Locals Protest Church Steeple Site With Candlelight Vigil

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The Centerville (MA) Concerned Citizens group, rallying at a candlelight vigil last week, is challenging the Barnstable Town Council to appeal a June court decision allowing T-Mobile to install 5G antennas in a church steeple. The Barnstable Patriot reported that T-Mobile filed a lawsuit against the town and two regulatory boards after the denial of the church steeple project.

T-Mobile claims a coverage gap exists in both Centerville and Craigville Beach, with the church steeple being the only viable solution for its equipment. Members of the citizen’s group, however, believe the antennas are “dangerous.”

Worried about electromagnetic radiation and other concerns, Janet Davis spoke on behalf of the citizen’s group. “The outdated FCC regulations are stripping towns of their ability to determine what infrastructures can come to their community,” Davis said. “T-Mobile is trying to force its rule upon the Town of Barnstable. We must keep fighting because it’s the right thing to do.”

Another distractor, Michael Arnold, said the antennas “don’t belong in a church steeple, especially in a historic, 200-year-old church.” He added, “Poor reception is not a valid reason to hide these antennas in this steeple.” Arnold admitted that his cellular reception at home is terrible, but he’s making the best of the situation, reported The Patriot.

Others opposed the project due to insufficient evidence regarding the effects of 5G, believing the small community should be “free of these structures.” Protests also included a statement that the community does “not need or desire” the antennas.

The Patriot reported the council has already met with the town’s legal team and plans to regroup on August 20 to discuss the T-Mobile project. Council President Paul Hebert said he signed an amicus brief, urging the FCC to update their public safety standards to reflect the most current research on 5G.

“We recognize how serious this is,” Councilor Britt Beedenbender said. “The safety of our residents is always a number one concern.”

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