A grassroots rebellion against oil, gas and coal extraction on public lands is spreading across the U.S. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) continues to auction off our public lands, and the “Keep It in the Ground” movement continues to protest, disrupt and take action to prevent it.
On Tuesday, the rebellion spread to Reno Nevada, also known as the Biggest Little City in the World. The BLM contracted the Siena Hotel in Reno’s downtown Casino Corridor to house the latest action. On the auction block was over 74,000 acres in the Big Smoky Valley that has been slated for fracking.
Led by local partners Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN), almost 200 people marched on the Siena calling for an end to the leasing of public lands for fossil fuel development.
The BLM chose to hold this public auction in a private hotel to offset the power of our protests. Despite the agency’s attempts to stifle the Keep It in the Ground movement, we pushed forward. Inside the hotel lobby, local performance art troupe the Potentialists simulated a human oil spill. The “Spill In” took over the lobby floor while a large contingent of the march took over the hotel, pushed past multiple private security lines and took over the room.
Two of our brave people, were detained and/or arrested during the entry to the Siena, but still over one hundred stormed into the auction room.
Outside, a climber scaled a faux 12-ft tall oil derrick that read “Frack Free NV.” She was given official warnings to come down and leave the property. She refused, and came down only when one of the detained comrades was freed.
In the end, the industry and BLM snuck through emergency exits and construction zones to meet in secret, ultimately selling off a small fraction of what they intended to. We certainly disrupted them and sent them to slither away.