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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hollis, Brookline and Pepperell unite in march against pipeline

HOLLIS – The 29-town protest march in opposition to a proposed natural gas pipeline through Massachusetts and New Hampshire rolled into Hollis Tuesday with dozens of people voicing their disdain for the project.

“This is halfway through their walk and it’s perfect because the pipeline is like a T,” said David Moloney, organizer of the Hollis portion of the walk, during the Pepperell, Mass., rally that kicked off the trek north. ...

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HOLLIS – The 29-town protest march in opposition to a proposed natural gas pipeline through Massachusetts and New Hampshire rolled into Hollis Tuesday with dozens of people voicing their disdain for the project.

“This is halfway through their walk and it’s perfect because the pipeline is like a T,” said David Moloney, organizer of the Hollis portion of the walk, during the Pepperell, Mass., rally that kicked off the trek north.

“This is like the juncture, to create a spur into New Hampshire. If our pipelines are going to meet, our communities might as well too,” he said.

“One of the reasons we are doing this is to transcend divisions and create unity. We are here because we don’t want a pipeline – not that we want to push it one direction or another, we don’t want it at all.”

Moloney was joined by his son Garrett, Steve Spaulding, Cindy Kroposki, Bernard Mizoula and Rob Chesebrough for the 6-mile journey to Hollis Town Hall. The group finished ahead of schedule, but soon were joined by other residents and members of the Brookline citizen’s group that has been organized to fight the project.

“I am here to say no to the pipeline,” said Molly Mizoula, who brought her two children along to join her husband in the last segment of the march through town.

“It is our private property, our conservation lands that will be taken by eminent domain if this is approved so a corporation can make money,” she said.

“We are supposed to be the ‘Live Free or Die’ state,” said Molly’s husband Bernard. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody employ that phrase, but I can think of no better way to exercise that statement than when someone’s land is about to be stolen from them.”

Moloney and others spoke to the gathering at Monument Square, praising them for getting involved, and encouraging them to get educated about the pipeline project. He called the pipeline a Trojan Horse, saying the promise of affordable, low-cost accessible energy is a myth and that the energy supplied by the Northeast Extension would run out after about six years.

Among the actions suggested at the Hollis rally were to have local towns vote on a non-binding referendum to stop the pipeline, and for residents to pass a “Bill of Rights” ordinance regarding the environment.

The need for solidarity was also stressed. If the pipeline can be stopped in Massachusetts, then it won’t come through New Hampshire.

“At this point, I don’t want to see any daylight between Hollis and Brookline,” said Keith Thompson, organizer of the Brookline citizen’s group to fight the pipeline. He and other members of the group came to the rally in Hollis.

“This will go behind my street through conservation land that I walk in, run in and snowshoe in,” said walker Kristin Yargeau, of Pepperell, Mass., in front of the Town Hall, where the Tuesday protest began.

“I don’t want any part of it and I don’t want to pay for it either. I moved to Pepperell 22 years ago to raise my family and I want it to stay the way it was when I moved here,” he said.

Yergeau objects to the pipeline going under the Nissitissit River, which she says is one of the cleanest waterways in Massachusetts, and is also concerned about the farmland and rolling hills on the path, which she described as an “idyllic New England road.”

Russ Schott, one of the organizers of the Pepperell protest, was pleased with the turnout.

“I think it’s wonderful that on a hot day in the middle of the week we had close to 80 people joining us,” he said. “It shows a level of commitment that we don’t need this pipeline.”

Many protesters donned neon yellow T-shirts emblazoned with Stop the Pipeline, and carried signs with slogans like “Save Our Common Wealth,” “Only Dinosaurs Want More Fossil Fuel,” and “Steal Local, $ell Global.” They rang cowbells and chanted, “2-4-6-9, we don’t want a pipeline,” to call attention to themselves, and welcomed the honking of cars passing by.

The next protest walk will occur in Dracut, Mass., on Saturday, July 26. The grand finale will be July 30 when protesters will present petitions to Gov. Deval Patrick at the Statehouse in Boston.

Go to http://nhpipeline
awareness.org/the-walk-faqs
for additional information.

Irene Labombarde can be reached at 471-1867 or ilabombarde@nashuatelegraph.com.