Sunday, April 3, 2011

"Freedom Is Not Something We Can Claim Alone": A Guest Blog by Elizabeth Terp


Elizabeth Terp, Campton, wrote the essay in this post in early March just before the DOE meetings. The solidarity achieved through community action that she discusses was evident today in Easton, as neighbors came together at the town hall to stencil "Stop the Towers" signs (left) and to tie 100 orange bows for roadside trees (photos below).


                          Stop Northern Pass: The Power of Peaceful Protest
                               Reprinted by permission of the author, Elizabeth Terp

Egyptians have given us a valuable lesson in the power of peaceful protest to promote public health and well being. All ages and walks were represented amidst that sea of young people, a strong expression of solidarity. Lots of homemade banners made their mission clear.

As a nation, we have become increasingly caught up in what Philip Slater called The Pursuit of Loneliness. One in every 4 households now consists of one person only. Even in a family, we each have our own car, cell phone, TV; the list goes on. We all complain about Congress, no matter what party is in, and we worry about freedoms we’ve taken for granted that are now slipping away.

For years, we’ve kept ourselves asleep at the switch re: our food, air and water supplies. We have a long list of conditions spawned by monkeying around with what makes money for corporations, including health facilities, while we groan through health challenges. Now, we risk taking on the health effects of electromagnetic pollution.

However, the value of standing up to this potential loss of yet another freedom is two-fold. First, we can avoid the health problems generated by the Northern Pass and second, we can reclaim a sense of solidarity, of belonging as fellow citizens who need each other to reclaim freedom to live healthy lives.

Freedom is not something we can claim alone. The website  keeps us posted on peaceful gatherings and our homemade STOP NORTHERN PASS signs, placed in strategic locations, will strengthen our message (yes, ‘our’; it’s from all of us.)

We need to recycle those building scraps of materials in our barns or garages into signs. We need to check with our neighbors and friends for materials, for orange and black paint to share, and to have sign painting parties. We need to attend the Environmental Impact meetings in our areas and bring our friends.

This may well be the first big step we take to reclaim freedom for ourselves, our families and our neighbors to be able to enjoy great health. Remember: ‘As New Hampshire goes, so goes the nation.’ Think about that.

Elizabeth Terp draws on her experiences as School Nurse-Teacher, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Yoga Instructor
and Home Health Nurse. She welcomes your comments at PO Box 547, Campton