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Athens anti-fracking charter welcomes Tish O’Dell for fundraiser

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The Athens County Bill of Rights Charter’s Friday fundraiser featured a speech by Tish O’Dell, the coordinator of the Ohio Community Rights Network and the Ohio organizer for CELDF — the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund.

CELDF helps the group defend the banishment of fracking in Athens County, which was ruled not valid by the Ohio Supreme Court twice.

O’Dell spoke about other small charter organizations across the country that are fighting similar fights. The efforts of Athens’ Charter is on par with other states’ and counties’ battles.

She roused the intimate gathering with personal anecdotes about her fight in Broadview Heights, located in Cuyahoga County. There she founded Mothers Against Drilling In Our Neighborhoods, which was created to support a county charter banning drilling.

“If we know the law is wrong, why are we obedient?” O’Dell asked the crowd.

Dick McGinn, chairman of the charter, followed O’Dell’s speech with a call to action for where the group could go next with its legal battles. Although he said he does not want to give up on the watershed, he recommended the group focus on a few other situations as well.

He first asked about the monitoring of the unmarked tanker trucks seen within city limits. These would be violating city ordinance if they were full of fracking waste within city limits. McGinn also asked the members to work with other groups to monitor and try to shut down the Ginsburg well, which feeds into Margaret Creek and is a creation sight of fracking waste. To conclude the night, he encouraged the group to start a third new charter, fixing the points it was denied upon previously.

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