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Sugar Shack Alliance protests fossil fuels on I-91

  • Sugar Shack Alliance Affinity Group hangs a banner over Interstate 91 in Bernardston to protest pipeline. Contributed Photo—



Recorder Staff
Saturday, September 02, 2017

BERNARDSTON — For the fifth and final time this summer, members of the local Sugar Shack Alliance Affinity Group hung a banner over the highway to advocate for renewable energy and protest pipelines.

As people came home from work Friday before the Labor Day weekend, they saw a sign over Interstate 91 that read “Renewable Energy Now” in large letters across the top and in big, bold red lettering, “No Pipeline!”

“We wanted to expose a lot of people in a short amount of time to messaging around the need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels,” said Cate Woolner, a spokeswoman for the affinity group.

Over the course of the summer the group, made up of about a dozen Franklin County residents, primarily from Northfield, hung a banner over the Mass Turnpike in Lee three times and twice over I-91 in Bernardston.

The most rewarding part of the experience for Woolner is not when people honk in solidarity, but for those who give neither a positive nor a negative reaction. She said it’s satisfying because it can leave them thinking and having a dialogue that they may not have had otherwise.

“Those are the people we are really glad we are reaching,” Woolner said.

The group has been involved in efforts to stop pipelines from entering the region, as they push against the reliance on fossil fuels. Most recently they have been involved in the pipeline protests in Sandisfield.

For now, the affinity group does not have a next step for when it will hang banners again, Woolner said, but they will continue to look toward future action.

As for those who would like to get involved, Woolner recommended visiting the group’s Facebook page or website, or that of the Climate Action Now Western Massachusetts. She said that if people wanted to join the pipeline protests that they have to take a non-violent direct action training first. The next training is Sept. 23.and people can register on the group’s website.

You can reach Joshua Solomon at:

jsolomon@recorder.com

413-772-0261, ext. 264