra, Pete and Anna raced into the site like jubilant, peaceful warriors.

As the sparks from the circular saw flew and burned my skin , while they cut the lock off and whispered in my ear they hoped he didn’t slip and slice my neck and asked, “so now do you think it’s a bad idea?”. I knew it was a great idea. That we’ve never won anything in this country without fighting for it, without laying our bodies on the line. I am asking you to join me, to join us. We need you. NY is demanding your bravery in full force.

In shutting down the pipeline we made good on a pledge we have signed along with more than five thousand New York residents to resist fracking to the fullest extent of our capabilities. You can take the pledge too.

For more info on the Spectra Pipeline and ways you can help us resist this toxic fossil fuel snake, visit Occupy the Pipeline’s website.

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