Guilford activist ends hunger strike after one week

GUILFORD – A Guilford man went without food for a week in protest over his First Amendment rights.

Retired Chenango County mental health professional Patrick McElligott said he wanted to speak to New York Senator Thomas Libous, 52nd District, about how hydraulic fracturing for natural gas contaminates water, and began phoning in November to request such a meeting. The deputy majority leader of the state Senate advocates for safe drilling.

When McElligott’s messages weren’t answered, he later wrote to the Senator, stating he would go on a hunger strike if Libous refused to meet with him. McElligott outlined his volunteer involvement in getting industrial waste dump sites in nearby Sidney Center cleaned, and pointed to similar toxic materials that would be used in the process that pressures chemicals and large quantities of water through wells to release gas from subterranean shale deposits.

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