The "one man" who was arrested is from Butler County, where a community (50 families) has been getting 20 - 25 gallons of water every Monday at White Oaks Springs Presbyterian Church to replace a tiny percentage of the potable water they used to get from their own wells - wells that the best science that's been done to date points to contamination done at the hands of Rex Energy. The water is not provided by the industry or any arm of the government. The water is provided though the good works of people like you and me. The water bank came about because Rex was exonerated by Don't Expect Protection on the basis of a faulty hydrology report and were going to leave the community with badly tainted water. The "one man" and others have worked with the people in this community to help them be made whole. There have been millions of dollars in impact fees filter into Butler County. Impact fees were to be used to pay for impacts of shale extraction. Not a penny of the money in Butler County has been expended for ANY impact of shale extraction. There have been lobby days, rallies, lawful protests, meetings, hearings, and a court case. NOT A SINGLE FAMILY in the Woodlands has been made whole.
The "one man" who was arrested is from Butler County, where 17 schools are within 1 mile of an active fracking site (some of these are within one mile of several sites - as is the Woodlands, mentioned above). In the past couple years, research from respected institutions have linked proximity to fracking (1 mile) to low birth weight, problem pregnancies, emergency cardiac admissions, migraines, asthma, and a host of other maladies. There have also been studies linking proximity to fracking and water contamination, air contamination, and lower property values. There have been lobby days, rallies, lawful protests, meetings, hearings, and several court cases - including a SLAPP suit - and this is still allowed to go forward.
But why on earth would "one man" decide to "crash" a Trump fundraiser? Isn't this the same as setting a fire or looting?
After close consultation with the "one man," I think I understand.Trump came to Pittsburgh to extol the virtues of shale extraction (and coal, and other fossil fuels). And after that event, he went to a private club where folks were granted some special favors. If they paid $50,000, they got a private audience with Donald Trump. If they raised $25,000, they got to eat lunch with him. And if they raised $2,700, they could "get on the Trump Train."
If the "one man" paid for a special audience with the judge that was about to hear his case, I'm pretty certain that we could all agree that he was trying to curry favors, get a more favorable outcome for his trial. And, I think, we'd all agree that was highly suspect behavior. In fact, I think we'd call it illegal.
The shale industry, the rich and powerful, are able to buy access to politicians - Donald Trump even brags about how he did it - but the average Joe cannot. $50 or 25,0000 dollars is a hell of a lot of money; to people (like the folks in the Woodlands) who have nothing, $2,500 is a hell of a lot of money.
The "one man" thought about doing a Go Fund Me campaign to get access - but that just seemed stupid. Asking people like him, a retired school teacher living on a pension, to kick in money to buy what should be guaranteed seemed sinful to his Catholic heart.
So, the "one man" went to engage in a lawful protest and found, when he got to the Duquesne Club, that the door to the fundraiser was open, that people were coming and going. that there was no one telling him he had to pay to get in. So he went inside.
The fact that this was a Trump event was just a nice coincidence. If this had been one of the high roller Clinton fundraisers, I'm pretty certain the "one man" would have gone in there, too.
The "one man" takes solace in the fact that what he did was not a violent expression of dissent. No one was hurt, though his wrists hurt from the handcuffs. No property was damaged. There were no riots or fires set.
However, "the one" man doesn't condemn riots out of hand. Riots are the cry of the unheard. I love this quote by Dr. King:
"But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear?...It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity."
What was happening in the Duquesne Club was an exercise of corruption - money buying influence. That some think that what the "one man" did is akin to riots and setting fires is one of the slaps that the "one man" is willing to absorb because my friends in the Woodlands, my friends in Summit Township, my friends in Mars, my friends in all the shalefields are oppressed and the status quo in unjust and inhumane.
One man's opinion.