Protesters will briefly block highway at anti-pipeline rally

Opponents of hydrofracking and the new Spectra pipeline — which is now ready to start carrying “fracked” gas into the West Village and Chelsea — will hold a protest this Sat., Nov. 2, at Gansevoort St. by the peninsula.

The Sixth Precinct has reportedly permitted the rally at the location as long as they don’t block pedestrian and bike traffic.

The activists will gather at 2:30 p.m. for speeches and music — including a performance by Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping Choir — and to chalk the high-pressure pipeline’s path and potential blast radius in the event of a catastrophic explosion.

Some civil disobedience is also planned, including the strategic unfurling of up to two banners across the West Side Highway. Police will reportedly allow the protesters to do so for one or possibly two light cycles. Anyone who leaves the highway will not be subject to arrest. Anyone who doesn’t leave, will be. Police suggest those who don’t want to be arrested wear colored armbands.

Local politicians invited to attend include Assemblymembers Deborah Glick, Richard Gottfried and Linda Rosenthal, as well as City Councilmember Gale Brewer.

Word has it that Corey Johnson, Democratic nominee for the 3rd Council District, plans to be arrested during the protest.

Lincoln Anderson

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2 Responses to Protesters will briefly block highway at anti-pipeline rally

  1. Brilliant stuff. I seem to recall another "catastrophie" due in great part to our dependence upon foreign oil. And why would we rather burn cheaper clean gas rather than dirty no. 5 oil that most buildings in NYC use? And provide jobs and business and money for locals rather than medieval, intolerant, undemocratic socities on the other side of the world. Who like to kill innocents. It just makes sense all the way around.

    • Hi Michael. There are lots of reasons we don't want gas to replace number 6 oil: For one, it enables increased fracking hence climate change and sea level rise, something those who live along the west side of the Hudson have some experience with.

      For another, it's worse for our air quality, creating pollution from the extraction process in a 200-mile radius and, where it is burned, creating more particulate matter (the cause of asthma) than number 2 oil. Meanwhile, Biodiesel produces almost zero emissions. In combo with solar thermal to heat hot water, a truly sustainable, affordable conversion is possible.

      For a third, it costs exponentially more to convert a building to gas than to more sustainable options (about $10K to convert to Biodiesel or Number 2 oil, versus $100K-$1Million to convert to gas.

      For a fourth, gas as a fuel is only cheap at the moment; it's going to rise in cost as the gas either runs out (Penn State predicts only a 6-year recoverable supply) or gets exported (export terminals have just been approved by DOE). If you'd like to know more about alternatives for boiler conversions, check this out:

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