“Old Folks” Blockade Blocks Access to Mountain Valley Pipeline work

Cross-posted from Appalachians Against Pipelines

The old folks have been blocking access to a Mountain Valley Pipeline easement and work yard for 3.5 hours and counting! Cops and pipeline security are on the scene. Nearly 20 people have gathered on site to show their support.

Pipeline fighter Deborah Kushner is a 66-year-old retired mental health worker and resident of central Virginia. Regarding her action today, she stated “My presence here today is just a small gesture of dissent. It’s what I can do to delay – even for a few hours – the march towards assured oblivion. […] My action today is very much out of my comfort zone. I’m compelled to act because we are out of time. Protecting the health and safety of our water, air and land is critical because our laws, regulatory agencies and courts don’t protect it. They don’t protect us from renegade, profiteering industries destroying the planet. […] My stand today is for a future in which we all can thrive.”

Early this morning, Kushner locked herself to the trunk of a broken down car blocking access to a Mountain Valley Pipeline easement, two access roads and a work yard in Bent Mountain, Virginia. Kushner sits in a rocking chair on the trunk of the car next to slogans “Water is Life” and “Land Back” and under an umbrella that reads “Respect existence or expect resistance.”

Last week, activists from several climate action groups participated in a “Walk For Our Grandchildren,” speaking out against the fossil fuel industry and demanding bold climate action (read more: https://baytobaynews.com/stories/protesters-detained-during-climate-rally-in-wilmington,51877). Kushner cheered on these kindred old folks — from our rocking chairs to theirs — taking action for future generations!

Kusher’s full statement reads: “I remember exactly where I was in 2014 when I read the nightmarish news that construction was being planned for 23 pipelines in the Appalachian basin. A few months later the excellent environmental investigative group Public Herald toured with their documentary, ‘Triple Divide,’ warning that Virginia would be caught in the cross-hairs of pipeline development because of its location between the WV/PA shale oil fields and the coast. Up until then, I thought the closest fracking wells were in the Dakotas. A few months after this rude awakening, both the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) were announced. My community was extremely lucky – after 6 years of fighting Dominion/Duke Power’s ACP, that pipeline was canceled.

“The death and devastation machine that is the MVP lives on, destroying land, air, water, wildlife, entire ecosystems, families, livelihoods, and communities. We’ve known for a long time the ‘need’ for pipelines is fictitious: the market for gas is flat and falling, and stock prices for EQT (MVP’s dastardly parent) continue to slide, but the death and devastation continues. MVP doesn’t have all its permits and has a horrid history of worker safety, but is hellbent on violating the land by blasting and clear-cutting so that they can gain their precious 14% return on equity. It’s all about the money — and, of course, about power. Eminent domain is just the latest iteration in a long history of nefarious ways to steal land.

“My presence here today is just a small gesture of dissent. It’s what I can do to delay – even for a few hours – the march towards assured oblivion. I believe in Right Action. With each act of protection the tide WILL turn, because our precious planet is resilient and seeks equilibrium. We are tasked with protecting the beauty and bounty of this world so that it can thrive, as will we if we do our part. Corporations have no soul. They only chase profit. They can have no place at the table in deciding our common future.

“The horrors that have been unleashed by extractive industry and fossil fuel use have brought us to this precipice. If we do nothing, our future holds certain disaster. So it’s incumbent on all of us to turn this monster around, and quickly. Yes, it will be inconvenient. Those of us living cozy, resource-heavy lifestyles will need to make sacrifices. Please take time to ponder this: what will you sacrifice so that the next generations can just survive, much less flourish?

“Each of us can do something for a better future: write that letter or email to the powers-that-be. Make a phone call to voice your opinion. Help plant a community garden and meet your neighbors. Turn half your lawn back to native plants for the pollinators and animals. Convince a church or other big-lawn institution to plant native flora, oak trees and community gardens. Stop using chemicals. Drive less. Share. Eat what’s in season. Bank with a credit union instead of a Big Bank. Buy less. Avoid Amazon and Big Box stores. All of these actions will help un-hook you from fossil fuel consumption and build more resilient communities. Be a model to help others see that our current lifestyles are largely unsustainable. How will you stand for necessary change, and what will you sacrifice? If my presence today delays this environmental nightmare for just a few hours, my action will have been successful. If my image as an elder person gives another senior impetus to act, my presence will have been worthwhile. We retired seniors can most easily afford to take some time out of our lives so that we can try to leave our juniors a more livable planet.

