The following is a statement prepared by activists arrested for trying to enter ODNR to meet with public officials on March 14th. They were arrested before even making it into the Ohio Department of Natural Resources public grounds:
We are sitting in today because John Kasich’s Division of Natural Resources (ODNR) is selling out the land and people of Ohio to the gas industry.
We are sitting in because ODNR has failed to protect our friends and neighbors whose water, air, and soil have been poisoned by hydraulic fracturing.
We are sitting in because ODNR has refused to test the toxic fracking wastewater that is being injected into over 170 wells throughout the state, even when explicitly requested to do so.
We are sitting in because we are from Youngstown, where injection wells have shaken our earth.
We are sitting in because we are from Warren, where toxic fracking wastewater has invaded our municipal water supply.
We are sitting in because we live in Cuyahoga County, where gas wells threaten the health and safety of our neighbors.
We are sitting in because we are not expendable, and we will not allow Ohio to remain a dumping ground for toxic fracking wastewater.
We are sitting in because wastewater is the Achilles’ heel of the fracking industry, and shutting down Ohio’s poisonous injection wells will slow down hydraulic fracturing operations across the Marcellus and Utica shales.
We are sitting in because we are inspired by the Lakota people who have stood up and taken direct action to stop the tar sands pipeline from destroying their land
We are sitting in because we are inspired by those West Virginians who have stood up to the coal industry put their bodies on the line to stop the blasting of the Appalachian mountains.
We are sitting in because we are inspired by our friends from Ohio and our allies from the Blood Tribe who have blockaded fracking trucks and physically resisted operations of the gas industry across the continent.
We are sitting in because we are inspired by a worldwide tradition of resistance to the destruction of extractive industries.
We are sitting in because we envision a world where corporate rule is put to rest, and communities are empowered to make those decisions that directly affect their lives.
We are sitting in because we will not be silent and we will not be bought.
We are sitting in because we can’t drink money.
We are sitting in because if we don’t, we don’t know who else will.
-John Williams, Jonathan Sidney, Derrian Lamar-Mitchell
Hats off to John, Jonathan and Derrian, you are truly Ohio’s heroes!