BREAKING: Two Arrested at Private Meeting Between Gas Industry and Politicians in Trumbull County [View all]
Brookfield, Ohio — Two Trumbull County residents were arrested Thursday afternoon outside the Ohio Shale Forum, another closed-to-the-public meeting on fracking attended by Ohio Governor Kasich, officials, legislators, and gas drilling representatives in Brookfield, Ohio at the Yankee Lake Ballroom.
John Williams and Jeremy Bingham of McDonald, OH were each charged with criminal trespass. They have been released without bond and are scheduled to appear in Brookfield Township Court next Thursday. Williams, a 55-year-old Coast Guard veteran, was arrested for attempting to gain access to the meeting, citing concerns about the environmental and health impacts of increased drilling in his hometown. Williams commented, “Anytime public officials convene with corporate executives without the public being invited to the table, it is plain wrong. If fracking is so safe, then why are they hiding from us? If our public officials are so intent on being legally right but morally wrong but, then we have no problem being legally wrong but morally right.”
Before his arrest, Williams presented Rep. Tom Letson of Trumbull County with information regarding industry donations to Ohio state legislators and asked to be allowed inside the ballroom. Rep. Letson refused to assist Williams in gaining access to the meeting.
Bingham, 21-years-old, had left the property upon request of the police and returned in order to film Williams’ arrest. He was then arrested without any opportunity to leave the premises. Police also confiscated literature from protesters who were attempting to voice their concerns at the entrance to the ballroom.