Pipeline construction on the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline here in Lancaster County is likely to start in the next 1-3 months and continue at least into next year. We're asking for 2 month commitments. This fight is all being conducted on a volunteer basis, but we'll happily work with funded fellows from other organizations. We'll also feed, house, and give you the resources and support you need to take some serious action during your time here.
What We're Up Against
Williams Partners is a multi-billion dollar company with experience in dealing with protests and resistance. They have enormous influence over environmental agencies and regulators because of their financial advantage. Williams employees have already pressed charges against local pipeline resisters, and even contacted the employer of one local LAP organizer in an effort to get him fired with accusations of eco-terrorism. More of these instances are to be expected in the future. As we know, major pipeline companies routinely hire private security when protesters are expected. These private security, like the ones used at Standing Rock, are often willing to get physical with peaceful protesters. Williams will likely try to win favor with the local police, causing them to be more aggressive with non-violent resistance.
Williams Partners also has one of the worst safety records of any gas company, paying nearly four-hundred thousand dollars in fines in the year 2013. Sadly, these fines are little more than pocket change to massive companies like Williams partners. If the pipeline is installed, Williams cannot be trusted to keep us residents safe.
What We've Been Doing About It
For the past three years, Lancaster Against Pipelines has been laying the foundations in our local communities for a massive civil resistance. In addition to a broad base of support from county residents, we've also built inroads with faith communities, local and national environmental organizations, and indigenous groups. To date, more than 600 local residents have pledged to put their bodies on the line when construction begins. Many of our most dedicated members have never considered the idea of being 'an activist.'
'The Stand' is a 20-acre plot of farmland, along with a historic tobacco barn, that we've built into a staging ground for non-violent mass action training and community building. It sits directly across the road from a critical drill pad for the pipeline’s proposed HDD passage under the Conestoga River. The access road to that drill site is the driveway to our Amish neighbors' farm. Here, and across the county, the pipeline equipment will roll over community roots going back generations. When it does, we'll be in its path, articulating a bold vision of community power that is both distinctly local to us and universal to middle America.
On July 9, we'll also be dedicating an outdoor Chapel of Resistance on property belonging to a community of Roman Catholic nuns. Williams is attempting to run the pipeline through their land, but the Sisters have resisted by appealing to their 'Land Ethic' that honors the "sacredness of all creation." When construction begins, LAP is calling on supporters to demonstrate solidarity with these nuns by holding a continuous prayer vigil on this Chapel site, which is located directly in the pipeline's path.
Why We Need YOU!
As pipeline construction gears up to start this summer, we’ve built the infrastructure to launch a massive resistance. Among the usual blockade equipment, our community has sewn lines of quilts to march into actions. We've built a deployable chapel to place in the pipeline's path. We're working with barn raisings and deer stands. We have builders, welders, and access to heavy equipment. We have cooks, medics, legal support, and a beautiful campground lined up to go.
But given the pace and size of this movement, we have an urgent need for more organizers on the ground to work alongside our current leadership. So before we open the Stand to full time campers late this summer, we’re putting out a call for a few more core organizers to join our work. We'll house, feed, and plug you in to local resources. Our movement is currently all volunteer, and unfortunately our grants are not allocated to pay staff like y'all deserve. We do, however, promise to give you the resources and support to do some seriously cool shit with your time here.
WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR:
Experienced organizers who are comfortable stepping into point positions
An ability to take ownership of areas we’re stretched to thin to cover
An eagerness to work alongside people outside the activist community
A willingness to take strategic leadership from locals, and an appreciation for the power of a mass community uprising
- A 2-month commitment
Areas Where We Need Assistance:
These roles involve co-coordination with local leadership
Coordinating Outreach Drives
Coordinating regular phone banking events
Updating our contact database (Nationbuilder) for action organizing (who has experience in construction? anyone have a truck we can use? who's free on Saturdays?)
Developing communication systems for things like shift sign-ups, donation lists, and other specialized events
- Effective social media campaign
- Experience in writing proper press advisories & statements
- Rapid response messages in coordination with our messaging
- Taking point on social media publicity for various events
- Working with all teams
- Facilitation of on-demand meetings
Coordinating our videographers & photographers
- Setting up media teams to post & process content
Helping articulate powerful narratives of who we are and what we’re standing via memes and short videos
Action Planning & Preparation
Organizing & tracking the various action teams operating at any given time
Coordinating logistical and material support for the action teams
Working with the leadership to maintain strategic direction in the overall campaign
- (Our crews have equipment construction covered, but can always use ideas on new ways to hold the land)
Maintaining & Expanding the Camping and Staging Areas
Day to day work at camp
- Filling shifts and making sure tasks gets done
Making sure kitchen is maintained
- As actions grow, we’ll start opening the Stand to full-time camping. We need an experienced crew to keep it organized and safe.
* In keeping with the seriousness of this work, and consistent with the spirit of our local community and Amish neighbors, the campsite and staging areas are drug and alcohol free.
- Evaluating folks' readiness for action and assessing their needs
Organizing training event logistics
Expanding our trainer network, and following up on current connections
And a WHOLE LOT MORE.
To apply, please send:
- Statement of Interest
- Why you would like to work with our community
- Work you have done in the past
- What you can bring to the team
- 2-3 contacts we can reach out to
Email application materials to: email@example.com
We'll be bringing people on throughout the rest of summer, but someone will get back to you within two weeks.