In the News

A summary of news from the past week.

 

(Sister Bernice Klostermann during a prayer vigil at the chapel in Columbia, Lancaster County, by Charles Mostoller for The Intercept)

 

"International media mines Lancaster County's opposition to Atlantic Sunrise pipeline," by Ad Crable at Lancaster Online on August 22:

"As possible construction of the Atlantic Sunrise gas pipeline nears, continued opposition in Lancaster County — including by Catholic nuns — has brought international media attention in recent weeks.

Those reporting the controversy have included NBC News, BBC Radio, The Intercept, In These Times and The Bay Journal."

"Protesters could pay for emergency response costs under new bill from Sen. Scott Martin," Sam Janesh at Lancaster Online on August 20:

"Anyone convicted of crimes related to a public protest would be responsible for paying any police, fire and emergency medical costs associated with the event under a new bill introduced by state Sen. Scott Martin.

The Lancaster County Republican has said he wants to deter potentially violent and destructive protests of a proposed natural gas pipeline in the county — and to ensure that emergency response costs paid by local or state government are recouped.

But Martin’s bill would also apply more broadly to an array of public demonstrations in the state.

If passed, it would impact any events — from small public speeches to massive disturbances like the one in Charlottesville, Virginia, just last week — in which any person was charged and eventually convicted of a misdemeanor or felony."

"We must protect our most sacred places," a special to Lancaster Online by Chad Martin on August 20:

"Scholars of religion contend that all sacred places — from a centuries-old cathedral to an ancient burial mound to a simple chapel erected in the corner of a cornfield — are made holy by the people who claim them so. As Katie Day, a professor at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, said, 'Sacredness is not simply inherent in the space — it is the result of social processes.' A place becomes holy through people’s prayers, careful construction and communal memory. Day goes on to say, 'Those places and artifacts … that are deemed sacred are protected from violation and revered because they connect our everyday experience with a greater narrative.'

With this kind of intentionality and purpose, the Sisters of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ established a sacred place when they granted permission to Lancaster Against Pipelines to create the outdoor chapel I visited recently. This was not a contrived act of protest. Instead, as human beings from many religious traditions have done for millennia, the nuns treated the chapel as a physical reflection and reminder of what they hold most sacred and dear."

Also from August 20, "Right of Way," Charles Mostoller at The Intercept, a gorgeous photo series from the county and the movement, with text:

"Industry-friendly legislators in the state have introduced new bills in response to the threat of civil disobedience. Citing law enforcement spending associated with the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, Scott Martin, the state senator for much of Lancaster County, introduced a bill last week that would make Pennsylvania demonstrators liable for 'public safety response costs' if they’re convicted of misdemeanors or felonies. The legislation’s definition of 'demonstration' includes 'vigils or religious services' that have the primary purpose of 'expression of views or grievances' and 'draw a crowd or onlookers.'”