Milford, PA, March 1, 2013 – Yesterday, local hero and tree-sitter Gifford Pinchot was arrested on the ninth day of holding fast in a forest tree-sit. A tree-sit is a form of non-violent civil disobedience, meant to stop tree clearing for the Tennessee Gas Pipeline. This morning Pinchot was released from police custody, while workers were again turned away from the work site by local protesters.
Last evening at approximately 6:00 p.m., Gifford Pinchot was apprehended in the forests of Pike County, PA on the ninth day of the tree-sit. He was charged with aggravated trespass, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, but was released on his own recognizance this morning. Meanwhile, work crews returned to Cummins Hill Road to continue clearing trees along the Tennessee Gas Pipeline right of way and were turned away by emotional pleas and testimony from local residents. Local activists were able to appeal to their common interest in a safe, clean environment, and the workers walked away from the job of clearing one of the final stands of trees for this right of way.
The arrest was part of a nine-day tree-sit blockade and two-week road blockade. Both actions supported a campaign opposing the Tennessee Gas Pipeline in the Delaware River Basin. The direct action campaign is taking place after nearly two years of local opposition from grassroots groups and political leaders in the courts, in public hearings, and through protest.
When asked for a personal statement on his experience in the tree stand, his arrest, and future plans, Gifford Pinchot said, “Let this be a lesson to all those resisting ecological destruction. The state and their corporate cohorts will lie, coerce and intimidate us. But we must trust in our friends and the forest. Those are our only true allies in this fight. As these struggles continue and intensify, it is important to remember that we are not alone. We are just one link in a chain of resistance to those oppressing the earth, and this chain will not be broken until the earth and all her inhabitants are free at last.”
Check out NoTennesseePipeline.blogspot.com for updates. We have an awesome plan for shutting this thing down for another year, but we need more people. Get in touch with Alex Lotorto 570 269 9589.
We also need people to call, and continue calling, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) @ (609-883-9500 ext 0 or ext 200) and the Army Corps of Engineers @ (215-656-6502). Tell the DRBC to block the project (and if you are in NJ, DE PA or NY your governors are on the commission) and tell the Army Corps of Engineers to “reopen the DRBC NEUP docket and stop the project.” How will we feel when this infrastructure project inevitably pollutes the Newark and Philadelphia drinking water supplies? How will it affect our community’s health? I want to live in Philadelphia with clean water to drink for the rest of my life. Please call the DRBC or join our resistance.