ANGELICA — This month marks the 28th anniversary of the successful grassroots battle to "Bump The Dump" in Allegany County.
The documentary film, "My Name Is Allegany County," has been re-released with subtitles on YouTube to mark the occasion.
Faced with the prospect of becoming host to a large scale low-level radioactive waste dump nearly three decades ago, people mobilized quickly and in a big way. When 5,000 people showed up at the first public meeting, New York's Siting Commission got a taste for the fierce, unyielding opposition they were about to endure. This ambitious effort was fought on all fronts and won by citizens from all walks of life.
An incredible resistance movement sprang up and did not sleep for the next year and a half. On any given day there were focus groups, committees, fundraisers, meetings, meetings and more meetings, letter-writing campaigns, rallies, marches, non-violent actions (civil disobedience), arrests, court hearings, and media interactions.
The Siting Commission never once set foot on any of the proposed sites, though they did try!
In the era before internet and mobile phones, activists relied on land-lines and CB radios to communicate. Thankfully, video cameras and the media captured archival footage of this up-lifting struggle, which has been preserved as an important historical record in the documentary film, "My Name Is Allegany County."
Friends at Alfred State College have re-mastered the original film and added subtitles. To see the subtitles, simply start the video and click the "CC" symbol immediately below the screen.
"We are proud not only of our neighbor-warriors and the fight they waged and won, but also of this film, which preserves the record for future generations," Concerned Citizens of Allegany County said in a statement. "It’s hard to imagine what life in our pristine rural county would be like now had these citizens not given their all to ‘Bump the Dump.’"
Concerned Citizens of Allegany County, Inc., is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation that continues to fight against pollution, focusing primarily on ending the proliferation of infrastructure related to fracking and halting the disposal of hazardous and radioactive gas field wastes in Allegany and Steuben county landfills.
The group meets monthly in Angelica and welcomes interested parties to join the effort to raise awareness and protect our clean water, soil, and air. Tax-deductible contributions can be mailed to: CCAC PO Box 425, Angelica, NY 14709.
To view the film, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NXQh_O_NoY