On July 28, 2012 I joined thousands of other fractivists from across the country at the steps of the Capitol to tell oil and gas companies, the Administration, and anyone else who would listen, no fracking way.
Of course we haven’t stopped fracking, but we started a movement, we built a coalition.
On the first day of the National Days of Action starting July 25 I attended a Marshal and Lobby Day training at the Sierra Club Headquarters in DC. I had never marshaled an event or lobbied my Congress people before, but this issue of fracking is important to me, my friends, my coworkers and my neighbors. It felt good to be in the company of so many other passionate citizens who care about critical issues like safe drinking water and public health.
Early the next morning at the second Lobby Day training we heard from our champions in Congress. Representatives DeGette (CO), Polis (CO) and Hinchey (NY) told us about how they have truly represented us in Congress, standing up for our communities and educating other Representatives on the issues. We were fired up and, dare I say, ready to go. Having never lobbied before I may not be the best judge of our success, but I’ll go ahead and say we made a lot of noise, and there were a lot of ears listening.
On the eve of the big day we gathered at St. Stephen’s Church to learn new strategies for organizing, hear from local affected community members, create a national strategy to Stop the Frack Attack and listen to a panel of leaders in the fracking fight. I learned about social media strategy when the traditional media won’t cover your events, I learned about planning a demonstration that fits your goals and made plans for the future (see For More Information for some of those plans).
At the end of the day we heard from Josh Fox of Gasland, Bill McKibben from 350.org, affected community members John Fenton and Jenny Lisak, Freida Jacques of the Onondaga Nation, Jason Bell from Tour de Frack, and Food and Water Watch's executive director Wenonah Hauter. They prepared us for the fight ahead, starting the next morning.
Finally it was the big day. We rallied in the DC summer heat, inspired by local community members and fracking rock stars. Then, we marched. In the record-setting summer heat of July 2012 we marched to the American Petroleum Institute (API) and we marched to American Natural Gas Association (ANGA) where we took down the artistically recreated drill rigs we carried with us and left them what they left us, dirty water.
5,000 strong marching through the streets of DC, we made quite the scene. And we aren’t done, not a single one of us. We are growing and we are coming to a town near you. Below is a list of upcoming actions, I hope you can join me.