Students Protest Against Hydrofracking

NYU and The New School collaborate to New York's water clean
Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

On April 20, The New School’s environmental group Renew School  partnered with  New York University’s group “Students Against Fracking”  to protest and rally for a statewide ban against hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking, in Washington Square Park.

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Hydrofracking is a process that recovers oil and natural gas from underground reservoir shale formations by pumping a drill consisting of a mixture of water, proppants (or sands), and chemicals.

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The process has sparked controversy due to waterways in several states that as a result of hydrofracking have been contaminated with natural gas and chemicals.

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Liliana Astiz, NYU student  and co-founder of NYU’s “Students Against Fracking,”  was the MC for the event, where there was a wide range of speakers and performers. Among them was activist performance artist Reverend Billy, who delivered a pseudo televangelist preaching about the “evils” of oil and gas companies and hydrofracking.
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There are serious concerns over the chemicals used in the hydrofracking process.  Tthe 2004 EPA report states that the chemicals include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene.
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Lou Wright, Environmental Studies student and president of Renew School, chose to participate in the event to bring attention to New School students among others.  “We’re trying to be the voice for these upstate movements (like Water Defense] in the city, and frankly we can do it better. New Schoolers should care about [hydrofracking] because it’s in our backfuckin’door. It’s poisons in (our) water. If you wanna be a New Schooler, you also have to be a New Yorker.”
Photos by Andrea Vocos and Eric Fernandez