We need to be on right side of the fight

The group known as Wilton Peace Action launched itself into our local public consciousness on Jan. 21 when it joined women all over the world with its own observance of The Women’s March in Wilton’s Main Street Park.

And, much to our surprise and to our delight, the group is still active.

Recently one of its members, Chris Balch, presented a petition warrant article to the Wilton Board of Selectmen calling upon the town of oppose any natural gas pipeline expansion or construction within the town borders. That’s the gist of the article, but there’s much more to it, including a move to get state and federal officials to pass legislation to “disallow such projects that go against our commitments to life, the environment, our economic well-being and our bodily safety …”

We actually can see this article being approved by Wilton Town Meeting voters. Wilton is a pretty progressive town which might explain why Wilton Peace Action sprung up.

And the group is, of course, encouraging activists in other towns to petition such an article onto their local ballots. While that might happen, we aren’t as certain of passage in towns other than Wilton given the recent local voting patterns for state and federal offices.

Nor are we certain that in the grand scheme of things, such petition warrant articles will do the least bit of good in a nation that has fallen further into the pocket of major business interests since last year’s presidential election. Yes, Calvin Coolidge was right when he said that “The business of America is business,” but we doubt he had in mind federal officials being quite so lovey dovey with industries like big pharma (Where are those lower drug prices the Republican presidential candidate promised, and why can’t the government negotiate for lower prices for Medicare?)

The way things are going nationally, it seems to us that if a pipeline firm wants a pipeline and needs federal approval, federal approval it will get.

Can little Wilton, led by Wilton Peace Action, stand up to the power of business interests when business interests rule the White House?

We think they can. They’ll lose, undoubtedly, but they’ll certainly stand up and be counted.

And they could use our help. All of us. The environment is under attack by a federal government that sees clean air and clean water as an impediment to its allies in the business sector making more money. The crazy thing is, they have to breath the air and drink the water, too, unless they have a secret stash somewhere.

We need to get into this fight and on the right side: The side of Wilton Peace Action and the other folks in this region who think as they.

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