|Photo, Wendy Lynne Lee|
Pictures the Gas Thugs at the Marcellus Shale Operators Crime Committee May Not Want You To See - an album on Flickr
They're the less photogenic, not exactly photographs, shots of the everyday, business as usual crimes against nature and humanity committed across Pennsylvania by the oil and gas industry.
These are not necessarily pictures of the spectacular--the drilling mud spills, the explosions, the truck accidents--and on and on.
Instead these are the pictures of the devastating and irreparable destruction that this psychopathic industry commits every single minute of every single day against the ecologies and their inhabitants, against precious and dwindling resources and the communities that depend on them, against the future of all of our children and theirs.
|Photo, Wendy Lynne Lee|
The tremendous irony is that the Marcellus Shale Operators Crime Committee exists as a partnership between Pennsylvania law enforcement and the gas thugs.
You've got that right.
As Adam Federman shows, MSOCC is "a little-known intelligence-sharing network that brings together law enforcement, including the FBI, Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security, the oil and gas industry, and private security firms. Established in late 2011 or early 2012, the Marcellus Shale Operators' Crime Committee (MSOCC) is a group of "professionals with a law-enforcement background who are interested in developing working relationships and networking on intelligence issues," according to an email sent to group members by James Hansel, regional security manager for Anadarko Petroleum"(State police documents show intelligence-sharing network between law enforcement and Marcellus Shale drillers | News | Pittsburgh City Paper).
MSOCC's charge, in other words, is to
(a) keep us from exposing the crimes committed by the gas industry via, say pictures,
(b) use the police to intimidate us into silence when we do expose them--effectively criminalizing the exercise of our first amendment rights, and
(c) silence us.
Federman continues, "[t]he MSOCC has taken a keen interest in environmental activists and anti-fracking groups, according to documents obtained through a state Right to Know request. The collaboration raises questions about the increasingly close ties between law enforcement and the natural-gas industry in Pennsylvania, and whether law enforcement has violated the civil liberties of protesters and environmental groups in its effort to protect the state's most controversial industry."
That's putting it mildly.
When an officer like Mike Hutson can show up at the door of an activist who has exercised her or his constitutionally protected rights to freedom of expression, freedom of movement, freedom to travel public roads and document what she or he sees, and when that officer can simply appear without a warrant--there can be no other reason than that he has been co-opted and corrupted by a "partnership" whose reason for being is to suppress civil liberty.
But it's not just that Officer Hutson should be ashamed--as he surely should be. It's that he represents an agency--the Pennsylvania State Police--a state--The Commonwealth--private security firms (a polite name for paid surveillance mercenaries)--and an industry that operate collectively as a repressive regime against the people.
And "regime"is the right term.
The State Police, the state, the private security firms, the industry--are in fact populated by all the same people (virtually all white, virtually all male) who swap places in the ever upward game move of career advance. To say that this is all about money is an understatement.
It is, of course, but that's only because it's all about power and arrogance and entitlement and greed--a lethal cocktail that filters down through to the water table, to our wells, through our pores, into our lungs, tearing up our eyes, infiltrating the placentas of our developing babies--literally.
And yet they dare to call us the criminals.
Theirs' is a new definition of "crime."
From the point of view of power and arrogance and entitlement and greed, "crime" is "telling the truth."
To that crime, I plead guilty.
My pictures tell the truth.
What is that truth?
That the term "industry" is far too polite a name for an enterprise that, like the zombies on The Walking Dead, will eat anything, consume anything without conscience or foresight in order to survive.
These are violent images to be sure.
But they are not one iota more violent than the every day business as usual devastations captured by these pictures.
If only we could see that.
Wendy Lynne Lee