November 16, 2018 Mothers Go To Quincy - a personal account
Twenty-eight mothers and grandmothers made their way yesterday, by Red Line and car, to Quincy High School, south of Boston. We came to support Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station. Joining FRRACS at the school entrances, we held ‘NO WEYMOUTH COMPRESSOR’ signs, connected with each other and those who were entering.
Photo Credit: Susan Redlich
In spite of the incipient snow storm, Fore River residents and allies poured into the meeting as 7:00 pm approached - filling the large space to hear the Health Impact Assessment report and have their questions answered.
Photo credit: David Backer
At first, the meeting seemed on course to overpower us all with undigested reams of information. A great deal of printed data was displayed on stands. Then a great deal more data started to emerge from the mouths of the presenters. My head began to droop - until FRRACS member Andrea Honore stood up to request a way forward, all together, which would allow participants' concerns to be heard.
Her call was seconded immediately by another FRRACS member.
Then the shaken, but polite and flexible MAPC facilitator - Barry Keppard - asked the crowd. “Is anyone opposed to this suggestion?”
Nope. No one. Because there were no voices in the room in favor of having another hazardous, 7/24 loud facility in their communities, spewing toxins and carcinogens (and, yes, possibly radioactive particles) - or creating a fiery explosion on the adjacent Fore River Bridge.
Photo credit: Susan Lees
And they wanted the concerns they came with to be addressed.
Question periods followed the ensuing short MAPC presentations and realizations, sanity increasingly cut through the fog of too many words:
-”You mean so much of the information you are presenting here is based on Enbridge data. Enbridge, that giant Canadian corporation which is, in fact, the very corporation which wants to build this compressor so that it can export fracked gas through Canada.”
-The noise level won’t be too bad? Andrea held up a recorder and played the sound of a compressor station!
- “Why was none of this information included in the study?” asked Dr. Turner Bledsoe pulling out a thick bundle of relevant paper.
-This compressor will be right on the water. Hmmm. Have you taken sea level rise into consideration? (No)… And what about the climate impact of methane on health? (No)
- A question to all who had been doing the research on this compressor: Have any of you ever been to a compressor station? No? Why not?
- What about all the voices which should be present at this meeting - those of the many immigrants and others in the EJ communities of Germantown and Quincy Point. Was there outreach to them? Translation of materials. Translator? (No answer.)
- Bringing some light through the storm of data: Health in this area is significantly worse that state average,” Dr. Nordgaard said. “People here are already sicker, and there’s going to be another source of air pollution if this facility is permitted and built.”
-Finally, the sanity of a resident ask the simple question: “There is no one at all living here who wants the compressor station. Why would it ever be built?”
I think many of us mothers left wiser and energized. I myself felt honored that we had been invited to contribute.
Alice Arena, FRRACS founder and president, came after a group of us mothers as we were leaving - thanking us effusively once again.
During the past week we had canvassed with FRRACS in Quincy, sent out press releases about the event, set up an amazing twitter campaign..
And we had come in a significantly large group to support - and done so beautifully.
…To be continued…….