PHOTO ESSAY: Fracking rally in Washington D.C.

PHOTOS BY LAUREN PETRACCA

Residents from the Rochester and Syracuse areas took a bus trip to Washington DC on Saturday, July 28, 2012 to participate in “Stop the Frack Attack,” a rally and march held to ask for a ban on hydrofracking across the country.

Residents from the Rochester and Syracuse areas pass the time during the ten hour bus trip to Washington DC on Saturday, July 28, 2012. The group went to participate in Stop the Frack Attack, a rally and march held to ask for a ban on hydrofracking across the country.

Bonnie Bleigh and her son, Caleb Kime, read on the way to Washington D.C. for the “Stop the Frack Attack” rally and march. “It’s his 18th birthday and this is what he wanted to do,” said Bleigh.

Over 5,000 people showed up in Washington D.C. to rally and march to push for a ban on hydrofracking across the country.

Ray Kembele, a resident of Dimock, Pennsylvania holds up a sample of his tap water in front of the Capitol Building. After four years of not having clean drinking water, the EPA determined his water was contaminated a few days before the rally.

Bill McKibben was one of many speakers at “Stop the Frack Attack” on Saturday, July 28, 2012 in Washington DC.

Josh Fox, the director of Gasland, was one of many speakers to speak out against hydrofracking at the rally.

Anna Gullickson from Butler, Pennsylvania was one of the 5,000 people who showed up to rally and march.

Over 5,000 people showed up in Washington D.C. to rally and march, pushing for a ban on hydrofracking across the country.

Wendy Sisson holds up her son Liam, 7, during the Stop the Frack Attack march in Washington D.C. on Saturday, July 28, 2012.

Rhonda Hungerford from Baldwinsville (left) and Roseanne Demaria Marietta from Odesco Lake (right) march with over 5,000 others during Stop the Frack Attack in Washington D.C. on Saturday, July 28, 2012. Rhonda and Roseanne rode the bus that left from Rochester at 3:30 AM on Saturday morning to go to the rally.

Protestors ended the “Stop the Frack Attack” march at the America’s Natural Gas Alliance building in Washington D.C. on Saturday, July 28, 2012.

Protestors cool off in a fountain in Franklin Square on Saturday, July 28, 2012 after marching through the streets of Washington D.C. during “Stop the Frack Attack,” a protest held to push for a ban on hydrofracking throughout the country.

One comment

  1. Tom Janowski · · Reply

    I was born in 1963.

    In 1970 I was aware of the first Earth Day. Mrs. Wallace, my first grade teacher spoke about pollution and why Earth Day was important. Later, in Mr. Sawyer’s fourth grade class, walking along the Chemung River in Elmira, NY picking up trash was our Earth Day activity.

    I was happy that pollution was being dealt with. I was certain that the problem would be solved and that we would move on. Forty-two years later I am on a bus, heading to Washington DC to rally and march in protest of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.

    I have been an outspoken critic of hydrofracking. My main activity has been writing letters to newspapers all over New York State, spreading the word on Facebook and commenting on blogs. When the D.C. rally came up, I knew I had to be there. This issue is important to me. I had to be present.

    The organizers of a local bus trip down to DC mentioned making signs and taking them down on the bus. I’m usually creative, but had been too busy to come up with anything. My anti-fracking lawn sign would have to do.

    The bus ride down with my fellow activists was energizing. I felt comforted knowing many more people were much more involved than I was. Seeing all the creative protest signs was inspirational. Hearing Josh Fox and Bill McKibben speak was truly awesome.

    After we baked in the extreme climate change-induced heat on the march, we ended at Franklin Park. As many of my fellow protesters got into the fountain to cool off, it finally dawned on me. I knew what my protest sign should/would/could have said: THE FIRST EARTH DAY WAS IN 1970. WHY ARE WE HERE NOW??

    Earth Day 1970 was a tipping point. It was the event that focused attention on everything we had been doing wrong with the environment. I thought the future was clear and I thought everyone knew we had to change the path we were on. But collectively, we dropped the ball. We let up on the pressure to seek alternative, nonpolluting fuel sources. Elected officials allowed corporate cash to influence their decisions.

    We have to reclaim the spirit and message of the first Earth Day. We have to prove to future generations that we actually finished the job so that no one has to ask WHY ARE WE HERE AGAIN?

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