August 11 Richmond, VA Despite a massive police presence throughout the city and our major action plan derailed by law enforcement harassment, 50 activists snaked their way through Richmond today in an un-permitted march, paying visits to several climate criminals. Carrying banners reading, “No Nukes, No Coal, No Kidding” and “Social Change not Climate Change,” people marched to the headquarters of Massey Energy, Dominion, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and Bank of America.
At Massey Energy, a notorious coal company involved in mountaintop removal coal mining, activists surrounded the entrance and yelled, “Hands off our mountains!.” The group then moved on to the Department of Environmental Quality which recently rubber stamped Dominion’s dirty coal plant in Wise County, VA. Next the group brought the party to Dominion, who is building the aforementioned coal plant as well as proposing a new nuke plant in Louisa County, VA. Chanting “No coal, no nukes, we won’t stop until you do!” the activists attempted to take over Dominion’s plaza but were repelled by police on horses. In a show of interspecies solidarity one horse bucked a cop off its back.
To wrap things up for the day, the crowd moved on to the the towering Bank of America building, one of the largest funders of the coal industry. In impressive feat of stealth two activists manage to infiltrate the beefed up security at the building and locked to a sign outside of the customer entrance. Marchers supported the lockdown with a die in on the sidewalk. Police eventually cut free the two that were locked down and charged them with trespassing.
All in all it was a great day. While the police may have foiled our original plans they couldn’t stop us altogether. Pretty much every building in Richmond connected to a climate criminal had cops staked out at it and several activists cars were followed anywhere they went. Despite this we had a successful march and lockdown. Lets continue the struggle for climate justice in the southeast!