On Monday at 7 am at the Chapel in Columbia, Lancaster Against Pipelines will rally in the right of way to stop the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline.
Lancaster Against Pipelines: Statement
Call to Action for Monday, October 16 @ 7 AM
For Immediate Release
Monday, October 16, 2017
3939 Laurel Run, Columbia PA 17512
Outdoor Chapel, Adorers of the Blood of Christ
The time for action is now. Williams has indicated their intention to begin work on the property of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ this coming Monday, October 16.
Whatever you have planned for the day, we urge you to set those plans aside and gather with your friends and neighbors to stand in solidarity with the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in challenging Transco/Williams’ plans to violate our religious rights, community rights, property rights, and rights to clean air and water.
Williams has indicated their plans to begin construction on the Adorers’ property beginning Monday, October 16. The lawsuit that the Sisters have filed against Transco and FERC, alleging a violation of their Religious Freedom, is still winding its way through the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. If the Court were to rule in favor of the Sisters, the pipeline could face a devastating setback. For this reason, Williams is rushing to complete work on the property before the Court has a chance to stop them.
According to a court order by District Judge Jeffrey Schmehl of Reading, PA, Transco/Williams has been given the authority to seize the Adorers’ land against their will, with the authority to enforce this seizure using US Marshals.
Just as Energy Transfer Partners ran bulldozers through ancestral Lakota lands last year, while the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe remained in active litigation against the company on religious principle, so Transco/Williams is poised to break earth on the Sisters’ land, long before they’d planned to do so, in a desperate—and grossly immoral—ploy to preempt a potentially devastating Circuit Court ruling in favor of the Sisters.
We call on people of goodwill all across Lancaster—as well as the state of Pennsylvania and the surrounding region—to join us on Monday morning to demand justice, to call for moral accountability, and to stand in fierce defense of our sacred Earth.
Yesterday afternoon (October 12), the Third Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Sisters’ request that pipeline construction be prohibited through their land until their Religious Freedom challenge against Williams and FERC is settled.
Again, to be clear: despite the fact that the Sisters’ case under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act will, indeed, move forward, the Circuit Court inexplicably ruled to allow construction to begin anyway.
This is simply the latest in a long string of court-ordered rulings that legalize corporate exploitation of local communities and the natural environment, leaving us—as people of conscience—with no other option than a massive mobilization of civil defiance. The status quo is not merely unacceptable; it’s suicidal, because the very building blocks of life—water, land, and air—are fatally imperiled.
Beginning at 7:00 AM, we will hold a prayerful, songful vigil at the very edge of Williams’ desecration corridor, which they call their “right-of-way.” Those outside the easement have a Constitutionally protected right to boldly stand, raise their voices and banners, and bear witness without fear of arrest.
Those who choose to place themselves in the pipeline easement should be prepared to face arrest by US Marshals who, despite their duty to serve and protect the citizens of this nation, will be serving, instead, the financial interests of a private, for-profit, out-of-state, billionaire-run, fossil fuel industry. As we defend our land and water, federal law enforcement officials will be defending the private company putting our land and water at risk.
We need friends and allies to participate in every aspect, and risk level, of this action: banner holders, picture takers, scripture readers, hymn leaders, legal observers, medics, and easement defiers.
Together, let’s dare to expose the moral bankruptcy on full display right here in Lancaster County. It’s a perverse coincidence that Transco’s bulldozers sit poised to gut the chapel of the Adorers just as these Sisters prepare to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the martyrdom of five Adorers who willingly faced mortal danger defending the rights of their brothers and sisters in Liberia.
Defending justice is not cheap. But conceding it is intolerable.