Eddie Rodriguez of Butternuts, an activist who often films such demonstrations, said the protests are designed to show political leaders that “there is a disconnect between the government and the people. The government is not listening to what the people want. The president is promoting fracking, and that’s not what we want him to do.”
Gilda Ward of the Norwich Tea Party Patriots had a different message for Obama. She contended that the Affordable Health Care Act will hurt working families financially. She also said she was there to protest the president’s immigration legislation.
“He’s talking about amnesty (for undocumented immigrants) before he even secures the borders,” said Ward, a Mt. Upton resident.
Sandra Steingraber, an ecologist and author who has emerged as one of the leaders of the anti-fracking movement in New York, said the demonstration in Binghamton was aimed at convincing Obama that “we can’t frack our way to energy independence.”
Saying that the planet was lurching towards irreversible climate change because of the continued release of greenhouse gases, she argued New York should become a national leader in promoting expanded use of energy generated from wind, water and solar methods.