As reported on EcoWatch.org this morning, Athens, OH resident Madeline ffitch chained her body to cement filled barrels to prevent the injection of highly toxic wastewater entering her community. While government agencies like the Ohio Department of Natural Resources continue to refuse to test what chemicals are in this brine, Madeline’s actions are part of a growing movement of people taking direct action to protect their communities and assert their rights to safe clean water. You can contact organizers in Athens at 740 856 9388, firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re waiting to hear more information about how we can help Madeline get out of jail. [UPDATE: Madeline has been charged with inducing panic, a fifth degree felony. She has been released on her own recognizance, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for July 9th at 2 P.M.] It is striking how her act of moral courage mirrors folks across this country who are building a movement of resistance to fracking and other extractive industries. In Ohio communities have blockaded injection wells, begun passing bans and moratorium on both injection and fracking that assert citizens’ environmental rights bills. We are reminded that her resistance is connected to resistance in communities where those brine trucks came from. Communities where the water was first laced with over 650 toxic chemicals and injected into the ground releasing gas, radioactive particles, and toxins into drinking water, and where communities have thrown up blockades to fight the water withdrawals that threaten their way of life.
Nonviolent actions directly challenging systems of injustice have worked for past social movements and the anti-fracking movement stands on the shoulders of giants like Dr. King, Ghandi, and many others. These are skills we need to use creatively to actively resist annihilation. We hope to see you at our action camp in July and at trainings across the country to carry forward the resistance and join in the struggle against fracking and for a livable future.
Here is their press release: