Social Justice

Social justice has always seemed extreme to me. Something I wouldn’t do. I’d sign petitions, like or follow the social media outlets of causes I believed in; I still do. It’s a comfortable way to feel involved without being extreme, without putting myself in the public eye as a person who cares passionately about the environment, the anti gas pipeline and fracking movements, who strives towards sustainable living, energy and preservation.  It means my family won’t be out in the limelight. It meant I wouldn’t be questioned publicly about my beliefs. It meant I was really doing nothing.

Social Justice may seem extreme and only for people who are true activists but it is the only honest approach to enact change in a democratic process that is broken and “fixed”.  It involves taking action and that is what 8 of my friends did today in Conestoga township, Lancaster county.

Protesters in front of the Williams Partners drill in Conestoga Township prior to being arrested.  Credit: Michelle Johnsen

Protesters in front of the Williams Partners drill in Conestoga Township prior to being arrested. Credit: Michelle Johnsen

I wish I could have been there.  I almost wish I could have stood ground with them and been taken into custody because that’s how strongly I feel against this project.  A 42″ natural gas pipeline that is proposed to be built mostly for export purposes; a pipeline that will cut a 125 foot swatch across our land not leaving any plants or trees in its wake.  It will take away the rights of landowners, the preservation of farmland and woodlands, the honor of Native American memorial sites.  It will take so much.

But it’s given a lot – it’s given us a passion to fight to maintain our community and our rights as citizens of the United States.  I think we left our rights in politicians wallets a long time ago and its time for a change.  It has come to the point that our government is so corrupt and bought out that we can’t leave it in their hands, in FERC’s (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) hands.  They will destroy us and we can’t let that happen.  So begins times such as these for peaceful protests.

I told my mom how much I believe in this, but that I don’t want to get arrested.  However, when and if the times comes, at the end when the fight is great and it looks like this project may ensue through the process of eminent domain, then I will stand firm and not sway.  I will not let them take our land so that corporations are given more rights than ourselves and are able to use our land however they see fit to make a dollar.

Social Justice no longer freaks me out; it excites me because it means taking a stand for something I believe in.  It may seem extreme, and it just might be, but isn’t that how the greatest changes in U.S. history have occurred?

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