Anti-Fracking Protest; Authorities Get Involved

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An anti-fracking protest breaks out in New Matamoras, with arrests made, and a man tied to a thirty foot pole.

"I would like to send them a strong message that, we don't want them here," explains a member of Appalachia Resist out of Athens County, Madeline Fitch.

Nearly a hundred activist from across the country gather to show share their "anti-fracking" beliefs.

One group came to join from Eastern Texas, "to stand in solidarity with communities in Ohio and all across Appalachia that are experiencing the devastation effects of fracking and impacts of injection wells," explains a member of the Tar Sand Blockade, Kim Huinh.

It all happened at the GreenHunter Water's new water and waste water handling facility in New Matamoras right off Route 7. That is a division of Triad Hunter. There they have started barging brine from fracking operations to other areas.

"One of the barges could carry as much of this fracking waste as over what a thousand trucks can carry," explains Fitch. "We don't want it trucked in, we don't want it barged in. We don't want it at all. We want this facility shut down and we want toxic radio-active fracking waste, we want that shut down."

One man with an Athens group, Appalachia Resist!, tied himself to a thirty foot pole on the facility's property. Fitch says it was tied off to a truck that was unloading fracking waste."Lock down, blocking the gate, not letting the truck in. We are stopping business as usual."

The Washington County Sheriffs Office and Highway Patrol were quickly got involved. "We're responding as a result of their actions inside the facility and outside the facility right now," explains Chief Deputy Mark Warden.

The protest first started with activist going into the building. Three employees were inside the facility at the time and could identify some. "When they gained entry into the property they cut locks and then they came onto the property, stormed inside the building and some of them had masks on," continues Warden.

The Sheriff's Office says keys were stolen out of company trucks, as well as donuts thrown around trying to clog toilets.

"I think it's very brave to bring civil disobedience to bring attention to the criminal behavior, actions of our government and the industry," explains another activist there to show her support.

The man on the pole eventually got down voluntarily, he was arrested.

Around ten others were also arrested on trespassing charges.

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