"Fourth Ward City Councilor Ken Camera was among those who spoke from city hall’s steps. He said Seneca Lake could face destruction if the protests fail.
The crowd, still waving signs, stretched from the sidewalk out to the middle of Castle Street. Occasional passersby asked why they were there, and some drivers honked as they went past.
“Without the lake, Geneva and the surrounding areas and towns will lose what makes them unique,” Camera told the crowd. “For us, the lake is not a business. It is a part of our home that we need to fight for. ... We’re going to be on the barricades until we win.”
Couchon called the protests a people’s movement.
“There was nothing to do but go home or fight, and we fight,” he said of activists’ reaction to Crestwood’s plans. “We fight for our right to determine what’s best for our people, as we do not accept that corporations are people or that corporations have the right to determine what’s best for our communities.”
Howie Hawkins, a longtime activist and the 2014 Green Party candidate for governor, was a late addition to the roster of speakers. He pledged to join the protesters, and he linked their efforts to earlier protests against nuclear power and to the larger energy debate. The Crestwood protests, he said, are part of the nation’s decision to either continue embracing 19th century energy sources that pollute or to turn toward green power.
“We’re not just fighting for ourselves,” Hawkins said. “We’re fighting for our whole future, our whole state, our whole nation, our whole world.”"