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Sunday, January 12, 2014

State of the State Ban Fracking Rally

On January 8th, I traveled to Albany on a bus with other New Yorkers from Buffalo and Rochester. We protested hydraulic fracturing and demanded a statewide ban at Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State Address.
            There were people there protesting/advocating for other things, such as the NY S.A.F.E. Act and medical marijuana. However, the anti-frackers definitely had the greatest attendance, with the final count coming to over 2,000 people! Our chanting definitely drowned out all other simultaneous protests. As we gathered in the hallway in front of the Convention Center, the police had to keep extending the protesting area farther and farther down the hall to accommodate all of us.
Me and my sign

 An awesome little girl standing up for New York

            There were lots of awesome signs, and I saw a group of people from Gas Free Seneca protesting. It really warmed my heart to see them there and spreading the news about what’s happening with our lake. To learn more about Seneca Lake and the potential danger of liquefied petroleum gas storage, go to
This was probably the best sign I saw. It was beautifully painted!

This sign lit up like a Christmas tree!

I've always loved the New York Against Fracking artwork

Save Seneca Lake!!!!! 

            A group of Native American activists played their drums and sang songs, lending their beautiful culture to the protest. When police came to take their instruments away, the other protesters supported them and they calmly told the police that the songs and music were prayers, and therefore they were exercising their first amendment rights. After a while, the police gave up and went away and they were allowed to keep playing.
            When it came time for the address to begin, I migrated away from the protest and found a T.V. to watch it on. Although Governor Cuomo didn’t say a word about fracking, he did say that he had hopes of expanding both New York’s tourism industry and implementing more renewable energy. Since fracking is counterproductive to both of those things, I’m taking that as a good sign. So long as we continue to come together like we did at the State of the State Address and put relentless pressure on Governor Cuomo, I am confident that we can achieve a statewide fracking ban in New York.
            This was my third anti-fracking rally. My first was on June 17th, 2013, also in Albany, and my second was while I was in Pittsburg, PA at the 2013 Powershift conference. To read about my first anti-fracking rally, go here. To see News 10’s coverage of our rally attendance, go here. For an awesome 15 minute video with rally footage, go here. 
            While on the bus ride to Albany, I had an opportunity to tell my fellow travelers about my participation in the Great March for Climate Action. Everyone on the bus was thrilled to hear about it, and I was stunned at the kindness many showed me with both moral and monetary support to my cause. I was very excited when a couple of people said they were interested in becoming marchers! I had a wonderful time telling people more about the event and giving everyone the information they needed to discover more about it. I owe a special thank you to everyone on the bus who so kindly donated to my cause. To learn more about my participation in the Climate March, go here, and be sure to visit to learn more about the event!
            If you want to receive post cards from me while I walk 2,000 miles from Taos, New Mexico to Washington, D.C., please send me an email at Please offer a $15 donation that will cover the costs of the cards and postage.
            Please stay tuned on Viridorari to stay updated on my participation it the march and my fundraising efforts. 

            Remember, if there’s something you’re passionate about, like the environment, don’t let your daily grind put your passion on the back burner. It is always worth it to take a day off and go. Or, in some cases, take six months off and walk across the country. I used to think that the environmental movement was mostly made of young people, but the more events I go to the more I realize that I’m usually the youngest person there. The older people who are standing up for the planet have showed me that it’s never too late to get involved in something we’re passionate about. If you’re a closet environmentalist, please come out. The movement could really use your help, and chances are, you’ll have a lot of fun being a part of it.

Here’s some of my own video footage of the rally:

All pictures in this post were taken by me.