Anti-Fracking Protesters Swarm Hillary’s Convention

Andrew Follett | Energy and Science Reporter

Thousands of activists took to the streets in Philadelphia the day before the Democratic National Convention (DNC) to protest the failure of the Democratic Party platform to call for banning hydraulic fracturing.

Protesters blocked traffic on Philadelphia’s famous Broad Street Sunday for a four-mile-long march from Philadelphia City Hall to the convention site. They held anti-fracking and anti-pipeline signs, some with pictures of trains exploding and others which read “Bernie or Bust.” The anti-fracking protesters chanted slogans like “Hell No, DNC, we won’t vote for Hillary,” and “This is what democracy looks like.”

One protester told ABC News he was inspired to come to the convention because “fracking is invading Mother Earth.”

Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was attacked by Sen. Bernie Sanders for her refusal to call for an outright fracking ban during the primaries. Clinton currently supports phasing out fracking on public lands in America and wants the Environmental Protection Agency to heavily regulate the process, but not outright ban it.

As a result, many green activists who formally endorsed Sanders during the primaries are criticizing the DNC’s refusal to call for an outright ban on fracking. The environmental group Food & Water Watch admitted involvement in a plan to leave paper “donkey droppings” beneath 20 DNC donkey statues in Philadelphia earlier this month to protest Clinton’s alleged tolerance of fracking. The environmental group claims the fake fecal matter was “meant to visually show how the party really stinks” for demanding a national fracking ban in Clinton’s platform. There was also an orange spray-painted message next to the donkey sculptures saying “No Ban on Fracking? The Dem platform is crap!”

Video surfaced late last month of environmentalists yelling “shame” after they lost a battle to include a fracking ban in the DNC platform. Bill McKibben, the co-founder of the environmental group 350.org, proposed the moratorium, but the drafting committee spiked the proposal by a vote of seven to six. When it became clear that the platform change would fail, environmentalists in the audience began yelling “shame on you” and “shame” at the committee members.

Part of the green backlash against the DNC is likely due to emails published in May, which showed Clinton worked closely with private sector oil and gas companies to lobby the White House to promote fracking. Clinton secured technical assistance with the geologic science of finding shale reserves and helping partner nations find investments for new fracking projects. It helped advise world leaders on the benefits of fracking, connected them with American energy experts, and organized visits to drilling sites in America to make it a role model for fracking around the world.

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