Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What is Occupy Well Street?

What is Occupy WELL Street?

Although some of us have been organizing against fracking for years, we began working to create the idea of Occupy Well Street several months ago, hoping to work with the growing public awareness of social movements and direct action, and build our own rural campaign against the out of control natural gas boom. We live and work in communities that are increasingly affected by the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania, and we have watched the spread of fracking operations across the state and region with concern and horror. The government of Pennsylvania has unilaterally decided to lease vast tracts of state land and areas of national forest for gas extraction. We enjoy state and national parks as much as anyone else, and we are not happy with this arrangement at all.

Some of us own and live on land that is leased for fracking, and in our collective opinion the illusion of financial security created by leasing agreements cannot replace healthy places to live. Disputes and arguments about the environmental damage and human cost of fracking operations are creating rifts in tightly knit rural communities, and the gas companies are exploiting the social disruption to the fullest. It it our goal to counter the divisive, destructive methods of the gas companies by doing our part to help grow a campaign of community building and direct action that creates space for rural community members (and all other interested parties) to speak out against and fight fracking in an effective, constructive way. We feel that in order to maintain relevance, any movement against fracking must be accessible to all those living in the rural places bearing the brunt of the drilling.

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