Stefan Warner, life-long resident of “Oklahoma” facing potential “terrorism hoax” charges, releases statement.

Stefan Warner, one of the activists facing up to ten years in prison for the banner drop.

Stefan Warner, one of the activists facing up to ten years in prison for the banner drop.

Please consider donating to our legal fund to help Stefan and Moriah fight these absurd charges! http://gptarsandsresistance.org/donate/ 

Do you remember where you were April 19th, 1995? I was seven years old, in first grade at Clara Reynolds Elementary School in Harrah, Oklahoma. I still remember coming home from school and seeing the devastation on the television. For those of us in the Oklahoma City metro who lived here in 1995, we still carry the memory of the chaos and panic of this country’s largest domestic terror attack with us. Growing up, I visited the memorial of the Murrah Building bombing on several occasions. Seeing the faces of the people whose lives were lost, I learned how violence impacts people and communities. Four years ago a man whose daughter died in the Murrah Building bombing spoke at my church about his loss and personal transformation. To say the least, a sense of empathy was ingrained in me. Through my faith, I became committed to non-violent, peaceful resistance.

Eighteen years later, I’m facing the possibility of “terrorism hoax” charges which carries a maximum of ten years in prison. After witnessing real terrorism as a child in Oklahoma and through my commitment to Christian pacifism, I understand the seriousness of violence. I would never use violence or the threat of violence as a form of protest. My intention on December 13th, , in the tradition of Rev. Martin Luther King Junior, was to “arouse the conscience” of a state that refuses to provide storm shelters for children at public schools yet has the gall to pay out $645,000,000 in tax subsidies to the oil and gas industry the past three fiscal years. I helped attach a banner to the second story railing of the open-to-the-public atrium in the Devon Energy Tower. If you see the pictures, a small amount of glitter fell to the floor as employees walked by, unalarmed. We explained to employees this event was a non-violent, peaceful protest, and I left the building when told to by security, since I was hoping to avoid being arrested for trespassing. I left the building, and looked for my friends. Hoping to make a statement that usually goes unheard; we placed a banner inside the largest symbol of corporate welfare in Oklahoma. I had no intention of scaring anyone, nor do I believe I truly did.

Stefan complying and being placed into a police car.

Stefan being arrested by Oklahoma City Police.

TransCanada, the Canadian corporation that John Richels (CEO of Devon) sits on the board of, has been educating law enforcement along the route of the Keystone XL pipeline in how to pursue “terrorist” felony charges against people who engage in non-violent, peaceful protest. Obviously I am concerned about my freedom, but this is not only about me. This is a disgraceful, obvious attempt to dissuade the public from letting our voices be heard. This is an attack on our constitutionally protected, first amendment rights. How is it possible that a Canadian corporation can come here, attempt to silence me, and tell us what terrorism is?

Activism, disagreement, and exercising freedom of speech in peaceful and non-violent ways are simply not forms of terrorism.

Sincerely,
Stefan Warner

GPTSR honored to be on the ground fighting toxic extraction infrastructure alongside Appalachia Resist and numerous other groups in Ohio!

Folks from Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance are proud to be on the ground fighting toxic extraction infrastructure with Ohioans, Appalachia Resist!, numerous other environmental and social justice groups. Keep updated by checking in to their website, and help get the word out by sharing this far and wide.

BREAKING: Ohio Residents Shut Down Fracking Waste Storage Facility

Update 10:40 a.m: Three anti-frack activists in handcuffs onsite.

UPDATE: 10:38 a.m.:
2013-02-19 11.15.28 2013-02-19 11.15.54

UPDATE: 10:35 a.m.: The front gate has been opened. Cops are chasing activists from the site.

UPDATE: 10:33 a.m.: Six police vehicles on scene. Workers have removed banners and police are ordering protesters to leave the property. Two of the activists remaining inside the facility have been detained by police. Others are standing in front of the main gate which has been locked by activists. One fire truck is now on the scene surveying the monopod. The vice president of Greenhunter is onsite meeting with the sheriffs and the police.

