2013 began with a bang, to put it mildly, for fractivists in the New York area.
Monday: We ‘owned’ the sidewalks outside of the Waldorf-Astoria, where Governor Cuomo held a birthday fundraiser. There was a giant birthday card for all to sign.
Wednesday: Over 1,500 people converged on the Albany concourse outside of the governor’s State of the State address, chanting and singing for over three hours, and greeting legislators and lobbyists as they entered “The Egg.” The crowd was so rowdy that most of them didn’t realize that Pete Seeger was in their midst, leading a rendition of This Land is Your Land. This video captures him on the last verse where many people didn’t know the words.
Here is a link to a video showing the sight beheld by legislators as they walked to the speech. While one reporter described it as “intimidating,” “high-spirited” was more like it. Even when the tiny contingent of pro-fracking sign holders walked by, the atmosphere was positive and peaceful. FrackAction reported in Ecowatch:
Thursday: The State Assembly held an all-day hearing in Albany, with testimony presented by (as aptly described by the Legislative Gazette) “local government officials, advocacy groups and scientists, but was without oral or written testimony from the Department of Environmental Conservation or the Department of Health.” Thanks to Assemblypersons Sweeney, Gottfried and Lavine for promoting public discourse on this vital issue to our state. Each opportunity passed up by DEC highlights the lack of transparency in this process.
Friday: Capping off the week, New Yorkers Against Fracking delivered over 200,000 comments on the DEC’s draft regulations, which were put out for a 30-day comment period before their environmental impact study is even completed, and also before their health review (what Sandra Steingraber describes as a “secret review of a secret review”) is finished. This is reported on Ecowatch as well.
Thanks to all who made your faces seen and your voices heard — whether audibly or on paper. Onward in 2013!