Members and attenders of Westtown and other Monthly Meetings joined several hundred in West Chester on June 9th to publicly witness on behalf of our neighbors facing the dangers of new pipelines snaking their way through Chester and Delaware counties designed to carry high risk liquefied gas pipelines. The Mariner East Rally for Community Safety speakers painted a grim picture of the threat to families, schools and local businesses. Quaker activist Sandra Steingraber came from NY to lend us encouragement. She and other Friends in NY State led a multi-year civil disobedience effort to protect the water resources provided by Seneca Lake. Many of us first heard of Sandra and we were inspired by her letter Why I am in Jail. Others of us had read her compelling book Living Downstream. In the evening, we attended the Pennsylvania premier of the film Unfractured depicting this struggle and the hard work that she and others undertook which finally led to the ban on fracking in New York State. Her message was clear – as people of faith, we all need to find our courage and determine what role we can play in choosing life giving energy over fossil fuels, given what we know about their short and long term impact on human and environmental health. She herself had to overcome her own preference to stick to research as an approach to change, as she is by nature more of an introvert. To learn more about the pipeline movement and which Monthly Meetings are in or near the blast zone visit the Middletown Coalition for Community Safety.
On May 16, 2018, Fran Sheldon (Providence Meeting) and Paul Sheldon (Lansdowne Meeting) participated in a Demand the Ban action in Philadelphia to demand that Senator Toomey co-sponsor Senate Bill 2095 that bans the sale of assault weapons. [Read more…] about Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Friends support arrestees at Demand the Ban action outside Senator Toomey’s office in Philadelphia