Williams and the Police

Local police departments have mailed questionnaire's to landowners asking if they'll host protesters or allow police to charge protesters on their land.

Lancaster Online reports:

"Lancaster County residents whose land will be crossed by the controversial Atlantic Sunrise pipeline are being asked by police if they intend to allow protesters.

And, if they don’t plan to do so, landowners are requested to give police permission to remove protesters and bring criminal charges.

The questionnaires were first sent by mail recently to landowners by the West Hempfield Township Police Department. Manor Township police followed suit and Southern Regional police, who patrol Conestoga and Pequea townships, haven’t decided whether to send the questionnaires by mail or to contact landowners in person, Chief John Michener said Thursday."

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“'While we certainly trust it was not intentional, the substance and tone of the letter serves the interests of (pipeline builder) Williams far more than the interests of local community members who are working to protect their land, water, air and safety,” said Mark Clatterbuck of Martic Township.

“Somewhat shockingly, the letter appears to launch a law enforcement campaign to secure advance permission to arrest peaceful protesters, thus ensuring lower stop-work costs for the industry once construction begins.

“Instead, what many of us desperately want to see from local law enforcement is a concrete plan for how they intend to safeguard the Constitutional free speech rights of peaceful local residents.

“We also desire assurances for protection against notoriously abusive private security forces that Williams has already hired to operate in our neighborhoods.'

In advance of the pipeline work, state Sen. Scott Martin of Lancaster County has attracted applause and criticism for a bill aimed at making 'violent' protesters pay for any emergency response that is required and for any property damage they cause."