Civil Disobedience

There is a resurgence of civil disobedience in this country. And it is not just the young and the “quote un quote” fringe standing in defiance of the ongoing assault of land, water and air that has become the norm. Extreme extraction of gas, oil, and sand for profit is waking people to the reality that there is little left them to do but to resist. Communities are uniting, with people of all religious, and economic strata coming together to find creative nonviolent ways to stop the violation of their homelands.

One action most recently in the news was the arrest of 23 people in a cornfield near Lancaster, Pennsylvania. More than 100 people gathered early morning October 16th. The property is owned by a group of Catholic nuns who are suing to block the pipeline, citing religious freedom. Earlier this year the community erected a chapel on the land and hold regular religious services there as a form of nonviolent and peaceful resistance.

Mark Clatterbuck a member of the group, We are Lancaster said, “‘the way the system is set up, there is not a way to legally protect our communities and our water and our land from a project like this. And so it comes to civil disobedience where the community says, “We are not going to let this happen anymore.”‘

And so it appears our newest way to create community is to unite in peaceful ways to stop the corruption of our homeland. We are learning from one another. It is common to see the people who were at Standing Rock, Mississippi Stand, Flint and other resistance communities supporting one another on social media or by physically showing up.

Having traveled to the area known as Lancaster Stand to witness the nearly 4-year effort of these people preparing for nonviolent resistance, I can tell you they are steadfast and resilient. The first court cases of the 23 arrested will be coming up Oct 31, 2017. The police and now the courts have become the playing fields for this unfolding of human beings protecting the lands they love.


update in photos: Stand with the Sisters

Civil Disobedience – the refusal to comply with certain laws or to pay taxes and fines, as a peaceful form of political protest.

This piece aired on WDRT’s Consider This, October 26, 2017

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