by Eleanor Goldfield
Today at FERC, Beyond Extreme Energy organized a pancake protest. Yep, environmental activist Tim DeChristopher and award-winning documentary film-maker Josh Fox were dressed in aprons, chefs hats and stood behind a solar powered grill cooking up some flapjacks for FERC employees and activists. Why? The Holleran family farm is one of the latest victims of FERC’s frack-happy agenda. A few weeks ago, FERC authorized the decimation of several acres of maple trees on the family’s property and brought in armed federal marshals to ensure that the destruction went through without a hitch. The most disgusting detail: the Constitution Pipeline for which the Holleran land was cleared for has not even been approved yet. So FERC pre-emptively razed a family’s livelihood with no assurance that it was even necessary for their bullshit pipeline.
Instead of accepting defeat after many many months of fighting, Megan Holleran decided to come down to DC from her family farm in Pennsylvania in order to invite some FERC commissioners downstairs to taste the last of their maple syrup crop – to sit face to face with the people whose homes and livelihoods they have destroyed – just one of many families, I might add.
Not surprisingly, no FERC commissioners came downstairs. After a final call to join them at the table and discuss energy options, Josh Fox had this to say: “Let it sink in that no one at FERC is willing to face the people that they’re hurting.”
Not content to just sit and wait, Josh Fox tried to walk into the building along with Bethany Yarrow, daughter of Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul & Mary), her daughter Valentina and Megan Holleran. However, Homeland Security, along with a half dozen cops and security guards protected the corporate goons from the dangers of solar-powered pancakes.
Plan B then took shape. Protesters legally walked in an oval picketing and singing outside of FERC, and then a group peeled off to block the entrance to the FERC garage with their bodies, assuring their arrest.
Homeland Security gave their typical three-warning announcement, roped off the area and proceeded to arrest the activists. Throughout this and indeed throughout the whole entire action, Bethany Yarrow sang, even while she was being arrested. She lead activists in beautiful renditions of “We Shall Not Be Moved” and crafted poetic sing-alongs on the fly. Although Valentina, her daughter, shed a few tears as her mother was taken away for standing up to corporate evil, she stood proudly on the front lines with activists as they chanted and sang. She will doubtlessly grow up to be an awesome woman.
Below are images and video from the event. Please do spread and share. Credit Eleanor Goldfield, Art Killing Apathy.
Original Press Release at end of post.
Josh Fox & Tim DeChristopher cooking
Solar-powered & sunkissed
Josh Fox invites FERC employees down for brunch
Megan Holleran tells her story
No Pancakes Shall Pass!
dark vs. light
Beyond Extreme Energy
Embargoed until March 24, 11:30 AM
Press Contact: Lee Stewart, 703-999-2634
Tomorrow, March 24, at noon, Josh Fox, Bethany Yarrow, Karenna Gore, and Tim DeChristopher, together with Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE), and families, concerned citizens and landowners, will cook and serve pancakes at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), to protest its role in wrecking the Holleran family maple farm in New Milford PA. FERC’s pipeline permit gave the Constitution Pipeline Company and its chainsaw team – flanked by heavily-armed federal marshals – the supposed “right” to clear-cut the Hollerans’ maple tree stand on the family farm, in the middle of the maple sugaring season.
The pancakes will be cooked using solar power, and served with maple syrup – to honor the Hollerans and their farm – to FERC employees and passersby.
The protest will confront FERC with what the agency helped Constitution do to the Hollerans. BXE will also demand that FERC stop issuing permits for the new pipelines and other projects supporting the expansion of the fracked gas industry, which is ruining our neighborhoods and countryside , threatening the health and safety of all of us, and adding to the climate crisis.
Who: Josh Fox, award-winning documentary film-maker
Bethany Yarrow, singer-songwriter
Karenna Gore, Director of Center for Earth Ethics
Tim DeChristopher, environmental activist, co-founder, Climate Disobedience Center
and other guests
Beyond Extreme Energy
What: Pancakes cooked with solar power, and served with maple syrup – to honor the Hollerans and their maple tree farm – to FERC employees and passersby
When 12 noon until approximately 2 PM
Where: 888 First Street NE, Washington DC