Williams Bought the Farm

Here's LAP's July 28th statement regarding Williams's purchase of the farm in Conestoga where we've been camping and gathering since January:

 

We are the Stand.

The only constant in this effort to stop the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline has been change—and our own ability, as a movement, to adapt to whatever Williams throws our way.

Our movement has become such a threat to Williams’ plans that they’ve resorted to spending millions in a desperate—and futile—attempt to sweep us out of the way. Apparently Williams has forgotten that we live here, and aren’t going away!

Since January, more than 1000 residents have signed a “Pledge to Resist” the pipeline through civil disobedience. More than 500 of you have been trained in nonviolent mass action at The Stand, a 100 acre farm along the Conestoga River that has served as Lancaster Against Pipelines’ staging area in the ongoing effort to keep Williams out of Lancaster County. Hundreds more have gathered at The Stand for meals, campfires, sing-alongs under the stars, and prayer—from the sweat lodge to an Easter sunrise service.

Until now, the property owners have been fiercely opposed to the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline and have worked closely with LAP to make this site a public base for our resistance. 

Sadly, in the last few days, Williams has cracked the resolve of these landowners and thrown down millions of dollars to purchase the entire farm. That’s what billion-dollar companies can do. The deal will settle on Tuesday. The future is uncertain for the Kings, the Amish family who has lived at the farm for nearly ten years. We always knew the gas industry would put enormous pressure on the landowners to chase us off their property. Williams has now fulfilled that dubious expectation.




Losing our beloved staging area is a blow, but it changes nothing about how our movement will forge ahead. The gas industry is accustomed to buying whatever they want—lawmakers, the regulatory system, high power attorneys, slick advertising, and even the most reluctant landowners. But there are some things Williams can’t buy. They can’t buy our collective resolve, our relentless creativity, our disarming sense of humor, our love for this land, nor our fierce commitment to our children’s future.

The Stand is not a property; it’s a raging, grassroots movement. “We the people” are The Stand. Williams is about to learn that lesson, a couple million dollars too late.

The Chapel in Columbia, owned by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, an order of Catholic women religious, is a beautiful example of how the movement is spreading in unexpected ways across the county—and far beyond. The Chapel, located directly in the proposed path of the pipeline, hosts three weekly prayers (Tuesdays, 8 am; Thursdays, 7 pm; Sundays, 6 pm). Hundreds of visitors have made the site their own, and brought national and international attention to the movement.

Lancaster Against Pipelines has already established other outposts to fulfill the same strategic and training purposes this property has served for the past few months, and mass trainings will continue as planned.

Our next Mass Action Training will take place August 5–6 (Sat–Sun). We’ll have a full day of nonviolent mass action planning and practice, a night of fellowship and camping, followed by a day of blockade building. The event is already scheduled to take place in a beautiful, nearby barn along the Conestoga River. Your participation is more important than ever. Click here to RSVP, and bring a friend!

Our work to stop Williams’s destructive plans for the county we love and call home has not been straightforward or easy. The collective courage and determination of this community have carried us through every stage of this fight so far, and this land-grab by Williams will be no different.

They may have money on their side. But we have community, moral conviction—and nuns! We like our odds.

Onward, together!


Lancaster Against Pipelines