UPDATE: 10:20 a.m.: Activists unfurled a banner on one of the frack waste trucks reading: “No Frack Waste By Truck, No Frack Waste By Boat, No Greenhunter Waste Down Ohio’s Throat.” #DrSeuss

Matamoros, OH, 10:00 am. Good morning!  Along with Earth First! and other environmental groups, we have stopped truck traffic at the Greenhunter fracking waste facility in Matamoros, Washington County, along the Ohio River.

Nate Ebert, a 33-year-old Athens County resident and member of Appalachia Resist!, ascended a 30 foot pole anchored to a brine truck in the process of unloading frack waste, preventing all trucks carrying frack waste from entering the site.

Over one hundred supporters gathered at the facility, protesting Greenhunter’s plans to increase capacity for toxic frack waste dumping in Ohio. Greenhunter is seeking approval from the Coast Guard to ship frack waste across the Ohio River via barge at a rate of up to half a million gallons per load. The Ohio River is a drinking source for more than 5 million people, including residents of Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Test results from multiple frack waste samples reveal high levels of benzene, toluene, arsenic, barium, and radium, among other carcinogenic and radioactive chemicals.

“Our governor, legislature, and regulatory agencies have all failed in their obligation to protect Ohioans from the predatory gas industry,” said Ebert. “Greenhunter wants to use our water sources as dumping grounds for their toxic, radioactive waste. We are here to send a message that the people of Ohio and Appalachia will not sit idly by and watch our homes be turned into a sacrifice zone!”

Frack waste dumping has generated resistance across Ohio, including direct actions disrupting waste disposal operations from Youngstown to Athens County. The waste is injected underground into over 170 wells statewide, contaminating water and causing numerous earthquakes across the state from Marietta to Ashtabula, most notably a 4.0 earthquake in Youngstown. Surface spills are commonplace across Ohio, including the recently uncovered intentional dumping of an estimated hundreds of thousands of gallons of frack waste into the Mahoning River.

“Fracking chemicals and cancer go hand in hand,” said Teresa Mills of the Buckeye Forest Council, a grassroots Ohio organization seeking a ban on frack waste injection. “Greenhunter plans to recklessly endanger the drinking water of millions of residents of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and beyond. How many kids have to get cancer before we decide that saturating Ohio’s rivers and aquifers with toxic waste is not worth it? We need a ban on injection wells to protect our air, our water, and our children.”

Other groups participating in Tuesday’s action include Tar Sands BlockadeRadical Action for Mountain Peoples’ Survival (RAMPS), a coalition of indigenous leaders including representatives from No Line 9 and the Unis’tot’en CampGreat Plains Tar Sands Resistance, and Earth First! chapters from across the country. Tuesday’s action is the latest in a series of escalated acts of resistance to destructive extractive industries. On Monday, Pennsylvanians disrupted construction of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline in the Delaware State Forest. In January, Navajo residents from Black Mesa, Arizona joined with Appalachians to protest strip mining at the headquarters of Peabody Energy. International resistance to tar sands mining has continued to escalate from the Tar Sands Blockade in Texas and Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance in Oklahoma, to the Unist’ot’en Camp in Wet’suwet’en Territories.

“I am here because the struggle against frack waste dumping in Ohio is the same as our resistance to the blasting of the mountains in my backyard in West Virginia,” said Kim Ellis of RAMPS. “Until we put a stop to poisonous and exploitative extractive practices everywhere, we will continue to fight.”

Keep fighting!  Stand against fracking and injection wells!  We don’t need to accept this abuse of our land, air, and water!

Follow us on Twitter:  @AppalResist

###Appalachia Resist is a campaign of resistance to the poisoning and exploitation of Appalachia. For more information, go to:www.appalachiaresist.wordpress.com; Twitter: @AppalResist