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Extraction Frontlines Organizing: Interview With Illinois South Founder Dave Ostendorf on Coal, Frac

Author of ‘State Out of the Union: Arizona and the Final Showdown Over the American Dream’

Posted: 09/06/2013 10:12 am at Huffington Post

For many residents in southern Illinois dealing with the fallout of a sanctioned coal and fracking rush, the time has come to revamp the historic Illinois South organization and its role in providing impacted residents with a voice in state and federal regulatory matters.

Call it deja vu all over again.

And perhaps no one understands this better than Rev. Dave Ostendorf, the co-founder of the Illinois South citizens group in 1974, and a long-time community organizer for civil rights in Chicago and across the heartland and nation.

“Building critical mass around the stories–of people and communities most directly impacted or the stories of devastating environmental impacts–seems to me like the challenge that still lies ahead,” he told me in a recent interview. “And the challenge that the good folk of Southern Illinois face.”

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