Those arrested in Burrillville earlier this month for trespassing onto land owned by Spectra Energy and planting tulips were processed in court today. They were given a filing in court which will not be put on their permanent record if there are no further arrests this year, and told to not trespass onto Spectra Energy property again. Spectra is currently working to upgrade pipelines and compressor stations in Burrillville as part of a massive methane gas expansion project. Protesters are hoping to stop the project and save the planet.
In a statement, Sister Mary Pendergast wrote, “A culture of care is part of my spirituality: care of Earth, and care of people who are poor. Pope Francis has called us all to an ecological conversion and he said it is essential and not an option. He asks for a revolution of Mercy as well as a bold, cultural revolution. The Paris agreement is calling for an end to the fossil fuel era NOW! Yet the Burrillville plant will lock RI into fracked gas for the next 30 years. It is beyond time for the people to rise up, sure as the tulips we planted on Spectra.”
Andrea Doremus, also arrested and processed through court today, wrote, “I got arrested because I’m a high school U.S. history and Civics teacher, and I feel it is my educational and moral responsibility to model for my students what it means to stand up for what you believe in, and to use the tools of civil society to challenge that which is wrong and out of balance. Democracy is earned, not given – the forces of greed make sure that is true. And every generation needs to learn and earn it again.
“As Naomi Klein says, we are at a historical juncture. I believe it is our democratic responsibility to act.”