100,000 strong against fracking in Pennyslvania
The way state capitol buildings are designed to make people feel small. The high ceilings, the classical architecture, the cold stone all are made to shrink the voice. But on Tuesday, April 30th, when I visited my own state Capitol building in Harrisburg, PA,for the first time, that was not the case, because I was not a single person. I came as part of a broad spectrum of anti-fracking activists to call for a moratorium.
The voices of the speakers rang out, echoing off the high columns and filling the seemilngly impossibly large space. Even the inevitable tours of schoolchildren couldn't deflect the focus. Several United Food and Commercial Workers union members, there on an unrelated issue, stayed to watch spellbound by the voices, particularly that of Mac Sawyer, a drilling worker who went from being "as pro-gas as you could be" to protesting fracking after he realized what it was doing to him and the land. It was quite a day.
The people who spoke got extra large cheers, echoing off the ornamental decor, and winding up the staircase blanketed with banners. It was no accident there were so many voices, so many compelling reasons to oppose this dangerous and unnecesary drilling practice. After all, we had 100,000 signatures, gathered from people around the state — one of the largest petitions in Pennsylvania history; that's them in the pile of boxes next to the speaker. There were many more were watching on a live stream, promoted by hundreds of people on social media to their networks of hundreds of thousands. Indeed the nation is watching Pennsylvania, as a state with both a proud tradition of liberty and one of the first to feel the ravages of fracking directly. With actions like this one, we are not just a cautionary tale. We are a lesson in how to fight back.
Click here to watch our live coverage of the day.
And click here to sign on to our national campaign to ban fracking.