Quantcast

13 Arrested Blockading Crestwood Gate With Giant Replica of Pope Francis' Encyclical

Energy

In an act of civil disobedience against gas storage in Seneca Lake salt caverns, 13 Finger Lakes residents, led by local members of the Ithaca Catholic Worker Movement, formed a human blockade shortly after sunrise this morning at the north entrance of Crestwood Midstream on Route 14.

Schuyler County deputies arrested the 13 people blockading Crestwood's gate shortly after 9:30 a.m. today as they sang and read from the Pontifical document. Photo credit: We Are Seneca Lake

Carrying with them a 7-foot tall replica of Pope Francis’ recent encyclical on climate changeLaudato Si! On Care for Our Common Home, they blocked traffic from entering or leaving the facility.

Carrying with them a 7-foot tall replica of Pope Francis’ recent encyclical on climate change, the Ithaca Catholic Workers blocked traffic from entering or leaving Crestwood. Photo credit: We Are Seneca Lake

Schuyler County deputies arrested the 13 people shortly after 9:30 a.m. as they sang and read from the Pontifical document. Their recitation continued the read-aloud from the encyclical that began on June 30, as part of earlier blockade that led to the arrests of 19 individuals, which continued on July 7, as part of an all-day blockade of 11 individuals that resulted in no arrests.

Immediately after their arrest, a large tanker truck labeled “TRADEBE—Emergency Response” sped through the gates. According to the Tradebe website, "TRADEBE’s Emergency Response Team is trained, equipped and ready to respond to hazmat, oil spills and other emergencies.”

Immediately after arrests today, a large tanker truck labeled “TRADEBE—Emergency Response” sped through the gates. Photo credit: We Are Seneca Lake

As before, the protesters were taken into custody, charged with trespassing and released.

Read page 1

Today’s blockaders held banners that said, “Catholic Workers Against Crestwood” and “Caring for Our Common Home,” which references the title of the Pope’s letter.

The Catholic Worker Movement was founded by journalist Dorothy Day and social activist Peter Maurin in 1933. Its purpose is to “live in accordance with the justice and charity of Jesus Christ.”

Delivering a statement on behalf of the Ithaca Catholic Worker Movement, blockader Ellen Grady said:

“Today members of the Ithaca Catholic Worker join the Seneca Lake Defenders in their effort to resist the desecration of this beautiful Finger Lakes region. We bring with us a seven and a half foot tall replica of Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si! On Care For Our Common Home, to the gates of Crestwood Gas Storage facility ... Creation is a gift from God. It is our duty to care for it and not misuse it.”

Barbara Smith, 61, a Catholic Worker, mother of nine children and dairy farmer from the Town of Lodi in Seneca County, said:

“No one has the right to risk damaging this lake in any way for the short term gain of one company. Seneca Lake is only on loan to us but belongs ultimately to God, and we have been charged to protect it for the common good of future generations.”

The total number of arrests in the nine-month-old civil disobedience campaign now stands at 309, which has been ongoing since October 2014.

None of the protesters this morning had been previously arrested as part of the We Are Seneca Lake campaign, which opposes Crestwood’s plans for methane and LPG storage in lakeside salt caverns.

Crestwood’s methane gas storage expansion project was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last October in the face of broad public opposition and unresolved questions about geological instabilities, fault lines and possible salinization of Seneca Lake, which serves as a source of drinking water for 100,000 people.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE 

High Levels of Radium Found in PA Stream Near Drinking Water Supply

Shocking Documents Reveal Fracking Health Complaints Swept Under the Rug in Pennsylvania

This Land Was Made for You and Me … And Fracking?

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A volcano erupts on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island on Dec. 9, 2019. Michael Schade / Twitter

A powerful volcano on Monday rocked an uninhabited island frequented by tourists about 30 miles off New Zealand's coast. Authorities have confirmed that five people died. They expect that number to rise as some are missing and police officials issued a statement that flights around the islands revealed "no signs of life had been seen at any point,", as The Guardian reported.

"Based on the information we have, we do not believe there are any survivors on the island," the police said in their official statement. "Police is working urgently to confirm the exact number of those who have died, further to the five confirmed deceased already."

The eruption happened on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island, an islet jutting out of the Bay of Plenty, off the country's North Island. The island is privately owned and is typically visited for day-trips by thousands of tourists every year, according to The New York Times.

Michael Schade / Twitter

At the time of the eruption on Monday, about 50 passengers from the Ovation of Seas were on the island, including more than 30 who were part of a Royal Caribbean cruise trip, according to CNN. Twenty-three people, including the five dead, were evacuated from the island.

The eruption occurred at 2:11 pm local time on Monday, as footage from a crater camera owned and operated by GeoNet, New Zealand's geological hazards agency, shows. The camera also shows dozens of people walking near the rim as white smoke billows just before the eruption, according to Reuters.

Police were unable to reach the island because searing white ash posed imminent danger to rescue workers, said John Tims, New Zealand's deputy police commissioner, as he stood next to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a press conference, as The New York Times reported. Tims said rescue workers would assess the safety of approaching the island on Tuesday morning. "We know the urgency to go back to the island," he told reporters.

"The physical environment is unsafe for us to return to the island," Tims added, as CNN reported. "It's important that we consider the health and safety of rescuers, so we're taking advice from experts going forward."

Authorities have had no communication with anyone on the island. They are frantically working to identify how many people remain and who they are, according to CNN.

Geologists said the eruption is not unexpected and some questioned why the island is open to tourism.

"The volcano has been restless for a few weeks, resulting in the raising of the alert level, so that this eruption is not really a surprise," said Bill McGuire, emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London, as The Guardian reported.

"White Island has been a disaster waiting to happen for many years," said Raymond Cas, emeritus professor at Monash University's school of earth, atmosphere and environment, as The Guardian reported. "Having visited it twice, I have always felt that it was too dangerous to allow the daily tour groups that visit the uninhabited island volcano by boat and helicopter."

The prime minister arrived Monday night in Whakatane, the town closest to the eruption, where day boats visiting the island are docked. Whakatane has a large Maori population.

Ardern met with local council leaders on Monday. She is scheduled to meet with search and rescue teams and will speak to the media at 7 a.m. local time (1 p.m. EST), after drones survey the island, as CNN reported.

Guardians of the Forest monitor passersby entering Juracal Village in Araribóia Indigenous Reserve, Maranhão, Brazil on Aug. 8, 2015. Bonnie Jo Mount / The Washington Post via Getty Images

Two indigenous leaders were killed in a drive-by shooting in Northeast Brazil Saturday, and two others were injured.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Larger fish like tuna are especially threatened by lowering ocean oxygen levels. TheAnimalDay.org / CC BY 2.0

Human activity is smothering the ocean, the largest study of its kind has found, and it poses a major threat to marine life.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Adda Bjarnadottir, MS, LN

Up to 20% of people may have a food addiction or exhibit addictive-like eating behavior.

Read More Show Less
Spiced hot chocolate. Lilechka75 / iStock / Getty Images

By Katey Davidson, MScFN, RD

Food is the cornerstone of the holiday season. It brings friends and family together to share memories, cultural traditions, and great flavors.

Read More Show Less