Filed under: Announcement, Development, Environment, Land, Northeast
The following is a call for support and an update on Camp White Pine, an ongoing resistance camp to a pipeline in Pennsylvania that will displace residents and negatively impact the local environment. To hear our podcast interview with Camp White Pine, go here.
At approximately 6:00AM on Sunday, April 8th, in a move that can only be described as cowardly, tree-clearing crews from Energy Transfer Partners sneaked onto the Gerharts’ homestead in so-called Huntingdon, PA (occupied Susquehannock, Lenape, and Shawnee territory) without warning and removed three trees with aerial platforms from the route of the Mariner East 2 natural gas liquids pipeline.
Over the past two years, since work crews first showed up at the Gerharts’ property to clear the easement, these trees and platforms, along with the fierce forest defenders who occupied them, have become known as Camp White Pine. During that time, defenders have stalled the dangerous ME2 pipeline expansion, preventing Energy Transfer Partners from finishing their tree-clearing and throwing a major wrench in the works for the completion of this unsafe and unnecessary infrastructure project. Even though these aerial blockades have been removed, Camp White Pine is most certainly not out of the fight. As the old adage goes, “They tried to bury us. They did not know we were seeds.”
It is clear from ETP’s course of action that they have been intensively surveilling camp to gather information and to know when best to strike. Their documented tactics over the past two years (as well as those of private security contractor TigerSwan) include illegal fly-overs (by plane, helicopter, and drone), thermal imaging scans, paid infiltrators, trespassing, and a violent smear campaign that prompted death threats to local landowners and community members.
It is surprising, therefore, that ETP has yet to realize the conviction and resolve of those opposed to this pipeline and the fossil fuel industry as a whole. The tree-sits at Camp White Pine were certainly a major aspect of this camp, but they were not the only tactic available to us.
While we take this time to reassess and strategically evaluate our options, Camp White Pine calls for solidarity actions! Energy Transfer Partners thinks that they have struck a decisive blow against us. They have not.
This fight is nowhere near over. We must place this struggle within the context of centuries-long resistance to colonialism, extraction, and abuse of the natural world.
The Mariner East 2 pipeline, a 350+ mile long natural gas liquids export project, is already 18 months behind schedule. To date, there has been permit suspensions and mandatory work stoppages, spills and sinkholes resulting in ground and drinking water contamination, a 12.7 million dollar civil penalty, and other accidents during construction resulting in a hundred plus violations. Despite this, and in the face of widespread opposition to the project, ETP continues to blunder its way through construction, putting mountains, waterways, communities, and ecosystems in danger in the process. Now is the time to escalate that opposition and force ETP out of existence. Camp White Pine is calling for direct actions, banner drops, demonstrations, and more! Plant a tree! Stop a pipeline! Organize your community! We must show Energy Transfer Partners that we will not stop until the Mariner East 2 project is completely laid to rest!