Occupy Shumlin protest offers songs to frack by


FRACKSONGS: Protests against fossil fuel infrastructure in Vermont featured area musicians who contributed to the movement’s musical legacy.

By Bruce Parker | Vermont Watchdog

MONTPELIER, Vt. — The arrest of 64 anti-fracking protesters who occupied Gov. Peter Shumlin’s offices in Montpelier on Monday failed to change the governor’s mind about a 41-mile pipeline set to deliver clean-burning natural gas energy to Vermonters. The event did, however, contribute to the ever-growing catalog of songs to frack by.

Capping off an afternoon of protests in opposition to Vermont Gas’ infrastructure extension between Colchester and Middlebury, more than 100 protesters found their way inside the Pavilion building, where some participated in a sit-in on the fifth floor and refused to leave.

Shumlin, who was not in Montpelier but was informed of the sit-in, bought the protesters pizza and issued a statement, saying, “I disagree with the protesters’ position on the natural gas pipeline, which I believe will help hasten our state’s transition away from dirtier fuel oil and help our economy.”

Shumlin thanked the Vermont State Police and Montpelier Police Department for arresting protesters in a peaceful manner, yet he affirmed the right of individuals to protest.

“Peaceful protest is a right deeply embedded in our democracy. I support the right of all sides to be heard, and appreciate the protesters’ decision to act respectfully with state staff and law enforcement tonight,” Shumlin said.

While protesters from Rising Tide Vermont, Vermont Workers Center and 350Vermont failed to stop forward progress of the pipeline approved by the Public Service Board and the governor, they delivered an evening of clap-alongs and choral arrangements likely to be remembered as the true legacy of the anti-fracking movement.

As posted below, performances by anti-energy groups in Vermont, and during the People’s Climate March in New York City in September, showcase the musical chops of some of America’s most musically-inclined professional protesters.

Contact Bruce Parker at bparker@watchdog.org