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Local International Day Against Fracking protesters issue statements, three arrested

September 22, 2012

The Grand Rapids group Mutual Aid GR organized a downtown Grand Rapids march as part of the International Day Against Fracking. This statement was released to media prior to the action:

A participant in the action related the following about the event:

 About 20 people attended and marched from Veteran’s Park through downtown and ended at Wolverine Oil & Gas where some folks staged a sit in. The march was a success! Our group gave out information to numerous passers-by and we seemed to have quite a bit of community support, even in-spite of the Art Prize craziness. We shouted chants like, “Hey Hey! Ho Ho! Hydraulic Fracking has got to go!” Our aim was to increase community awareness not only of the dangers of “fracking” but also that there are folks dedicated to acting in solidarity to create sustainable change from “outside the system.” 
The 3 folks that sat-in where arrested at approximately 2:15pm. There were several police officers present but all of them seemed very amiable and there was no struggle. The folks who were associated with the building seemed like they may present some resistance but nothing too outrageous came of it. The occupiers gave their demands to the VP of Wolverine Oil & Gas and there was a cordial debate that followed. No shouting or unreasonable acts, just quiet exchange about why and how Wolverine Oil & Gas is complicit in the degradation of our environment. Once the occupiers were hauled away the marchers moved from 55 Campau back to the corner of Monroe and Pearl where we passed out info and engaged in consciousness-raising discourse. All of the occupiers have since been bonded out and are set to appear in court next week.
The following is the statement released by the occupiers who sat-in at Wolverine Oil & Gas. They chose to give their own statement separate from that of the march.

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“Today, we occupy the offices of Wolverine Oil & Gas as one action against the consequences of oil and gas extraction in Michigan. We are confronting Wolverine Oil & Gas because they have a history of profiting from environmental destruction and particularly their use of the natural gas extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing.

We know that hydraulic fracturing is bad for Michigan because it:
• Contaminates ground water and soil with toxic chemicals
• Contributes to the pollution and contamination of fresh water, which is one of the things that make Michigan such a magical place to live.
• Fracking poisons plants, animals and humans.
• Fracking is accelerating around the country and in Michigan and is contributing to the most urgent crisis of our time, global warming.
• Lastly, fracking for natural gas reduces the need to seek truly sustainable and renewable forms of energy.
Therefore, we occupy Wolverine Oil & Gas to say no to contaminating Michigan water; no to practices that significantly contribute to global warming; and no to companies that profit from environmental destruction. 
We are occupying Wolverine Oil & Gas to demand that they release all information about the type and amount of chemicals they have used in fracking to date and the amount of water used; to release information on the location of all oil and gas wells they own and operate in Michigan, and to stop the practice of fracking where ever they engage in this practice. 

No Compromise in Defense of Mother Earth!”

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