MONTVILLE TWP. — No NEXUS Oberlin demonstrators weathered Monday morning rain to protest construction of the NEXUS pipeline.
With members dressed as angels and signs reading “haunt NEXUS” and “people over profit,” the group, made up of about 20 Oberlin College students, stood near a NEXUS construction site in the 7000 block of Wooster Pike.
“We are connected with communities in Medina who are affected by the pipeline, and we have been organizing for several years against the NEXUS pipeline,” student Alex Chuang, 20, said.
Chuang said the reason behind members dressing as angels was to “defend the sacred and invoke the sacred” while campaigning against construction of the natural gas pipeline.
Chuang said Medina County residents who live near the compressor station being built in neighboring Guilford Township shouldn’t feel that their situation is hopeless.
“We believe that the more you fight, the more you stand up. And seeing all of the amazing, beautiful, powerful, emotional, spiritual resistance happening globally, I think we are personally really connected to that,” Chuang said. “I don’t think it’s hopeless at all.”
Jerry Dolcini, 80, of Hinckley, said he first met members of No NEXUS Oberlin at “other demonstrations” and decided to join Monday’s protest.
“We have got to save our environment and fight against cancer,” he said.
Dolcini, who held a sign that read “caution NEXUS cancer zone,” said the Earth must be saved for future generations.
Elaine Tanner, of West Salem, also joined the protest.
“I watched this group of students and community members in Oberlin take on the system trying to stop a pipeline,” Tanner said.
Tanner serves as founding director of Friends for Environmental Justice, a regional organization that Tanner said works with communities.
“I think the most important thing we can do is inform people of what’s going on, of the hazards, how to monitor for safety and how to protect your family and your water,” she said.
Rachael Hood, a student at Oberlin College, said she thinks it is important to have multiple generations involved in the fight against NEXUS.
“I think an intergenerational fight is really important because it shows that everybody has a stake in this and not just college kids protesting,” Hood said. “It is other people who care about both themselves and their future and their children and they all want to come together to say this isn’t OK.”
The $2.1 billion NEXUS pipeline, first proposed in August 2014, is a business partnership of Detroit-based DTE Energy and Spectra Energy, which is owned by Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge Inc.
Project construction costs will be covered by Spectra Energy. The project includes 255.8 miles of pipeline — 209.3 miles in Ohio — four compressor stations and five metering and regulating stations. All compressor stations will be in Ohio, including the one under construction in Guilford Township.