Thirty-five people were arrested for trespassing during a large protest against frac sand Monday morning staged at two separate locations in Winona.

The Winona Police Department arrested 19 people at the city's commercial dock, after they were asked multiple times to leave the private property. Officers than responded to a frac sand processing plant on Winona's west end, where they arrested another 16 people for trespassing there.

Protesters said their goal was to halt business operations at each site.

"I think people see that the issue of silica sand is something affecting the entire region," said protester Molly Greening. "They've come to stand in solidarity with this issue."

Dan Nisbit, the owner of CD Corp., which leases the commercial dock, said the protest created a distraction for workers and temporarily slowed operations at the facility.

"Obstructing business isn't the right way to go about things," Nisbit said.

Winona Catholic Workers organized the protest, reaching out to area residents who oppose the frac sand industry, as well as others in the region's Catholic Worker community.

The protest was part of an annual celebration of the regional Catholic Worker community, and volunteers from Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Michigan and other states in the Midwest traveled to Winona to participate.

Catholic Workers and others in the Winona area have protested the industry for more than a year. They have blocked a rail loading terminal, demonstrated at the steps of the Winona City Hall prior to a city council meeting on frac sand regulations, and held other rallies.

"As Catholic Workers living with the poor and marginalize, we come to this land to prevent the desecration of this land and the health of this community," they wrote in a statement sent Sunday evening to area media outlets.

"We declare Monday to be a moratorium of business as usual at the sites of production of silica sand to eliminate a necessary component of fracking."

There hasn't been a history of citations or arrests at any of the demonstrations, though during one rally at city hall in May 2012 a protester was cited for littering after he threw a handful of frac sand on the front steps.

(11) comments

steeltoe
steeltoe

I would think that the Catholic Workers would be trying to promote jobs and employment instead of rallying against jobs.

2am Ralph
2am Ralph

"Obstructing business isn't the right way to go about things," Nisbit said.

Nope, the right way is to get all your ducks in a row with the Port Authority and City Hall before anyone catches on to your schemes. And getting a sympathetic county board elected helps a lot.

Going to have your dump trucks in the Steamboat Days parade? It's something your proud about, right? Maybe get to be appointed as this year's Harbor Master.

Emil
Emil

You know any Catholic Workers toe? Any idea what they are about?
Unemployment is less than when I graduated for high school. Underemployment might be the issue.

easy
easy

God love 'em. If he doesn't, I do. We can remember that peaceful protests are a legitimate form of public dissent, going back for many years and many reasons.

steeltoe +1

howiechowdermuff
howiechowdermuff

As Reuben Tishkoff stated so eloquently in Oceans Eleven. "God D@#& Hippy"

sanity
sanity

Finally!!! A Catholic organization is again at the helm of an injustice. Hurrah for them. Hurrah for the protesters for standing against government who will not represent the people.
Let it be clear when I speak for advocates for the land and against the big corporations who are behind this travesty in stating that we are NOT against jobs and are NOT against those workers who drive the trucks and operate equipment. These jobs could be had in a different venue; that is, driving trucks and operating big equipment that do not require fossil fuels to be exhausted and destroying our environment. These jobs could be given to people who would use their skills in building a country that is not dependent upon big oil rather relying on renewable energy. Men and women workers have to feed their families; but if the will of the people were to be followed in a true democratic society it would be employment that would build and not destroy. The majority of the people of towns like Winona are sic

sanity
sanity

sick and tired of not being represented. These municipal boards do not keep the Health, Safety and Welfare of ALL their citizens in the fore front of their decisions. Until they start to represent all their constituents and have the courage to say,"NO" to GREED these lawful protests will and should continue. Move over people....... this old lady wants and WILL stand beside you!!!
Heather Andersen/Town of Auburn/Chippewa County/Wisconsin

Sucid
Sucid

Whether you agree with them or not, you have to be impressed with the protestor’s wherewithal. Takes a lot of guts to stand up for what you believe is right.

mhazzard
mhazzard

"Fracking" to America is like "kool-aid" to Jonestown Tic Toc...

Sucid
Sucid

'cept that the "kool-aid" kills quicker.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.