Not too long ago I saw a post on Facebook from Colleen Green. It was through her fanpage, as she is a most excellent musician who likes to have releases on cassette through Burger Records and other platforms. Her post was about a pipeline coming through Massachusetts that threatened to destroy her parents’ house. The article noted that several other states could be affected and living back in Connecticut now was a joking thought of “Hey that could be me”.
When I read the article about it, fact of the matter is Connecticut is one of the states that could be directly affected by this. My thoughts turned from joking to serious as it really hit home (no pun intended) that perhaps my parents’ house could suffer a similar fate. What a tragedy it is to think of our childhood homes being torn down needlessly, let alone when someone is still living in them!
I approached Colleen Green hoping for quotes to cut up and splice into an article about this very thing, but what I got in return was a sentiment that I did not want to alter in any way. So I present to you now reasons why Colleen Green (and I) feel you should sign this petition whether you live in the affected areas or not.
From Colleen Green:
When my mother first told me about everything that was happening, I cried. I felt extremely helpless and extremely sad and I cried hard. All I want is for my parents to be happy and it seems like the universe just doesn't want them to be. The town I was born and raised in, Dunstable MA, is very small, rural, peaceful, quiet, and idyllic. It is a town that, for centuries, has been home to small family farms and not much else. Peaceful people that just want to live and let live. My parents have never been well off and both retired just recently. My dad was an independent mechanic for years and has no retirement plan; he's now on disability. My mom was a teacher for 35 years. They were counting on having this house and the land to sell at some point so that they could have some money to use to enjoy their retirement, and now that plan is in jeopardy. (Their other dream was possibly one day passing the house on to either myself or my older brother, which they could never do now.) The thought of them losing all their hopes and dreams is just devastating. Not to mention the fact that they just planted a beautiful vegetable garden and have put so much effort into making the house and the yard look so nice, and now a bunch of billionaires want to plow through the entire thing without thinking twice about it, just so they can get richer. It just seems like good people like them can never catch a break and that is heartbreaking.
It should not be legal for billionaire assholes to steal private land from honest people who worked hard every day of their lives just to get a little bit in return. Apparently this is a federal issue and if the federal government deems a project to be for the greater good, then it's ok and no one can say anything about it. The real problem is that these corporations have so much money that they can easily buy the opinions of almost any government official, and the people that these decisions actually affect usually aren't rich enough to compete.
I was looking at the list of people that have signed the petition against this pipeline last night, and I was awed and touched by how many names I recognized as friends and fans of Colleen Green. I posted this information on Facebook and Twitter and I know it reached a lot of people and it may have helped a little but I don't think it's enough and I don't know what to do. I emailed about 50 college radio stations explaining the situation to them and asking for their help in hopes that maybe my name would ring a bell with some of them and get their attention, but it's summer and I'm not sure how many of those people even saw the email. I think musicians and people in the public eye can have a great effect on raising the awareness of issues like this, because their fans want to support them and that's wonderful. I don't know though. There's only so much one person can do.
There really is nothing that people can do to protect themselves from situations such as these. You can't predict the future and if a huge greedy corporation wants something, they can get it. It's incredibly sad but that's the way our world works. The only thing we really can do is deal with problems as they come. There have been marches and rallies against the pipeline, and groups that have formed in protest. One of the best things we can do now is to write as many letters and emails as possible to our state government officials and plead with them to help the people that they are supposedly representing.
You can sign the petition by clicking this link, and more information can be found through the MoveOn site as well:
The wonderful Colleen Green can be found on Bandcamp here: http://colleengreen.bandcamp.com/