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Jail worth fighting pipelines


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Last week, I participated in a nonviolent civil disobedience action with a group of nine others on an access road in the Otis State Forest in an effort to slow or stop construction by a private corporation that will profit from the desecration of Massachusetts’ public land. Kinder Morgan has cut acres of trees and is laying pipeline that will carry natural gas to customers in Connecticut.

My own motivation was fueled by a shared conviction with many Franklin County residents and the Sugar Shack Alliance, which stopped Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline through Franklin County last year, a conviction that fossil fuels must be kept in the ground if we are to have any hope of slowing the rapid rate of climate change and its disastrous effects. The inconvenience of a day spent in jail is nothing compared to the fractured and threatened quality of life we, our children, and grandchildren face if we do nothing.

One could be critical of how such actions cost the authorities time and money, or one could argue, as I do, that such actions allow democracy to flourish. I believe that this kind of public expression is often essential to protect the safety and well-being of our local and global communities.

Also, the state police who arrested us and all those who interacted with our group once we were taken to the Berkshire County jail were considerate and respectful, which I very much appreciated.

Betsy Corner

Colrain