Here’s the non-news news: About 100 protesters from Ithaca and New York City showed up for a 30-minute “hit and run” protest in front of Talisman Energy’s offices in Big Flats, NY (near Corning, in Chemung County). The rabble rousers, led by Shaleshock, made wild claims about Talisman polluting the environment and read a statement claiming they’ll lay down in front of trucks if drilling begins in New York. In less than a half hour from the time they arrived, they were “escorted” from the premises, where they were illegally protesting (it’s private property).
Because there were cameras and reporters there (pre-arranged), the hit and run protest was splashed across the media and gives the “feel” that there’s a huge groundswell of support against fracking. Fortunately for those who support drilling, such a groundswell only exists in the minds of those who oppose it.
Organizer Nell Gagnon [from Shaleshock], of Ithaca, read a statement directed to John Manzoni, Talisman’s CEO and president.
"Together, we will use our bodies as a source of strength, when our words are not being heard. Everywhere you drill a well, we will be there to stop it. When the first fracking truck drives to pour toxic chemicals into the ground, we will be there to block the road," Gagnon said, reading form a statement.(2)
After a half hour of mouthing off, the State Police kicked them out:
…it was the protesters who were stopped Wednesday, when New York State Police and the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office came to the Talisman office to get them off the property. No arrests were made and the protest was peaceful. But it was on private property.(2)
Is what Gagnon and company proposing by laying down in front of trucks peaceful civil disobedience? Or criminal obstruction and intimidation? You decide.
(1) Binghamton (NY) Press & Sun-Bulletin (Jun 27, 2012) – 100 demonstrate against fracking outside Talisman Energy in Big Flats
(2) Your News Now (Jun 27, 2012) – Fracking protesters get booted from Talisman