21 October, 2013. Source: Shadbush Environmental Justice Collective
At around 12:30pm, 10 protesters began a sit-in at the Allegheny County Courthouse, blocking the main hallway in County Executive Rich Fitzgerald’s office suite. The protesters called on Fitzgerald to drop plans to open up Allegheny County Parks for fracking. The County Executive’s office is currently reviewing proposals from natural gas drilling companies to lease the oil and gas rights under Deer Lakes Park for fracking.
The sit-in is part of a day of action against dirty energy to culminate the Power Shift conference. Over a thousand supporters from Power Shift participated in an un-permitted march to the County Courthouse to support the sit-in, following a rally on the North Shore’s Allegheny Landing earlier this morning. The marchers arrived shortly after the sit-in began and filled the courthouse courtyard, with dozens joining the occupation of the County Executive’s office. No one was arrested.
“Fitzgerald is trying to cut a deal with the natural gas industry without seeking formal input from the residents of Allegheny County on this issue. There is no public participation process, so we have to create it and that’s what we’re doing today with this sit-in. We are bringing our message straight to Fitzgerald that the residents of Allegheny County do not want fracking in our parks.” said Ben Fiorillo of O’hara Township. Continue reading