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Catherine Hoffman

What did you do?

I stepped into the tunnel of construction to try to stop the construction (on a number of occasions but the one for this case is?)

Why did you do it?

To make some concrete step to interrupt construction – to delay their efforts, make it harder to complete this life threatening project.

Why did you oppose the West Roxbury pipeline?

I opposed it on many grounds:

  • the sheer lunacy of 751 psi pipeline coming through a residential area and building a station across from an active blasting quarry.The presence of existing gas leaks including across the quarry which need to be fixed
  • The lack of need for more “natural” gas
  • The source of the gas in fracking which is unhealthy for the peoples’ communities where it happens
  • The total opposition from the community and all elected officials
  • Spectra’s unwillingness to address any safety issues (no safety plan) and riding roughshod over all human concerns (corporate violence)

What reports, studies, articles, personal experiences, etc convinced you that pipelines, fossil fuel extraction, and climate change are serious issues?

Stories of explosions elsewhere on Spectra lines, studies shared from within the committee re fossil fuels, stories/research re fracking, the experience of Spectra’s arrogance

Why did you believe social movements/civil disobedience can make a difference?

Because they have. As far back as slavery and women’s suffrage – issues which people at the time said were part of human nature and too imbedded to change, social movements have changed them. My own participation in anti-war/ nuclear weapons, GLBT issues, women’s liberation and more has made it clear that intentional/thoughtful/nonviolent civil disobedience and the movements they represent have affected both local and global change.

What other attempts did you make to stop the West Roxbury pipeline, keep fossil fuels in the ground, stop climate change, etc?

I was brought in after all the legal and political avenues were pursued.

Why didn’t you trust that legal systems would avert the harm of the pipeline? What articles, books, reports, personal experience, etc convinced you that our governmental processes are not effective at protecting our communities from threats like this pipeline?

In this case Spectra’s use of imminent domain granted by FERC (as in 99.9% of all requests) made it clear that local opposition would be ignored.


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