Let’s hear it for the democratic process

Depending on which study one considers credible either 70% or 90+% of people in Indiana are opposed to construction of a new-terrain extension of I-69 from Indianapolis through southwestern Indiana. The major pocket of support is among business interests in the Evansville area.

This project is highly problematic for numerous reasons, including but not limited to its connection with NAFTA and globalization infrastructure (which will increase development of maquiladora factories in Mexico and increasingly undermine what little power labor has left in many American sectors, driving down prices of goods while simultaneously decreasing average people’s ability to purchase such goods), environmental problems (including the disruption of endangered bat habitats), depletion of usable farmland, budget problems (the budget has officially increased over 200% in the last five years, not counting an outside estimate that doubles THAT projected cost when figuring in increased fuel costs over the past three years), and other problems.

I-69 is a lie, and possibly a dangerous one at that if one factors in the fact that the road is being built in a somewhat geologically unstable area in parts of the state – a fact that can only be accounted for by geological survey features being deliberately obscured by or criminal ignorance on the part of those who are responsible for determining the route. In the Indiana University Kelley School of Business report that is being cited as reasons for why the highway is potentially economically beneficial, the proposed budget cost per job is over $500,000. This was before the official budget doubled twice and studies came out suggesting the budget as it stands now is too low. That’s $500,000 for every fast-food joint, convenience store, and crappy motel job along the route, a cost that is not likely to be returned any time soon.

I can provide sources for this material later, but I’m in between classes and have to scoot. The point of all this semi-coherent rambling is…

Today they began demolition along the route in Zone 1 in southwestern Indiana. There was legally-sufficient prior notice about the letting of construction permits (through a pdf buried in the BFE regions of INDOT’s web site), but they didn’t exactly go out of their way to let anyone know.

Three cheers for democracy!

For information about practical ways you can oppose this project, visit the Roadblock Earth First! website. This highway is not fully funded (not even close), can still be stopped, and should be fought on every available front.

Disclaimer: This author does not consider acts of violence against human beings to be legitimate forms of resistance. True liberation is liberating for the oppressors as well as the oppressed.


One Response

  1. Jason,

    Thanks for the information. As an Indiana resident, I have heard quite a bit about this “project,” but never really felt as if I had received the whole story.

    What’s become so interesting is how business interests in the last couple years have really come to dominate the state agenda. Maybe it’s Mitch Daniels fault, maybe not. But, from selling the rights to the toll road to putting up money for Republican interests, I’ve about had it with him.

    Unfortunately, since I refuse to participate in the political process, I don’t have much say in kicking him out of office.

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