Saturday, January 9, 2016

Protests rock Wolf speech at Farm Show

Two separate activist groups gathered outside the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center Saturday morning to publicize their concerns in anticipation of Governor Tom Wolf's opening ceremony speech. Pennsylvanians Against Fracking and Direct Action Everywhere held picket signs and banners on the sidewalk as visitors arrived at the farm show.

Pennsylvanians Against Fracking is a statewide coalition of groups representing a diversity of issues, backgrounds and locations, united in the mission of achieving a ban on fracking in the commonwealth, according to its website, 

Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) states that its driving philosophy is based on the the belief "that every sentient being – black or white, gay or straight, dog or cat, human or rat – deserves the same safety, happiness, and freedom that we ask for ourselves. The movement is growing rapidly, as people of conscience tear off their moral blindfolds and see the raging violence against non-human animals for what it is: an atrocity."

A little after 10 a.m., as Governor Wolf began his speech inside the Main Arena, DxE activists infiltrated the platform where he was speaking - and where dignitaries and others were seated - and attempted to disrupt the speech by carrying signs and banners and shouting their message. Simultaneously, anti-fracking activists seated strategically around the arena, began shouting, also. Pennsylvania State Police quickly escorted the activists out of the arena as Wolf continued his speech. 

Inside the Main Arena, anti-fracking activists unfurled a banner with the message "Farms not fracking" during opening ceremonies, but removed it at the request of State Police. Actor James Cromwell is seen in the above photo, resting his head on his hand.

Governor Tom Wolf began his opening speech at the 100th Pennsylvania Farm Show.  A sign language interpreter can be seen on the right.

A few minutes into the speech, DxE activists infiltrated the platform where Wolf was speaking and attempted to disrupt but were quickly led away by State Police, as the speech continued.

Police escorted activists outside without incident.

Afterwards, police denied anti-fracking activists entry to the building. 


  1. In defiance of hidebound convention, this article has not incorporated an inverted pyramid lead.

  2. Finally, some fun at the Farm Show!

  3. This article confuses a peaceful protest with a disruptive protest. The two groups were not related. The antifracking/ antipipeline group was respectful as a group of Pa. farmers presented Gov. Wolf with a petition protesting the devestatiin fracking is causing to Pennsylvania farms and environments.

    1. Thank you for the clarification. However, as DxE activists were interrupting Wolf's speech, several anti-fracking demonstrators shouted slogans. One was seated behind me and can be heard near the beginning of the first video.I tried to locate her as I was filming, but quickly turned the camera back to the other activists. About the same time, James Cromwell was escorted out by police after shouting during the disturbance.

      Except for this incident, demonstrators were exceptionally well mannered, as were police.

  4. The article begins by stating "two" separate activist groups. I saw one person directly involved with the peaceful group, as you refer to them, calling out during the Wolf speech and as a result he was escorted out of the arena by state troopers. Where is the confusion? It is what it is.

  5. Actually, reading again, I see a clear definition (in this article) of what the DxE activist group is about. The protests absolutely overlapped and to be there in the midst of it was at times confusing. This article has sifted through that confusion and provided explanations. Thank you Cole.