Activists Locked Out by PA Governor

Green Party of Pennsylvania



Sunday, April 7, 2024



Chris Robinson, Communication Team Co-Leader

215-843-4256 and [email protected]


Activists Locked Out by PA Governor

By Doug Mason

Due to PA Governor Josh Shapiro’s stance on climate change many environmentalists were enthusiastic supporters and promoted his 2022 campaign for PA Governor. Now it appears that they have been fooled.


Shapiro claims that he has an open door policy. When two dozen protesters from Pennsylvania Action on Climate (PAC) went to his office in Harrisburg on March 19, the door was locked and surrounded by a dozen capital police and state troopers. PAC had tried to set up a meeting both in person and online with the governor to no avail.

During this attempted office visit, three members of PAC were arrested on the floor of the Capitol building: Rev. Tim Seitz Brown, a Lutheran pastor from York; Rachel “Renzy” Neffshade, a Pittsburgh climate activist; and Doug Mason, chair of the Sierra Club Moshannon Group and of the Green Party of Centre County. The Moshannon Group has 905 members from Pennsylvania’s central counties from Maryland to New York. The Green Party of Centre County is a chapter of the Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA, These three leaders were protesting Shapiro’s acceptance of bribes from the fossil fuel industry, despite his claims to be a climate advocate.

The three protestors attempted to read a statement from PAC, but it was ripped out of their hands. They were then handcuffed and taken to the basement of the Capital Complex to be processed. After about two hours, they were released on their own recognizance.


“I’m a 73 year old climate dissident who took the personal risk of acting in civil resistance against state government policies, as well as the business-as-usual activities of industry, economic systems, and individuals that fail to take urgent action to reduce and eliminate carbon dioxide emissions caused by fossil fuel use,” said Mason. “The risks I incur from this action are a small sacrifice compared to the scale and urgency of the threats of climate change to our existence.”

“I claim my right under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution to conduct this nonviolent civil disobedience as an expression of my freedom of speech to petition to the government for redress of the extreme and manifest grievance caused by government policies and laws failing to effect carbon dioxide reduction or lacking in the power to enact necessary preventative and remedial actions to reverse the negative effects of carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning and to limit fossil fuel extraction and halt the increase of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere that are causing global heating and climate change,” concluded Mason.

The previous few weeks had been contentious between the governor and environmentalists. Maya van Rossum from the Delaware Riverkeeper Network,  concerned about hydrogen hubs, interrupted Shapiro at a Philadelphia union event, and a Dimock resident and disabled veteran, Ray Kemble, challenged him at another union event a few days later in Scranton over lax enforcement and water-supply losses.

Apparently the governor’s “open door” is not for people who are concerned about political corruption, hurt by fracking or want to comment on development of hydrogen hubs in PA. These three issues are connected because it is very likely that the way hydrogen is produced in PA will support the expansion of fracking.


The Green Party of PA,, has opposed fracking since 2008, and it continues to represent the environmental movement in elections to this day. The Green Party of PA is an independent political party which stands in opposition to the two corporate parties. GPPA candidates promote public policy based on the Green Party’s Four Pillars: grassroots democracy, nonviolence, ecological wisdom, and social justice/equal opportunity. For further information about GPPA, please email [email protected]. Please follow GPPA on social media: Facebook,; Instagram,; and Twitter,


For More Information

Pennsylvania Action on Climate,

“Climate Activists Trying to Meet with Gov. Shapiro Arrested After Refusing to Disburse,” Patriot News, March 19, 2024,

Marcellus Shale Resolution, Green Party of PA, April 2011, 




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