June 28, 2013

Police name 6 arrested in Fairfield track protest

Environmental activists wanted to stop a train carrying fracked oil from North Dakota to New Brunswick, Canada.

By Rachel Ohm rohm@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

and Matt Hongoltz-Hetling mhhetling@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Authorities approach members from 350 Maine, who blocked the railroad crossing at Lawrence Avenue in Fairfield Thursday night, to protest the transport of fracked oil.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

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A protester is arrested after blocking the railroad crossing at Lawrence Avenue in Fairfield Thursday night, during protest of the transport of fracked oil.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

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The interaction between protesters, spectators and police was relaxed and cordial throughout the protest.

Massey described all of the protesters, even those who were arrested, as very cooperative and polite. He noted that they freely engaged in conversation with police and reassured them they intended a non-violent action.

"We wanted to approach this very non-aggressively," he said.

At one point, as the protesters were being arrested, the scaffold began to fall, prompting a brief period of cooperation as protesters and police worked together to stabilize it.

Those watching mostly treated the spectacle as entertainment. One young father who began to return to his home was called back by his wife, who pointed out that their son didn't want to leave yet. Others chatted with neighbors and speculated aloud about what might happen next.

Spectator David Grant said no message was worth what he called a waste of police resources.

"They're really disgracing the town of Fairfield," he said. "They could have gone a lot different route. A more appropriate route."

Another resident, Kim Moulton, disagreed, saying the action was a legitimate way to bring attention to a serious cause.

"Public dissent is a good thing," she said. "It does draw attention to things."

Trains running through Maine carry crude oil from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota, where it is fracked, or extracted by pumping fluids into the ground to force out the oil.

LaSala said the process pollutes air and water in surrounding communities.

She said the protest Thursday was part of a national movement called Fearless Summer, whose goal is to expose the dangers of extreme forms of energy extraction.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368
rohm@mainetoday.com

Matt Hongoltz-Hetling — 861-9287
mhhetling@centralmaine.com

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Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

Protesters from 350 Maine block the railroad crossing at Lawrence Avenue in Fairfield Thursday night, to protest the transport of fracked oil.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

click image to enlarge

Protesters from 350 Maine block the railroad crossing at Lawrence Avenue in Fairfield Thursday night, to protest the transport of fracked oil.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

click image to enlarge

Protesters from a group calling itself 350 Maine erect a barricade on railroad tracks near the Fairfield Town Office Thursday evening. The group said in a release that they were trying to stop a train allegedly carrying fracked oil from North Dakota.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans



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