February 12, 2020
By Sister Mary Pendergast
Although Mercy works constantly for justice, we do not always see positive results for our efforts, as heroic as they might be. But here is a testament to the win. It can actually happen!
In August 2015, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo invited a Chicago developer, Invenergy, to build a $1 billion fracked gas/diesel power plant in the woods of Burrillville, practically in the heart of a preserved state forest park. It was a clarion call to me, since I had just returned from my pilgrimage to the Tar Sands in Alberta, Canada. Seeing the gaping destruction in the largest forest biome in the world changed me. I am not the same, nor will I ever be.
Learning that my own state was welcoming a similar type of devastation of Earth and treating the methane emissions that contribute to climate change as merely the spoils of business impelled me to find others willing to fight Goliath. The first that became an ally was FANG (Fighting Against Natural Gas), which trained a small group of us for civil disobedience. Then FANG planned a parade to wake up Burrillville residents to what the developers considered a “slam dunk.” At the parade, seven other activists and I committed misdemeanor trespass by planting tulip bulbs on the property of the proposed power plant. In jail, I met some of the people who would be my almost daily companions during the next four years.Leer Más