Occupy Protestors Chain Themselves to Construction Equipment, Shut Down Spectra Pipeline ProjectSep 12th, 2012 | By fjgallagher | Category: Fracking, Lead Articles
UPDATE: A group known as Occupy the Pipeline temporarily blocked construction of the massive, new natural gas pipeline that will run between between New Jersey and New York this afternoon, shutting down the build-out site for about an hour and 15 minutes.
According to a live feed of the event streamed by OccupiedAir, four protestors were arrested and there were no injuries.
Kim Fraczek, a spokesperson for Occupy the Pipeline said six people were arrested and taken the N.Y.P.D’s Sixth Precinct for booking.
“We’re on our way there right now to get them out,” Fraczek said.
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The protest targeted work on the Spectra pipeline now underway near Gansvoort Street and the Hudson Parkway.
Occupy the Pipeline and other opponents of the project have targeted the Spectra pipeline because of opposition to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, as it has come to be known in the parlance of our times, as well as concern for the public safety.
The recent anniversary of the enormous natural gas explosion that destroyed an entire neighborhood in San Bruno, California two years ago is a reminder and a warning of what can happen when a natural gas pipeline the size of the Spectra pipeline explodes.
From a recent Occupy the Pipeline press release:
Occupy the Pipeline–a growing coalition of activists, grass roots organizations and local residents, including the Environmentalist Solidarity Group of OWS, New York Grassroots Alliance to Save our State (NYGRASS), and United for Action (UFA)–have launched a multi-tiered campaign to stop the construction of this pipeline, on the grounds that this pipeline poses serious health risks to all of NYC through increased explosion risks and increased exposure to radon. This coalition argues that the construction of the pipeline will increase reliance on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a controversial method of shale gas extraction. This coalition fuses direct action tactics with a more traditional approach to environmentalism.
Fraczek told NaturalGasWatch.org that during the event, two protestors used hard locks, in which participants actually chain themselves to equipment, and four used soft locks, positioning their bodies to disrupt construction by blocking equipment without physically chaining themselves to it.
Fraczek identified the six arrest protestors as:
- Dave Publow
- Sandra Koponen
- Peter rugh
- Monica Hunken
- Anna Cole
- Lopi La Roe
Fraczek said Occupy the Pipeline has a full slate of activities planned in opposition to the pipeline: on Sunday, Sept. 16, there will be a parade around the perimeter of the blast zone in lower Manhattan that would be vaporized if the Spectra pipeline explodes. The event will kick off around 10 a.m., she said and feature marching bands, dancers and puppets.
“It should make for a great photo op,” Fraczek said.