Welcome to #NJRR Live!
Tonight we welcome special guest Agnes Marsala from People over Pipelines. First we follow up on recent protest-related activities that went down in Newark during a mutual aid march. The march was organized by the Newark Water Coalition and a number of other groups. Reports came back that the event was disrupted by agitators. These disruptions included associates of the mayor.
Democrats Remain Quiet
Several reports and Facebook posts claim protesters were threatened with being killed if they returned. Many activists who have demonstrated in Newark are looking for re assurances that they can be safe engaging in free speech. The “Not Me, Us” ticket and Larry Hamm’s campaign manager do not seem to feel this is an important issue. After the event attempts were made to get a reactions and the only response is a statement which will supposedly take place later this week.
Activists are getting death threats at peaceful marches yet Democratic Party affiliated “Comrades” are keeping quiet. This is another example of why politicians want to co-opt popular movements such as Black Lives Matter because it’s election season. When the election is over, those same politicians will be gone. If you want to change things, it cannot be done from within the Democratic party. The Democratic party changes you, not the other way around. To create real change, #NJRR believes in working with proletariat , and we do not exist in the parties of capitalism.
Prior to the mutual aid march we discussed what the idea was. The organizers were looking forward to a peaceful day of a community sharing resources. Watch our video with Sabre Bee the morning before the attack happen.#NJRR Live Special Reports June 12, 2020
Medicare For All
Anything the Democrats are willing to pass is not truly Medicare for All. Medicare for All is mutually exclusive with capitalistic, for-profit healthcare businesses. The healthcare system will never function equitably until privatization is completely eliminated. Healthcare should never be for profit because allowing for that ope floodgates to inevitable greed, which prevents proper health services for those in need.
Medicare for All and environmentalism are two main issues that Democratic politicians wear as banners but actively work against in their policy. These politicians support universal healthcare in an attempt to appear radical, but the truth is that Medicare for All is nothing new. The concept of Medicare for All has been being discussed in America for over a hundred years.
There was a movement within the past few years for universal healthcare in our country but the conservative Democrats succeeded in impeding it. Current Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden has even come out and declared that he will not be joining other world leaders in supporting the implementation of a universal healthcare system in America.
Agnes Marsala and People Over Pipelines
Our featured guest, Agnes Marsala, leader of the grassroots organization People Over Pipelines, was on the show a while ago and we are glad to have her back. Agnes’ organization, People Over Pipelines, was established in 2015 with a mission to to stop the proliferation of harmful natural gas pipeline projects in New Jersey through litigation, political activism, and education.
There is a pipeline under construction called the Southern Reliability Link, a 30-mile high-pressure gas line that will run through Ocean, Monmouth and Burlington counties. It is one of only two pipelines that does not cross state borders. Phil Murphy has the power to stop this pipeline from being built, yet he does not. Photo ops and promises can only get one so far. Policy is what is necessary to prove that New Jersey’s leadership actually cares about the environment, and leadership is falling short.
Brian playfully asks Agnes: What is so bad about a pipeline leak — a little sludge, a little discharge, a bit of water? Agnes responds that it wouldn’t be so bad if it was just water. Officials downplay the danger of chemicals present within the leaks, noting their composition in the press as a “clay mixture” without going into detail. In Agnes’ own backyard, a stream turned from crystal clear into a grey sludge in just a day as a result of pipeline construction.
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The New Jersey Pinelands
Anyone who’s ever been to the New Jersey Pine Barrens knows that there’s just something enchanting about those woods. However, that’s not all there is to it. The New Jersey Pinelands are an extremely important part of the state’s environment due to natural resources such as vast underground water pools and a rich ecosystem.
The New Jersey Pinelands Commission is a state agency that was established with a goal to “preserve, protect, and enhance the natural and cultural resources of the Pinelands National Reserve, and to encourage compatible economic and other human activities consistent with that purpose.” The Pinelands Commission has a responsibility to protect the Pine Barrens but they neglect it by allowing protected areas to shrink in order for pipelines to be built. Instead of protecting the pinelands as they’re supposed to, this organization has become a battling ground. Many groups have taken the Pinelands Commission to court and our tax dollars are being spent on their defense.
Agnes expresses that she is at least somewhat grateful that the pipelines running through the pinelands do not contain gas. If that was the case, she comments, people would die. It is in the power of our governor or groups such as the BPU or the DEP to halt progress of dangerous pipelines in our state, but they do not. It’s a shame that New Jersey isn’t doing a Green Deal and focusing on Green energy as some Democrats were suggesting before their election. Again, the Democratic party is all about talk, with promises of policy never being delivered.
See You Next Week!
We need more people to fight for this because it really does affect our health and our lives. People over Pipelines has a website with a donations page. They also have a Facebook page where you can keep up with what they’re doing and the actions that they are taking. To our guests and our listeners, thank you so much. It’s been a wild year but we remain here to bring you the latest from New Jersey! We could really use donations. Anything you can give really helps us out. Your contribution translates directly to more and better coverage of art and activism in New Jersey.
-Leah Giannantonio, for New Jersey Revolution Radio