Fracking protest in Boulder: "Mob harassment" or a great moment of community togetherness?
On Tuesday, Boulder county commissioners temporarily walked away from a fracking hearing due to a boisterous protest by attending activists. The next day, the officials issued a statement included here that decried the disruption using terms like "mob harassment." But the director of a youth-oriented environmental organization who attended with kids from the group saw much of what took place as tremendously positive. See videos below.
Here's the description of what went down at the start of the meeting from a video posted by the aforementioned organization, Earth Guardians:
Xiuhtezcatl Martinez in a photo from his Earth Guardians bio.
Earth Guardian Youth signed up to speak to demand a ban on fracking at the county commissioners meeting, when some adults stopped the meeting with a mic check. The commissioners tried to stop it, but the crowd refused, so the commissioners left the room. The Earth Guardians, thinking the meeting was going to be shut down, decided to do a mic check of their own. "We are standing up for the survival of our generation," they chanted. The crowd went wild with support for these young leaders fighting for their future. After their mic check, an adult shouted out, "Who is going to run the meeting?," and Xiuthezcatl [Martinez], a twelve-year-old Earth Guardian, said, "We are going to run the meeting," and all the kids went and sat in the commissioners' chairs. Someone shouted to them, "So, commissioner, what are you going to do about fracking in our Community?" and the kids began to shout, "We are going to ban it."Earth Guardians executive director Tamara Roske confirms this account, but adds detail. In her view, the adults who took part in the initial mic check appeared to have decided in advance that they wanted to shut down the meeting, and they accomplished their goal. Afterward, though, the kids took the floor, sharing a poem and a rap about fracking that delighted those in the room.
In her view, "it was such a spirited event, with everyone being allied and saying, 'We don't want fracking in our community.'"
Continue for more of our interview with Tamara Roske, plus videos from the hearing and its aftermath.