397
397
5

Help the Gerharts fight Mariner East in Court!

$24,630 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 413 people in 9 months
Created July 30, 2018
Camp White Pine
on behalf of Elise Gerhart
The Gerhart family has fought Energy Transfer’s destructive and dangerous Mariner East 2 fracked gas liquids pipeline tooth and nail for the past four years. After facing years of intimidation, harassment, and even incarceration for opposing pipeline construction on their family’s land, the Gerharts are in court challenging permits that should never have been granted to Energy Transfer in the first place. We need your help to cover the Gerharts’ rising legal costs in support of their continued courageous stand against Mariner East.

Important Note: This GoFundMe was previously used to support legal fees associated with the unjust incarceration of Ellen Sue Gerhart, who was held in jail for two months for peacefully protecting her family’s land from the Mariner East 2 pipeline. Now that Ellen is thankfully free and back with her family, we are continuing to support Ellen in her family’s continued fight against the pipeline project.

About the Gerharts: Ellen Sue Gerhart is a retired special ed teacher and longtime Huntingdon County resident who has lived on her family’s land for 35 years in peace. Nearly four years ago, her tranquil retirement was abruptly disturbed with a notice that pipeline builder Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) planned to build a polluting, volatile natural gas liquids (NGL) Pipeline straight through her land in order to supply raw materials for plastics manufacturers in Europe.

The Gerharts never gave Energy Transfer permission to build a pipeline through their land, but ETP seized it anyway using eminent domain law. For the past four years, Ellen and her family have been outspoken, compassionate, and selfless leaders in their advocacy against the pipeline. The Gerharts hosted Camp White Pine on their land, a longstanding tree sit that effectively prevented pipeline construction on the family property for 741 days.

On July 27, 2018, four officers with the Huntingdon County Sheriff's Department arrested Ellen on her own property - likely in retaliation for her tireless work to protect her family's land and Pennsylvania's waterways from Energy Transfer Partners' (ETP) Mariner East 2 Pipeline. On Friday, August 3, after a week in solitary confinement, Ellen was sentenced to two to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine by a judge who had obviously predetermined his sentence before Ellen ever showed up to court.

Since deciding to oppose ETP, Ellen and her family has been subjected to harassment, intimidation, surveillance, and violence, but continue to persist in their work. The Gerharts are currently using all legal avenues to oppose the project, including contesting the permits granted to ETP and the abuse of eminent domain. The Gerharts also levied a federal civil rights lawsuit against Energy Transfer Partners, private security contractor TigerSwan, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Huntingdon County Sheriff Department, and a creator of a fake grassroots facebook page called PA Progress over continuous harassment the family has faced since deciding to oppose the pipeline project.

About Mariner East: Damage from the Mariner East pipeline extends well beyond the boundaries of the Gerhart's property. Since construction of Mariner East began, there have been nearly 200 documented spills along the pipeline route. Over a dozen households have lost access to their well water due to pollution related to the pipeline's construction. And poor construction practices led to the formation of dangerous sinkholes in densely populated areas, exposing communities to grave public safety risks.

Now more than ever the Gerharts need support. In addition to the $22,000 raised and spent to support Ellen’s legal costs, we are now raising an additional $28,000 to support their critical legal challenge to the pipeline’s permits. We are grateful for any and all support.
+ Read More
Dear friends,

Thank you so, so much for your generous support for Ellen Sue Gerhart. Thanks to your donations, solidarity, and advocacy, Ellen is a free woman and home with her family. Even in the wake of an unjust two month incarceration, Ellen and the Gerharts are not backing down from the fight against the dangerous and destructive Mariner East 2 fracked gas liquids pipeline.

Right now, the Gerharts are back in court - this time in an Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) hearing in Harrisburg challenging the pipeline’s permits, that never should have been granted in the first place. The Gerharts have strong evidence that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) willfully ignored environmental law with regards to Mariner East permits.

The EHB hearing could be pivotal in holding Energy Transfer accountable for years of destructive corporate behavior, and holding DEP accountable for its complicity in that destruction.

This summer, we collectively raised over $22,000 to free Ellen Sue Gerhart. Now, we need to raise an additional $28,000 to cover legal costs of the Gerharts’ legal challenge to the Mariner East pipeline.

Thank you for everything you’ve done to support Ellen and the fight against Mariner East. If you’re able, we ask that you make an additional contribution to help the Gerharts finish what they started four years ago: to stop Mariner East.

In it together,
Ethan
+ Read More
Via Ellen Sue Gerhart:

"I'm home."

"Those two words are packed with enormous emotion, more than I ever thought possible. For the past two months I have been incarcerated in the Centre County Correctional Facility in Bellefonte, PA, by order of Huntingdon County Judge George Zanic, for indirect contempt of an order he issued in favor of Energy Transfer Partners' construction of the dangerous and still incomplete Mariner East 2 pipeline. My family, supporters, and I have fought this project for over 3 years, and during that time, ETP, in collaboration with our Pennsylvania state and local governments, has worked to criminalize those who stand in opposition to their greed and destruction.

