Friday, June 05, 2015

Denton, Texas residents stage protests to fight fracking; at least seven arrested in demonstrations

Despite a decision by Texas state lawmakers to restrict local fracking regulations, residents of Denton—which voted in November 2014 to ban the practice—are still fighting to keep fracking out of their town. Protests have been going on all week, and at least seven people have been arrested during demonstrations at a Vantage Energy fracking site that resumed operations. (Don't Frack With Denton photo by David Goodman: University of North Texas professor Adam Briggle was arrested this week for criminal trespass after he refused to move from blocking the entrance to a Vantage Energy gas well site in Denton)

Residents also flooded Tuesday's Denton City Council meeting to urge local politicians "to postpone repealing the city’s ban on hydraulic fracturing, saying the action was too drastic," Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe reports for the Denton Record-Chronicle. Pauline Raffestin, one of many volunteers who campaigned for the ban, told the council, “Please don’t rush to overturn a democratic vote in the name of a legal strategy."

One of those arrested this week was University of North Texas environmental philosophy professor Adam Briggle. Briggle and two other protestors sat in front of the Vantage site, blocking entrance, and were charged with criminal trespass, Candice Bernd reports for Truthout. Briggle told Bernd, "Maybe it's not even civil disobedience. But I also realize though, that it's something that has to be taken very seriously . . . Something has to rise to a certain level to warrant an act of defiance, and I feel like there's a lot of ingredients that go into that, but one of them is: Have you exhausted all other pathways by which to change things and accomplish justice?"

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