On Saturday, the 27th of July, the VT/NH team conducted a Fake Oil Spill next to the Newport Farmers’ Market in Gardner Park. We fliered the week before, having spent more time in the lakeside town of Newport, VT than any other town before it, and conducted our activist performance art on our final full day in the town.
It was a hot day to wear all black.
The fliers were vague on how our group of climate riders was going to proceed, but the plan was to line up like a snake with black trash-bags to add some length, and to march through the area. The area quickly grew to the Farmers’ Market and the park across the bridge, and we sang over and over again what little we had memorized from Melodeego’s “Digging Us a Hole”. And then we spilled all over the bit of field left next to the Farmers’ Market and laid out in the grass as reporters took pictures and asked us our names.
It was fun.
It was a little nerve-wracking because from Pam from the Tar Sands Free VT Kingdom Walk asked the local Farmers’ Market band to stop playing for a minute so we walked right through the Farmers’ Market repeating the chorus of ‘Digging Us a Hole’ over and over again with no other noise to distract us. But all in all I do recall it as fun. It felt important. We were not letting people ignore us, and in a town that seemed to worry so much about being political, it felt good to make them listen to an issue that very much affects them: the Montreal/Portland pipeline.
The pipeline has already contaminated Lake Memphremagog (which is a large part of Newport’s tourist industry) when it leaked back in 1977 according to the ‘Valley Reporter’. A leak of tars sands would be practically impossible to clean up, as demonstrated by the tar sands leak into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River in 2010 that still isn’t clean three years later. When it comes to protecting the very symbol of your town, the word I would use for Climate Summer’s Fake Oil Spill demonstration isn’t “Political”. I would call it “necessary”.
What would you call it? Please comment what you think.