100 Protestors Weather Storm to 'March Against Fracking'
March through Kent on Saturday ended with rally at The Kent Stage.
Around 100 Kent-area residents braved frigid temperatures and blowing snow late Saturday morning to protest fracking with a march from The Kent Stage to “the rock” on Kent State University’s historic front campus.
The protestors were greeted back at the theater with free hot chocolate, donuts and a lineup of speakers opposed to the hydraulic fracturing process.
The “March Against Fracking” was organized by Shalersville resident Mary Greer, a Kentite at heart, and her husband, former Kent resident George Sosebee. Both are members of Concerned Citizens Ohio.
“It was bitterly cold and the wind was blowing and people were all excited. They marched all the way to the rock, painted it and chanted ‘No Fracking Way,’” Greer said. “They were out there in that bitter cold for 47 minutes and they all came dripping back.”
Sosebee led the march to the drumbeat provided by Kent resident Shawn Cline. About 10 volunteer marshals helped ensure the large group crossed intersections along East Main Street safely. Participants included representatives of the national organization Food & Water Watch.
“Nearly everyone who drove by honked and waved and smiled and gave us the thumbs-up. There was no resistance or problems with people telling us we were crazy,” Greer said.
Greer said Voneida “talked about all the damages caused by horizontal hydraulic fracturing, the dangers to the aquifers, dangers to human health and dangers to property values.”
Frederick, said Greer, “told her story of having been poisoned for over a year by a fracked well that was placed within feet of her house, when it could have been placed farther away. She has permanent nerve, reproductive and digestive system damage.”
Greer said Davis delivered “a ‘We The People’ reminder about the intent of the U.S. Constitution saying the power resides in the people, not in the government.
“This relates to fracking because, in Ohio, fracking is allowed anywhere by law and people can’t say no to it. State law has pre-empted the rights of local citizens and municipalities to determine what they will accept,” Greer said.
Next up on Greer’s agenda is the anti-fracking Town Meeting that will be held at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17 in VanMeter Hall at Kent United Church of Christ, featuring speakers Vanessa Pesec and Ron Prosek.
Greer said the meeting’s purpose is to “discuss the problems related to fracking and what action residents can take. We want all of Kent to come and hear what they can do, because every voice is going to count in this fight.”