Westchester and Rockland Counties sent a bus to join in the rally, New York Crossroads: Say No to Fracking and Say Yes to Renewable Energy in Albany on Monday, June 17th. Several thousand people attended the successful event which called for the New York Senate to pass a two year moratorium tied to a comprehensive Health Impact Assessment (HIA) before the legislative session ends this week. The large crowd and prominent speakers also called on Governor Cuomo to ban fracking and to embrace renewables as the way forward for sustainability and long-term job creation.
One of the bus captains of the White Plains bus, Westchester resident and grassroots organizer, Susan Van Dolsen of Westchester for Change said, “The diversity and strength of the movement to ban fracking and to promote renewable energy was evident today, both on the bus from White Plains and at the rally in Albany. People from all walks of life and all parts of our county enthusiastically urged Governor Cuomo, a fellow Westchester resident, to turn away from the dangerous practice of extracting shale gas and to make New York a leader by promoting renewable energy.”
In speaking about the day, one of the bus passengers, Terry Nagai of Yonkers felt, “It was an excellent experience in being part of democracy in action!”
Another bus captain, WESPAC organizer and Port Chester resident Tarin Gonzalez spoke about the day: “What a wonderful day it was to fight for a healthier future. People from all over New York rallied at the state capital to demand a halt to hydro-fracking on New York state lands which can potentially harm all New Yorkers. I was especially happy to see the age, gender, and racial diversity of the people who attended this very important rally. Young people chanting “Cuomo don’t frack it up”, the elderly teaching us about the values of Mother Earth, mothers‘ concern that their children may grow up in a world without clean drinking water, men worried about the health of their families, farmers worried about how they’ll survive, black, brown, red, yellow and white people standing together in unity on an issue that can harm us all equally and does not discriminate.”
Jennifer Greenof Yonkers explained that, “The experience helped to enlighten people about how international and interracial coalitions can force ‘the powers that be’ to accede to the power of people of conscience.” She added, “I’m going to stay on the battlefield till I die.“
The local bus included riders from many local organizations including Sierra Club Lower Hudson Chapter, WESPAC Foundation, Westchester for Change, Rockland Safe Water Coalition, Concerned Families of Westchester, NOFA, the New York Sustainable Business Council and Chefs for the Marcellus and was sponsored by Food and Water Watch. For more information about how you can join the movement, please email [email protected].