Pete Seeger to Strum for Fractivists in Milford
Iconic folk singer and activist Pete Seeger plans to play a benefit concert in northeast Pennsylvania this summer to support a new group created by Tennessee Gas Pipeline opponents. Activists have been staging sit-ins and protests to prevent the construction of an expanded natural gas pipeline through Pike County. Milford resident, and anti-pipeline activist, Jolie DeFeis says she founded Air Soil Water to promote renewable energy use as an alternative to fossil fuels.
“We wanted something positive to come from the community effort we put forth during the past year,” said DeFeis in a release announcing the concert. “And we know that education is the key to empowerment and change.”
DeFeis began working against the Tennessee Gas Pipeline upgrade about a year ago. But her efforts have failed to prevent the company from getting federal approval to move forward with the project.
“We need to reframe the conversation and to start doing something good,” DeFeis told StateImpact. “We haven’t offered much else except to say big oil is bad.”
DeFeis says the past year of activism has taught her the importance of education about alternative fuel options.
“[It’s] not being ‘anti’ anymore,” says DeFeis. “You’re reframing the conversation from being anti to pro-something. It’s a bigger idea than trying to squash a pipeline.”
DeFeis says her group plans to develop a sustainable energy curriculum with the Delaware Valley School District. She says both the school board members and the district superintendent are supportive. DeFeis met with Pete Seeger last week, describing the meeting as “wonderful.”
Pete Seeger has been active with civil rights, anti-war and environmental movements for decades. The 93-year-old folk singer created an organization to clean-up the Hudson River in the late 1960’s. He is scheduled to perform as part of Milford’s MusicFest on June 8th.