This morning’s anti-fracking rally at the Trenton War Memorial started with words from the Deputy Director of Delaware Riverkeeper. She said, “Politicians view gas drilling as just another political football. We told them fracking is a public health issue, an environmental issue, and a civil rights issue. We thank Delaware Governor Markell who looked at the science and decided last week to cast a critical vote against fracking.” As a result the Delaware River Basin Commission, which was scheduled to vote today in favor of fracking, cancelled their meeting.
Jeff Titel, NJ Sierra Club, said, “Today is a beginning not a rally. Next we will march to the State House. The NJ legislature banned fracking in our state, but Governor Christie vetoed the bill. Our message to the governor is to ban fracking in NJ and in the basin now. We ask the legislature to override this veto by the end of the year. If Woody Guthrie were alive today he would be singing, “It’s not just our land but our water that’s made for you and me.”
Josh Fox, author and producer of the famed anti-fracking documentary Gasland, said with great emotion, “We won this round, but like an orchestra, we are just tuning up. There is more to be done regarding fracking, deep water oil drilling and coal.”
Actress Debra Winger, more quietly but in a heartfelt manner, said, “We are celebrating a moment of victory. However, we know that while electricity through coal in our house may be clean, extracting it is not. We need to carry our message further.”
At the end of the speeches an audience member reminded participants that Governor Christie does not support this movement. He uttered the words, “This is not the Governor’s river. It’s our river.” And with that, the group marched to the State House to continue the rally.
Throughout the event there were references to the Occupy movement. Occupy Trenton provided continuous live streaming of the entire event and plans to add it to their video library here.