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Thousands gather in Albany for anti-fracking rally

Jan 10, 2013 7:50 am
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="337"] Singer Pete Seeger in Albany, Wed., Jan. 9.[/caption]

Outside the doors of the 2013 State of the State Address in Albany, Wed., Jan 9, more than 2,000 anti-fracking protesters, along with at least 100 pro-fracking advocates, lined the length of the north and south corridor of Empire State Plaza in an effort to send a clear message to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo about the process of gas extraction known as "high volume hydrofracking." The event was a raucous, but orderly noise rally, lasting for more than four hours. The sound of people chanting "ban fracking now," and hundreds of signs and banners greeted Assembly members and invited guests as they made their way into the State of the State Address. Pro-frackers chanting "we want jobs" were drowned out by anti-frackers chanting "we want water." During Cuomo's presentation inside, several keynote speakers spoke out in the corridor, including actress and activist Debra Winger, biologist Dr. Sandra Steingraber, and Reverend Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping. Musician Pete Seeger played his banjo, leading the crowd in "This Land Is Your Land." Seeger said if Cuomo stands up to the gas industry and bans fracking in New York, he could become President of the United States. People came to the event from Buffalo, Oneonta, Binghamton, Syracuse, Ithaca, the Southern Tier, New York City, the Hudson Valley, and Pennsylvania, as well. Cuomo made no mention of the controversial drilling process in his State of the State Address. -- Sam Sebren

PLAY Pete Seeger as he leads the crowd singing "This Land is Your Land." (4:00)
PLAY interview with Mary Finneran of Greene Co. (1:14)
PLAY interview with former Greene Co. Legislator Forest Cotten. (:48)
PLAY interview with pro-fracking activist. The woman declined to identify herself. She spoke to Sebren as they walked together through the corridor carrying a sign that read, "Friends of Natural Gas." (:34)
PLAY interview with Roger Downs, Conservation Director of the Sierra Club, Atlantic Chapter. (2:58)
PLAY interview with Kathleen Gore, Mike Gore and Bill Stinson from Niles (Cayuga Co.). (6:02)
PLAY interview with anonymous Marathon (Cortland Co.) couple. They declined to identify themselves for fear of retaliation. (3:56)
PLAY interview with Rev. Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping. (3:07)
PLAY interview with actress and activist Debra Winger. (2:19)
PLAY interview with Erin Heaton of Chenango Co. Heaton talks about farming, leases and compulsory integration. (6:18)
PLAY interview with Tom Salamone of Minisink (Orange Co.). Salamone is involved in a battle to prevent the construction of a compressor station as part of the Millenium Pipeline. (1:58)
PLAY interview with biologist and author Dr. Sandra Steingraber, founder of New Yorkers Against Fracking. (2:08)
PLAY interview with farmer Carleton Corey of Oneida Co. (3:25)
PLAY interview with Walter Hang of Toxics Targeting, Ithaca. (:57)

PLAY Sam Sebren talks about the rally with Philip Grant on the WGXC Morning Show. (29:30)
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