Protesters target gas landowners meeting

NEW BERLIN – An otherwise civil gathering of about 600 members of the Central New York Landowners Coalition at Unadilla Valley Central School Saturday turned ugly as protesters erected ‘no frak’ signs out in front of the school, took photos of cars and, later, defamed a coalition’s leader’s ‘Pass Responsible Gas Drilling’ banner located on the lawn of his Route 8 home.

CNYLC Steering Committee member Steve Gage said the perpetrators were taking photos of business decals on automobiles so people also opposed to drilling would know not to patronize those businesses. He said he called the police to his home to investigate his banner which had a swastika painted on it in red along with a racial slur.

The three-year-old group’s president Brian Conover commented, “You don’t see pro-gas people stealing signs or experiencing this type of vandalism, intimidation and threats.”

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