Oberlin Students Arrested After Protesting Fracking




When college students gear up for a road trip, that usually means a trunkful of beer and a backseat full of misappropriated sorority girls.

But over at Oberlin College, where the student body is known as much for its activism as its handsome selection of black turtlenecks, five kids took a less frivolous trip that still ended in the classic way: with everybody getting their asses arrested.

The Oberlin Five paid a visit to Youngstown last week to protest the hydraulic fracturing that’s become quite the outrage there of late. The area is particularly contentious in light of the seven earthquakes experts claim have taken place there this year, which critics say take the fun out of groundwater contamination common at fracking sites.

The students blocked the path of giant trucks carrying wastewater to the fracking site of D&L Energy. They were charged with disorderly conduct, but freed in time for soy lattes back home the next day.
“There are four wells in Ohio and many more permits in progress,” says Ben Shapiro, an Oberlin grad who spearheaded the field trip. “There are permits under way for hydrofracking as near as Broadview Heights. If you poison water anywhere, we’re all downstream here in Cleveland.”

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.