Standing Against Hydrofracking

Today I’m attending a mass rally in Albany, New York, USA, against hydrofracking—a process of deep-well gas drilling that shatters the earth and releases gas that is sold all over the world at a great profit.

I live in a small farm town and have been the chief organizer of an eight-month effort to stop the drilling from coming here. Last week forty-five of us went to the town board meeting and presented 658 signed petitions to prohibit drilling. This was in a town of only a thousand registered voters. Despite our efforts, the town board has refused to act. To me this means we have to get smarter and even better organized. We are up against the most powerful industry in the United States.

I can’t tell you1 how important Joanne Bray’s2 recent workshop was for me. Being in the midst of such loving Catholics and led by such a brilliant and capable leader, I felt at home and at peace with myself. I was able to discharge deeply in all my sessions.

Joanne gave me time in front of the group to talk and discharge about the work I am doing to end hydrofracking. At one point she had people raise their hands if they would be willing to listen to how scared I feel doing it (panic attacks at 3:00 a.m.), and everyone’s hand shot up. I was moved. There is something powerful about being backed3 by fellow Catholics who understand what I am doing and what it means to take charge of making the world a better place. The words solidarity and communion come to mind.

The work goes on. Two other people and I are running for our town council, in order to enact a ban on drilling. This is something none of us have done before. It has already caused two council persons to step down from the election. I counsel almost daily on being this visible, as my Catholic upbringing, among other things, taught me to be quiet and obedient.

Phil Rose
Fenner, New York, USA 

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1 “I can’t tell you” means it’s difficult for me to express.
2 Joanne Bray is the International Liberation Reference Person for Catholics.
3 “Backed” means supported. 


Last modified: 2017-05-06 23:35:41-07