On March 18, twelve protesters were arrested for peacefully blockading Inergy’s salt cavern natural gas/propane storage facility and compressor station in the tiny town of Reading, NY. Three of the protesters arraigned on April 18 – for charges of trespassing- refused to pay their fines and were sentenced to fifteen days in jail. One of those, Sandra Steingraber, made use of her time to write a series of missives, “Letters from the Chemung County Jail”.
Limited to scraps of paper and a pencil stub, she managed to put into eloquent language her choices for blocking Inergy, and the choices we all must make if we are to hand down a liveable planet to our children and grandchildren.
Yesterday, Thursday, she and her fellow “Seneca three” – organic farmer Michael Dineen and businesswoman Melissa Chipman – gathered with press and citizens at Seneca Lake to talk about Inergy, energy, and life in the local jails. The inmates, they agree, show far more compassion and caring than the guards.
Sandra wrote five letters from the Chemung County Jail: