98 year-old woman is arrested for attempting to stop a pipeline

(Photo Credit: HEATHER BELLOW - THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE)

SANDISFIELD, Mass. (NEWS10) – A 98 year-old woman, from Northampton, Massachusetts, known for her peaceful activism in the Berkshires was arrested earlier Saturday for trying to put a stop to a pipeline.

NEWS10 ABC had a chance to talk to her over the phone about what might sound like a harrowing ordeal to many, but to this veteran activist, it was just another day in standing up for what’s right.

With a smile on her face…and her legs in her wheelchair, Frances Crowe was not your typical Berkshire arrest. The 98 year-old surrounded by Massachusetts state troopers, was escorted away from the pipe line work she was trying to stop at Otis State Forest.

“The police came and said if we went any further they would arrest us and we tried to go under the rope but we couldn’t get under it so they arrested us where we were they put us under arrest,” Crowe said.

But, she doesn’t feel it was wrong that she was arrested.

“No, no well that would be nice if their policies were different but they need to be challenged and I feel the only way we can bring about the change is for us to act on our conscious and challenge them and maybe willing to be arrested,” Crowe said.

Crowe is no stranger to handcuffs. She’s been arrested multiple times for other activism work throughout her lifetime including anti-nuclear efforts.

Saturday’s protest, led by the Sugar Shack Alliance shut down pipeline production. Police say workers were forced to call them in. Seven other activists were arrested in addition to Crowe.

It was very important to Crowe to see this area protected.

“We don’t need to dig up the soil for a pipeline solar and wind will take care of all of the energy needs for the state,” Crowe said.

Why not leave the heavy lifting of protecting mother earth to today’s youth? For the grandmother of five, it’s simple.

“Young people are busy getting an education getting set up in meaningful employment and then they are busy raising their families i think it takes the older people like me to step up and put their bodies in the action,” Crowe said.

Crowe and the other protesters were released on their own recognizance. They’re due back in court in Great Barrington on Thursday morning.

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