Government / Politics

Locals Attend Sacramento Anti-Fracking Rally

A bus load of residents from New Idria, Tres Pinos, Hollister, San Juan and Aromas joined thousands of other Californians in an anti-fracking rally at Sacramento on March 15.

On a sunny morning, this Ides of March, 57 local folk boarded San Benito Rising's chartered bus in San Juan Bautista and Hollister. Their bus, along with 25 other chartered buses and many carpools, brought several thousand people from all over California to the Capital Building in Sacramento. There they held a rally and sent a powerful anti-fracking message to Gov. Brown and the state legislature. Below are reports on the Sacramento rally, in the words, pictures and videos of those who attended the rally. 



View more photos from the Sacramento anti-fracking rally at the following flickr site:[email protected]/13180061635/in/photostream/

Will's Report: "WOW!!… What a day it was in Sacramento, We got on the bus in San Juan Bautista with about sixty other like minded folk from San Benito county, Aromas was well represented as well, all part of the SBR effort to get a initiative on the November Ballot to Ban Fracking in our County, as most residents are aware of the ongoing drought here this measure is to protect not only our water sources but the air and overall environment from oil well fracking operations county wide. It was a Fun Ride, singing Pete Seeger oldies accompanied by banjo and guitar kept us focused on our mission to enlighten our government reps at the Capitol, arousing speeches, waving anti-fracking banners and hearing the music kept the fires lit for the concerned folks attending, Some said up to 5000 people were there, all obviously demonstrating against the destructive practices by the petroleum industry."

Jan's Report: "It WAS a fantastic day, great turnout, huge crowd with all ages represented, from the Raging Grannies, who regaled us with clever anti-fracking songs, to mid-life folks with their kids in tow, to passionate young college-aged kids raising a (polite and civil) ruckus. The Idle No More speaker highlighted the Native American actions that are going on from northern Canada down through the US to Central and South America. We were all inspired. Special treat for me, my son and daughter-in-law who live in Sacramento met up with us and brought grandbaby Clara Jeanne. Grandma Jan couldn't have been prouder to have her baby girl at her first protest when she was only eight weeks old! I'm passionate about leaving her, and all the other children and grandchildren who stand to inherit this world, a lush, green, living planet." 

See video of Connie Condor, the Giant Condor Puppet (San Benito Rising's Mascot) at the rally: 

Mary's report: "I will always remember the music, poetry and food of March 15… On the San Benito bus, Bill, Sam, Kristen, Andy and Andrea entertained fellow passengers with banjo and guitar, while a couple of poets (Sam & Joe) read their anti-fracking poetry. Kristen's "California Rising" song moved me to tears. It was exhilarating to sing "We shall Overcome Today"  as the bus rolled into Sacramento … We were energized by music and homemade chocolate chip cookies and burritos, thanks to Margaret & Letty… At the rally, Bill was invited to play his banjo and sing "Raise a Ruckus" on the big stage. Bill managed to get the huge audience to sing along, with clapping and feet stomping that would have made Pete Seeger proud." 

See video of Bill singing "Raise a Ruckus" at the rally

"Raise A Ruckus" by Bill Hunter (2013)
If we don’t all raise a ruckus 
Who is going to stand up for our rights and tell these 
Oil drilling firms to just keep their fracking pants on
We’re not laying down without a fight
I’m sure in Texas these plans look real good on paper
All this oil, all that greed
But sitting here right on the San Andreas
Less stable fault lines are the last thing that we need
Chorus If we don’t all raise a ruckus
Who is going to stand up for our rights
These oil drilling frackers stand to make a lot of money
Gambling with our quality of life
In their board rooms I can hear them laughing
About how foolish and naive we all must be
They’ve got the money They’ve got the power They’ve got these plans to keep on fracking
And just as soon we all just fall into the sea
Seems like every time we mess with mother nature
And profits trump the future of mankind
Those with all the wealth don’t risk their homes or their health
It’s us that bear the burden every time
How could this be the plan for our future
Have we learned not a thing from our past
If this planet is to be saved we’ve got to find another way
And stop burning all this oil and all this gas
If we don’t all raise a ruckus 
Who is going to stand up for our rights and tell these 
Oil drilling firms to just keep their fracking pants on
We’re not laying down without a fight
These greedy oil drilling firms can just keep their fracking pants on
We’re not laying down without a fight 

Poem Read by Joe Navarro During Bus Trip:
Are you FRACKING crazy? 
Ain't nobody FRACKING me over! 
This makes no FRACKING sense to me. 
This is FRACKING awful! 
Poisoning families for profit is FRACKING horrible. 
Using toxic chemicals and hydraulic pressure…FRACKING wrong!
Contaminating drinking water…FRACKING ridiculous.
Poisoning farmland, plants, cattle and people…FRACKING stupid. 
FRACKING earthquakes, too?! 
No FRACKING way am I going for this!
Ooh! You said, FRACKING. I'm gonna tell.
FRACKING is a really bad word. 
I hope you get the FRACKING point. 
You know what I FRACKING mean?
–Joe Navarro
© Copyright 2014

               Poem Read by Sam During Bus Trip
                                    Nosotros los cantores
                             (Letra y Música: Horacio Guaraní)
                          72. NOSOTROS LOS CANTORES
85. Cantos de Amor y compromiso Vol 3 Y FINAL DE ESTA TRILOGÍA DE COMPILACIONES
Cuando el pueblo se calle nosotros los cantores
Con la guitarra en alto saldremos por las calles,
Con un fusil de canto haremos las tribunas
Para que el pueblo grite, para que el pueblo cante.
Nosotros los cantores venimos desde abajo
Con la vergüenza a cuestas en la voz y en la sangre
Manoseados por vinos que nos trampean el hambre
No podremos callamos cuando el pueblo se canse
Iremos los cantores juntos con los payasos
Los viejos guitarreros y actrices de reparto
Para gritarle al mundo de que ya estamos hartos
Que nos cuenten la fábula de que somos de palo.
De que nada tenemos que ver con los obreros
Que no somos hermanos de tantos jornaleros
De tantos estudiantes caídos en las calles
De tanto campesino, de tanto compañero.
Cuando el cobarde calle, cuado atropelle el miedo
Cuando agachen la frente y no haya sindicatos
Nosotros los cantores, ejércitos de pájaros,
Iremos degollando con la guitarra en alto.
Han de venir entonces, alentando mi canto,
Nuestra eterna Violeta, El Indio Pavéz, el maestro Rolando
Víctor, el inmortal,  tocará mil guitarras,
Y vendrá el mismo Neruda, en un verso, cantando.
Yo no quiero que callen mis hermanos cantores
Me da mucha vergüenza cuando escucho en el aire
Los artistas no tienen que meterse en el baile.
Los artistas hermano, también tenemos sangre
Nosotros los cantores, nosotros los payasos
Sabemos cuanto duelen los jornales del hambre
Sabemos que es preciso bajarse del caballo
Pelear junto a su pueblo igual que José Hernández.
Y cuando todos callen y cuando nadie grite
Porque no se marchiten los claveles del aire,
Nosotros los cantores saldremos por las calles,
Nosotros los cantores… también tenemos sangre.



Aromas resident for 35 years.