Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)
Lancaster pipeline opponents are up to no good. When they protest attempts to protect public health and safety and lie about their intent, trouble’s ahead.
This one has us spitting nails. We have reported, for months, about the activities of so-called protesters against Williams’ $3 billion Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project. In particular, there is a group in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania opposing the pipeline that is not so creatively named Lancaster Against Pipelines (LAP). Some of their members previously attended and participated in protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline in Standing Rock, North Dakota; protests that turned violent and destroyed millions of dollars in equipment. In February, the chief organizer of LAP, Mark Clatterbuck, who participated in the illegal activities in North Dakota last year, announced he intends to bring that kind of mayhem to Lancaster County. Clatterbuck set his plans in motion in March and what he’s up to now is no good.
Let’s see, thousands of protesters illegally blocking construction workers, burning equipment, and taking shots at police officers. How does that all sound for Lancaster County? Not very good, according to local State Senator Scott Martin, who organized a closed-door meeting Thursday with area first responders and police, piping in a satellite feed from North Dakota officials to discuss what Lancaster might do to prevent what happened in North Dakota.
Protesters showed up at the forum to protest the meeting about how to handle protesters (kind of meta, isn’t it?). The protesters said it was “disrespectful” and “irresponsible” to plan how to avoid the disaster of Standing Rock. Does that beat all? Are these people actually lunatics escaped from an asylum? To not plan how to handle a sizable group of people (many of whom will come from out of the area) who plan to engage in breaking the law is the height of irresponsibility. Kudos to Sen. Martin for protecting area residents, the environment and the workers who will build the pipeline irregardless of the temper tantrums thrown by these adult children who claim to be protesters. Here’s what Lancaster Online reports (emphasis added):
Opponents of the Atlantic Sunrise gas pipeline say it’s “disrespectful” and “irresponsible” that state Sen. Scott Martin thinks it necessary to assemble local police, emergency responders and public officials to protect the safety and property of Lancaster County residents in advance of expected pipeline protests.
The freshman senator from Martic Township — a center of local opposition — has scheduled a by-invitation-only teleconference forum today between local police and municipal officials and similar officials from North Dakota.
There, near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, protests against an oil pipeline several months ago made international headlines and featured standoffs, arrests and some violence.
Martin, who has long declared his support for the pipeline that would be buried through 37 miles of Lancaster County, said the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline cost state and local governments tens of millions of dollars and led to “numerous crimes committed against people and property.
“We need to discuss a proactive approach to this issue so any potential protests can take place in a way that will not impact the public safety or the financial health of local communities,” Martin said in a press release Tuesday.
But pipeline opponents who have been training for months to engage in non-violent mass action when pipeline construction is expected to begin later this summer are resentful at the comparisons to Standing Rock and its violence.
“How can you do this when you haven’t even talked to us first?” said Tim Spiese, a Martic Township resident and leader in the Lancaster Against Pipelines group.
“This is not a Standing Rock-type protest. We want this to be a community grassroots-based protest. We’re not even going to wear masks. We don’t want that label for that kind of activities. Peaceful, quiet protests is the only thing that has ever worked.”
Stop right there. The previous statement that this is “not a Standing Rock-type protest” is a flat out, 100% lie. LAP themselves, the organizers of it, previously declared “Standing Rock’s the playbook for camps like ours.” How can you have a rational conversation with someone who lies to your face?
There was nothing peaceful about Standing Rock, and there won’t be in Lancaster County when a large contingent of out-of-state, paid protesters arrive. That’s what happened in North Dakota; that’s what will happen in Lancaster County.
Lancaster Against Pipelines says it has signed pledges from 800 Lancaster County residents to peacefully stand in the way of the pipeline. Between 300 and 400 of them have so far undergone training in nonviolent protesting, Martin said.
Malinda Clatterbuck of Martic Township says she is frustrated because she says that Sen. Martin has shown no interest in the health and safety of his own constituents affected by the pipeline.
“We’re not protesters. We’re the residents who live here. We’re the constituents of these local officials who are fighting violations of our own rights and the destruction of our own communities.”
It’s a protest organization, yet the irrational wife of the irrational founder of LAP utters the statement, “We’re not protesters.” Well, what are you then? The Easter Bunny?
In an interview Wednesday evening, Martin was asked if he thought local protests could approach the level encountered in North Dakota.
“I hope it doesn’t come to that but I think anyone who actually saw what occurred there, and the aftermath, we wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we weren’t prepared to deal with some of the things they dealt with.”
Here’s some more from Fox 43‘s account of the meeting and the protesters who where there yesterday:
The forum was held behind closed doors as it was geared toward the first responders and their preparations for any potential civil unrest locally, but those who would take part in those protests demonstrated outside, saying they wanted a seat at the table to ensure safety between both sides…
State Senator Scott Martin (R-Lancaster County) hosted the forum, saying he does not want to see a repeat of what happened at Standing Rock. Martin says this is not about suppressing protest, but making sure it is done safely and efficiently.
“We will have a responsibility to keep our community safe locally and also do our best to avoid a situation where our local taxpayers are stuck with a $25 million price tag,” he said, citing the taxpayer cost of the protests…
Protesters say they were upset they were not invited to take part in the forum since they are the ones who will be engaged in the protest and are concerned law enforcement could take things too far.
“We feel like the only the only path for that we have to resist this is just in the spirit of peaceful non-violent creative mass action, civil disobedience and so that’s what we’re committed to doing,” Mark Clatterbuck, the co-founder of Lancaster Against Pipelines, said.
Editor’s Note: I share Jim’s anger over what these Lancaster pipeline opponents are doing. They know precisely what they intend to accomplish and it’s to create chaos that will make headlines. Everyone knows this and the “non-violence’ pledge is no more than fig leaf rationalization of what will be an invasion of out-of-town seal protesters using the event as an opportunity to advance their own radical ideologies. It’s a form of bullying best described as the tyranny of the minority, or mob rule by malcontents.