FRESH DIRT > Local group demonstrates against SmartMeters in Santa Cruz County
On Friday, July 10 roughly 16 protesters gathered for an early morning rally against SmartMeters being installed in Santa Cruz County in front of a private corporate yard on 38th Avenue and Portola Drive. The yard harbored numerous Wellington trucks used to install the meters. StopSmartMeters! has been active for more than a year now and, in light of the recent installations that violate the county ordinance against SmartMeters, have stepped up their efforts.
“We are out here demanding that [PG&E] respect the law. [Also], we want to opt out. This opposition [to SmartMeters] is not an individual thing, it’s a community thing,” said Joshua Hart, director of the StopSmartMeters! campaign.
Other protesters included community members/anti-SmartMeter advocates from across Santa Cruz County.
“This is my first time out here,” said Hugo Arana. “I have a SmartMeter, and haven’t noticed any difference, but I’m rallying because of my concern for me, my family and the community. Also to say something about the neglect of our local authorities to enforce our choice.”
StopSmartMeters! has a large following, which organizers say is growing everyday. “We’re getting about 1,000 hits a day [on the StopSmartMeters! website], [and] even international attention,” said Hart. “Thousands of people are sending us emails to demonstrate their interest in our cause.” As they protested on July 10, passing cars honked, as their occupants waved and gave thumbs up.
Protests and rallies by StopSmartMeters! are set to continue “as needed” to stop installation and uphold the ordinance according to Hart. Another protest is scheduled for Friday, July 15 from 8 to 10 a.m. at the corner of 38th Avenue and Portola Drive. Those interested are encouraged to get signs at Pure Water of Scotts Valley, located in the back of the Victors Square Center, but can also be provided with one at the rally.
“We cannot consider failure, it is simply not an option” said Diane, a StopSmartMeters! advocate who wished to only give her first name. “We’re protecting the human race here.”
For more information on the campaign visit stopsmartmeters.org.