#CarryTheNames Grand Central Station, January 2015

#CarryTheNames Grand Central Station, January 2015

#CarryTheNames

is the name of a very moving, non-violent peaceful action that was as much of a ritual as it was a protest. It took place in Grand Central Terminal in NYC last week and will happen again tomorrow, Martin Luther King, Jr. day at 6pm once again in Grand Central.

WE WILL NOT BE SILENT is an artist activist group that has been in existence since 2006. It is their bold design on these signs that creates a powerful visual impact

This action brings to attention the memory of over 170 people, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., brutalized by the tyranny of violence, perpetrated in a country where racism and police brutality are pervasive.  Their names will be held high for the world to see. Participants will read their stories aloud for all to hear.

ALBERTA SPRUILL was getting ready to leave for work… SEAN BELL was celebrating his upcoming marriage… RAMARLEY GRAHAM was in his home with his six-year old brother and his grandmother… RENISHA MCBRIDE was seeking help…TAMIR RICE was a child playing in a park… ERIC GARNER was breaking up a fight in his neighborhood…

“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I will be attending the #CarryTheNames event tomorrow evening to name the names and learn the stories behind the names.

Naming names can be an effective strategy for educating a community about what is wrong and what needs to be healed.

This is the fracked gas pipeline headed into my county. Visit www.sape2016.org for more info

Here in Westchester County, we have a fracked gas pipeline and compressor station headed our way. These infrastructure projects will significantly pollute our already polluted air with VOCs (volatile organic compounds).  There will be 2 public hearings this week for the air permits for these compressor stations. The air permits must be issued by the NY Dept of Environmental Conservation for the project to proceed.

In December of last year, Govenor Cuomo, banned fracking in NY due to health risks, so it makes sense that same review should be required for gas infrastructure that pollutes our air, water and soil. So far, he and the NY Department of Health has remained silent.

I will not remain silent.

My health, my lungs, my liver, my future, and yours are at great risk if these toxic emissions are allowed to pollute our air. But rather than just call them “emissions” or volatile organic compounds, I thought it would be wise to name the names.

With the help of some volunteer researchers, we acquired a list of the names and did some digging to learn more about each toxin and their health impacts.

Here’s the list of toxins that are emitted from fracked gas compressor stations:

Benzene; Toluene; Ethylbenzene; Xylenes; 1,3-Butadiene; n-Butyl Alcohol; Carbon Disulfide; Carbonyl Sulfide; Chlorobenzene; Chloromethane; 1, 2-Dichloroethane; Diethyl Benzene; Dimethyl Disulfide; Formaldehyde; Methyl Ethyl Disulfide; Naphthalene; 1,1,1, 2-Tetrachloroethane; Trichloroethylene; Trimethyl Benzene; 1,2,4-Trimethyl Benzene; Styrene; Methane; Ethane; Butane; Propane; Nitrogen Oxide

Many of these compounds are carcinogens, many are flammable and explosive in relatively low concentrations. NONE of them are safe to be inhaled for a long period of time. People, plants and animals living within miles surrounding these compressor stations will be exposed to them.

Prototype for the signs we will be making tomorrow.

Prototype for the signs we will be making tomorrow.

Before I head down to Grand Central Station on Monday night, I will be hosting a group of concerned citizens who will help me to make signs to name the names of the toxins. We’ll make them with big, easy to read letters on some white poster board. We’ll make them look like speech bubbles that you see in cartoons.We will silently hold them in the public hearings later this week.

Stay tuned for more photos on this art project.

What will you do to honor the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. tomorrow?

Will you remain silent when big polluters build pipelines and poisonous projects in your community? Or the community just a few miles away? Remember, we all breathe the same air.

“Our lives begin to end when we become silent about things that matter.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Here is a link to the Brewster hearing on Wed. Jan. 21: https://www.facebook.com/events/318213855042104/

PS: If you are unable to attend the hearings, please submit a written comment by Feb. 13, 2015 to: Michael T. Higgins, Project Manager, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Environmental Permits, 625 Broadway, 4th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-1750, Phone: (518) 402-9179, Fax: (518) 402-9168, E-mail: AIMProject@dec.ny.gov.

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