“A Little Rebellion”: Declaring a Farm Forever Inviolate of Drilling for Shale Gas
MEDIA ADVISORY for May 10th, 2012
Contact: J. Stephen Cleghorn 814-568-1207 (farmhouse)
DECLARING A FARM FOREVER INVIOLATE OF DRILLING FOR SHALE GAS
“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive…. I like a little rebellion now and then.” – Thomas Jefferson
(Paradise Community, Henderson Township, Jefferson County, PA) – Drawing upon this nation’s Declaration of Independence as inspiration, Dr. J. Stephen Cleghorn, co-founder of the 50-acre Paradise Gardens and Farm organic farm that sits above the Marcellus Shale formation, is holding a press conference to declare – in defiance of any established laws which say otherwise – that his farm shall never be violated from above or below by unconventional shale gas drilling. He will seal his declaration upon the scattering of ashes that are all that is left of the farm’s co-founder, his late wife Dr. Lucinda Hart-González, who died of cancer in November 2011. “May her ashes,” he will say as he drops them to the ground below, “declare this farm forever inviolate of any attack upon it as a living system. Her blessed ashes hereby declare a new right of love at the surface and forever below this farm that no gas drill may ever penetrate.”
WHO: Dr. Cleghorn will be joined by grassroots activists who oppose shale gas drilling from the Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Water and Air (PACWA), Marcellus Protest, Protecting Our Waters and several others. Also invited: Senator Joseph Scarnati, Speaker Sam Smith, J. Brett Harvey (CEO of CONSOL Energy), Douglas H. Miller (CEO of EXCO Resources) and Larry and Maxine Burkett of Punxsutawney, who hold the deed to the gas rights under the farm.
WHAT: Press conference will begin with a PACWA summary of over 100 reported cases of people and animals sickened by exposure to gas drilling activities. Ben Price of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund will speak briefly of efforts to ban unconventional gas drilling based on a new Bill of Rights that includes the Rights of Nature. Cleghorn will have a short statement and move to the invocation of blessings with his wife’s ashes. His herd of 97 goats will stand by in witness. Legislators, gas company executives and the Burketts will have an opportunity to make a brief statement if they like and remain to take questions.
WHERE: 2771 Paradise Road, Reynoldsville, PA 15851 – in the upper pasture.
WHEN: May 10, 2012. 11 AM – 12:30 PM. (Rain or shine)
WHY: The recently enacted Act 13 is an unacceptable corporate raid on our democracy. Pennsylvanians will not stand for it anymore. Cleghorn will stand his ground against the corporate tyranny that is poisoning the state’s water and air while sickening its people and animals. “We need a new paradigm for how we live on this Earth,” states Cleghorn. “Let’s have a little rebellion. Individual acts of resistance such as mine are but part of an ongoing movement and organization to create a new foundation of law based on the Rights of Nature.”
More information, photos here at the angerandcourage blog.
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