As harvest time comes to a close out here in the rural Pennsylvania areas, we are excited to watch the Occupy Wall Street movement grow, but there is something missing on the streets of our nation's cities.
Rural people are that missing ingredient.
As protesters in cities struggle to agree on demands, we look in our scenic towns and see a very obvious choice:
The rapidly expanding use of high volume, horizontal, slick-water hydraulic fracturing to extract shale gas from deep underneath our feet. You know it as "fracking."Fracking is wrecking our way of life out here. Natural gas drilling is a heavy industry in a rural area. The corporations have us living in constant fear that the values of our homes will be lost, that our economies of tourism and agriculture will be doomed, our water, air, and land will be poisoned by accidents, and that our family and friends might lose their lives to illness living near a well pad or working for the drillers.
What we face now with fracking in our midst, is a different dark cloud, but the same old weather.
Historically, when Wall Street and the federal government come to our rural communities it is not to help us, it is to take from us.
In the northeastern Pennsylvania coal fields in 1900, 120,000 miners of all different nationalities and languages went on strike for a living wage and recognition of the United Mine Workers union. J.P. Morgan was the main financier of the mining industry at the time and fought union recognition and a raise for miners. After the industry burst, the mine companies left thousands of acres of abandoned mines and coal towns to ruin.
Along the Delaware River, the Kennedy administration's Army Corps of Engineers used eminent domain in the 1960s and following decades to seize the land of residents in order to build a mega dam at Tocks Island to supply water and electricity for New York City and Philadelphia. They wiped entire towns like Walpack, NJ off the map. We beat them, the dam was never built, and the Delaware Water Gap national park was established instead.
Today, Obama's Army Corps of Engineers supports fracking along the Delaware River.
And the list goes on and on, especially endless stories how small farmers have been run out of business by corporate factory farms.
We know, that in order to win against fracking, we must organize ourselves to occupy natural gas industry infrastructure, including gas wells. We must force the industry out of our state because every level of government has failed to do so.
We hope that every Occupation will endorse our call to:
END THE USE OF HYDRAULIC FRACTURING TO EXTRACT OIL AND GAS.