Yesterday, three UU young adults: Tim DeChristopher, Rev. Heather Concannon, and Matt Meyer; and one UU youth: Connor Smyth, along with community members and clergy who’ve signed the Clergy Climate Action Pledge, disrupted business as usual at a construction site of a fracked gas pipeline in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. Twenty-three were arrested in this action — the final protest of an entire week of escalated resistance to the Spectra Energy pipeline construction coordinated by Resist the West Roxbury Pipeline. Karenna Gore, director of the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York and daughter to former vice-president Al Gore, was among those arrested. Karenna and Tim were interviewed on Democracy Now! news today, June 30, 2016, to speak about the action.
Activists laid still down in the easement of the pipeline construction, representing corpses. Tim explains his motivation for taking action in the video below, stating that “we have entered the age of anticipatory mass graves” — referring to recent news that grave diggers in Pakisan had begun digging trenches in preparation for lost lives to impending summer heatwaves. Tim continues: “This age of participatory mass graves requires something new of us… It requires that we no longer pretend that everything is okay. It requires that we no longer act like we can just turn away from what’s happening in other places in the world. And it requires that we can no longer pretend like what Spectra is doing here in West Roxbury is anything other than digging a mass grave… Every new fossil fuel development that commits us to burning fossil fuels for decades when we put in this infrastructure… will lead to another mass grave somewhere in the world.”
Tim continues that “we cannot just grieve — we have to resist at the same time. We have to find a way to fight back — we have to find a way to turn our grief into resistance. To take our grief into the path of destruction as we have done here today.” The crowd then went beyond a police line and occupied the construction site of the pipeline, many laying down in symbolic death by climate chaos.
For more information, check out this blog from another recent Interfaith #StopSpectra protest. To get involved or donate funds to support the movement, visit www.resistthepipeline.org/