During these past two months, I was overwhelmed and surprised by the hundreds of cards and letters of support sent by family, friends, and people I have not had the privilege to meet...yet. I've also heard about prayer vigils and other gatherings of support held in my 'honor'. It was this outpouring of support that made my time in jail bearable. I was also humbled by the comments that people were inspired to get involved with the protests against pipelines and fracking. This fight is much bigger than one person or one place. We must support one another, no matter which pipeline or what fracking company, or other injustice we are protesting. Whether it's ETP's Mariner East 2, Bayou Bridge, Rover, or pipelines still in the planning stage, whether it's other issues of gender, race, or economic inequality - We must support each other in whatever way possible.

This is a fight for the planet, the people, and the generations to come. We cannot drop this protest, but instead, should make our voices louder and stronger. Thank you again for all of the strength your voices have provided.
+ Read More
Thank you so much to everyone who has donated so far to support Ellen Sue Gerhart! Here’s an update on her situation and our next steps:

On Friday, August 3, after a week in solitary confinement, Ellen was sentenced to 2-6 months in jail and ordered by pay a $2,000 fine. She was sentenced by Huntingdon County Judge George Zanic, who had obviously predetermined his decision before the hearing ever began. After doling out a fair number of paternalistic insults during the hearing - including removing Ellen’s daughter Elise from the courtroom for ‘gasping’ - he read a pre-written statement from his laptop while doling out his blatantly biased idea of justice.

One thing is clear: Energy Transfer Partners levied this series of low-ball legal assaults on Ellen in an attempt to silence her and prevent her from doing her work as a key leader in the fight against the dangerous and unnecessary Mariner East 2 pipeline project. But their tactics will backfire. Our resolve is stronger than ever not only to free Ellen, but to highlight the dangers of the Mariner East 2 pipeline project and mobilize resistance across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Ellen is thankfully now out of solitary confinement at the Centre County Correctional Facility. We are appealing her sentence and will pursue all other legal avenues to challenge this outrageous miscarriage of justice. Here are all the ways you can continue to support Ellen:

Mail Ellen letters: Please READ THESE RULES in order to make sure your mail to Ellen does not get rejected:
http://centrecountypa.gov/DocumentCenter/View/1579

Letters can be mailed to:
Ellen Gerhart
#18-0983
700 Rishel Hill Road
Bellefonte, PA 16823

Send books: Click THIS LINK to order books for Ellen
Call Centre County Correctional Facility and demand that Ellen be give the books and letters people have already sent: (814) 355-6794

Continue to share & donate to Ellen’s legal expense fundraiser: https://www.gofundme.com/free-ellen-gerhart

Sign this petition: https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/free-ellen-gerhart

Share this press release: https://www.facebook.com/CampWhitePinePA/…/2172460626357066…

Do something to protect wild places and to help wildlife.

Send support to other political prisoners like Red Fawn Fallis and Michael “Little Feather” Giron.

Continue to resist fossil fuel tycoons and the governments that enable their destruction of the planet.

We will be sharing more about next steps in the Mariner East 2 fight in our next update.

#StopETP #DefendWhatYouLove #FreeMamaBear #FreeEmAll
+ Read More
Many thanks to everyone who has contributed!! Please see this important update from Elise Gerhart, Ellen Sue Gerhart's daughter:

"Just spoke with Ellen Sue Gerhart from jail. She is taking her meds and drinking water. Yesterday, a guard told her that she could come out of solitary confinement if she ate. So she ate toast for breakfast, but they did not let her out of solitary. She also saw a doctor and had her vitals taken. Yesterday, the doctor recommended that she have a protein shake so that she can come off her fast without getting sick from eating a meal. Today, the guards said they knew nothing about a protein shake, and won't give her one. PLEASE CALL Centre County Correctional Facility and direct yourself to MEDICAL. Tell them that Ellen is NOT being given the doctor-recommended protein shake that she needs to safely come off a fast. (814) 355-6794"

Ellen needs court support this Friday, August 3 at 11 am at the Huntingdon County Court, 223 Penn Street, Huntingdon, PA 16652

https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/free-ellen-gerhart

#StopETP #DefendWhatYouLove
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update

$24,630 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 413 people in 9 months
Created July 30, 2018
Camp White Pine
on behalf of Elise Gerhart
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
   Connect
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
ML
$40
Meg Lemieur
11 days ago
DT
$10
Doga Tekin
1 month ago
ML
$1,000
Margaret Lemieur
1 month ago
$10
Anonymous
1 month ago
EC
$20
Emily Canavan
1 month ago
CD
$25
ClearBear Daugherty
1 month ago
$50
Anonymous
2 months ago
PY
$25
Paul YATABE
2 months ago
$25
Anonymous
2 months ago
BV
$30
barbara vanhorn
2 months ago
or
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.