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Enforcing the ‘Will of the People,’ Dozens of Pipeline Protesters Halt Operations in Pennsylvania

'The people of Conestoga Township are stopping this drilling today and any day in the future that Williams attempts it,' says protester.

Enforcing the ‘Will of the People,’ Dozens of Pipeline Protesters Halt Operations in Pennsylvania
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Published on Monday, January 05, 2015 by Common Dreams

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Dozens of people in Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County brought work towards a natural gas pipeline to a halt on Monday, charging that the project threatens a Native American cultural site and their rural way of life.

The protesters, who include area residents and a local chapter of the American Indian Movement, gathered along the Conestoga River and encircled a rig which was drilling for core samples at the site of a proposed pipeline, according to a statement from the group.

The drilling was for part of the Oklahoma-based Williams Partners’ proposed $3 billion Atlantic Sunrise Project, a pipeline network that would pass through ten Pennsylvania counties, bringing gas from the Marcellus Shale to as far south as Georgia. It is slated to be in service in 2017.

The project has met strong opposition from area communities, and Lancaster County resident Carlos Whitewolf of the American Indian Movement vowed in November: “We will stand in front of your bulldozers. We will show up in big numbers, and you will have a war on your hands.” But the pipeline opponents were dealt a defeat last month, when a Community Bill of Rights Ordinance that would have blocked the pipeline from Conestoga Township failed.

Monday’s action, the protesters say, marks the first time they’re using civil disobedience to disrupt Williams Partners’ operations. But it might not be the last.

“Well over half of registered voters in Conestoga support an ordinance outright banning this pipeline,” Leslie Bunting of Conestoga said in a media statement. “This action is an enforcement of the will of the people of Conestoga Township. The people of Conestoga Township are stopping this drilling today and any day in the future that Williams attempts it.”

Follow NoPipelinesLancaster’s Twitter feed as the action unfolds:

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One Response to "Enforcing the ‘Will of the People,’ Dozens of Pipeline Protesters Halt Operations in Pennsylvania"

  1. MarkM  January 5, 2015 at 2:47 PM

    Boy, did you ever bury the lead in this one. Click on “failed” in the fourth paragraph. The link is to a story in Lancaster Online, the local rag, covering the vote of the Conestoga Community Bill of Rights Ordinance (gosh that sounds familiar). The supervisors — we call them commissioners — voted 3-0 to oppose adoption of the ordinance. Here’s why —

    “But the supervisors followed the advice of their solicitor, Jim Thomas, who said the ordinance violated both the U.S. and Pennsylvania constitutions, was “ineffective and unenforceable and, most importantly, will not stop the pipeline.”

    Moreover, he predicted the township would be definitely sued and legal action could even bankrupt the township.
    …. (but there’s more. Read on.)
    But solicitor Thomas said every rights-based ordinance around the country that has been challenged in court has failed.

    In explaining his vote not to adopt the ordinance, Supervisors Chairman Craig Eshelman said, “I swore to obey the Pennsylvania and U.S. constitutions. To pass this ordinance would violate my oath of office.”
    (end)

    So the thing is nowhere near constitutional.

    But that’s not even the best part. The best part is when you place the Conestoga Community Bill of Rights Ordinance side by side with the Coos County Community Bill of Rights. They follow the exact same template. They are nearly identical in structure and phrasing with long passages matching up word for word. Wow.

    Check them out for yourself.

    http://mgx.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Coos-County_CELDF_11-04-2014.pdf

    http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/lancasteronline.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/fd/2fd6d53c-7014-11e4-9cdd-7f9f2a07be59/546cd817d5bbb.pdf.pdf

    I guess my first question for Mary is, just who wrote this ordinance anyway?

    My second question is, who are you working for?

    Reply

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