Frac sand protest leads to 35 arrests - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Frac sand protest leads to 35 arrests

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WINONA, Minn. (KTTC) -- Authorities made 35 arrests in Winona Monday during a protest of frac sand mining.

The protesters came from across the Midwest and said their goal was to shut down frac sand operations in Winona.

100 people participated in the largest protest ever against fracking.

"To call on peoples' hearts and minds and do something so that our children get to swim in a river and get to see these beautiful bluffs here," said frac sand protester Ethan Hughes. 

Ethan Hughes made the trip from Missouri with his daughters in mind.

"I want them to see some of the Earth and creation," Hughes said.

Hughes planned to do whatever it took for his voice to be heard.

"Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day, Jesus Christ," Hughes said.  "A lot of people went to jail for good reason."

The protest organized by the Winona Catholic Workers started in downtown Winona, with three ending points at facilities that deal with frac sand in an attempt to disrupt everyday activities.

"We're trying to say with our bodies that we want the silica sand mining to stop," said protester Steve Clemens.

But being on private property did not break up the protest.  After refusing two warnings from police, 19 protestors were arrested and removed from CD Corporation property. 

"I don't approve of it, especially coming on to your property and impeding your business.  That's something that's costing us money, costing our workers money," said CD Corporation co-owner Dan Nisbit.

"We're concerned more with corporate profits and sometime the workers get caught between," Clemens said.

The protesters acknowledged that it's an inconvenience for the workers, but believed it had to be done.

"I want to be able to tell my daughter when she is an adult that I did something, that I stood up to try and protect this beautiful Earth," Hughes said.

Police also arrested 16 people in a protest at a sand washing facility.

All of the people on private property were arrested and cited for trespassing. 

No violence was used in the protests.

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