“I am not a paid protester. I am an introvert who loves quiet places. I feel most at home observing the natural world’s wonders. From the elegant mechanisms in a single cell to the majesty of a mountain range, nature is the best teacher, art and entertainment. Although I grew up in a large city, I dreamed of living deep in the woods and was fortunate enough to enjoy that luxury. But one can never live deep enough in the woods to get away from greed, irreverence and exploitation.

“I retired from a career helping people diagnosed with serious mental illnesses gain skills so they could live independently. That work was very much like wildlife rehabilitation, which was also some of the most gratifying work I’ve done. Nurturing another life until graduation day, when it leaves to live on its own is tremendously rewarding. This kind of work offers lessons for everyone. Even an orphaned, tiny, eyes-closed creature knows not to foul its own home. Baby birds poop over the side of their nests. Groundhogs have specific latrine areas in their tunnels. Our innate intelligence should tell us that sediment-choked streams, aquifers poisoned by injection well chemicals and buried time bombs of explosive gas don’t equate with a future.

“My action today is very much out of my comfort zone. I’m compelled to act because we are out of time. Protecting the health and safety of our water, air and land is critical because our laws, regulatory agencies and courts don’t protect it. They don’t protect us from renegade, profiteering industries destroying the planet. When laws don’t serve the planet and a viable future, the laws are complicit in environmental devastation.

“Lest you think the folks along the ACP path are off the hook now that that pipeline is dead, gold mining is threatening air, land, water and health along the gold/pyrite belt that spans from Fairfax to Halifax. Gargantuan open pit mines, cyanide waste lagoons and immense de-watering operations that will drain aquifers are promised (https://www.friendsofbuckinghamva.org/friends/ban-gold-mining/). Yes, they will keep coming for any particle of profit that can be gleaned from our natural landscape.

“The stunning beauty of Appalachia’s wild areas has evolved over millennia. The ancient mountains, pristine streams, rich wildlife and flora are incomparable. Pipelines and extractive industries have no place here, or anywhere, if we are to have a future. Current laws and courts favor commerce, not people and the common resources that are vital for life. My stand today is for a future in which we all can thrive.

“It takes a big village to stop pipelines! If you are able, please donate to AAP’s resistance fund http:// bit.ly/SupportMVPResistance for bail and legal fees so that more people are able to step up and actively resist this monster. For every person on the front line, it takes legions of support bodies and minds. It’s imperative that we all do something, whether it’s donating funds, getting in the way of the pipelines, taking care of the pets back home while someone’s locked up, writing letters to Acre, and any other large or small way we wage this fight for our future!

“My choice to get in the way of this pipeline is evidence of my extremely entitled position. It’s my choice, and I am fairly certain of my fate and consequences. No one is dependent on me for their care, existence or transportation, and I won’t suffer stigma or lost employment opportunities because of my choice. Legions of others don’t have these luxuries. Please consider contributing to a bail fund to help those who are being held in jail simply for not having the funds to get out. This group is local to me and is doing excellent work: https://blueridgebailfund.org/. You can also google to find a similar fund near you.”

#NoMVP #NoPipelines

 

Hubbard County Sheriffs Barricade Access to Indigenous-led Private Property, Falsely Imprisoning Dozens of Water Protectors

 

pic via Giniw Collective

cross-posted from the Giniw Collective

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 28, 2021
Contact: giniw@protonmail.com
(Park Rapids, MN) At 6am today, Hubbard County Sheriff’s Department escalated state repression when it served a notice to Namewag camp, located on private property, stating that the sole entrance to the property will be barricaded with no one allowed in or out.
“This is a blatantly unlawful attempt to target and repress Indigenous-led efforts to defend our land and water. The state of Minnesota appears to not understand treaty law, it also seems Minnesota doesn’t understand U.S. property law either,” said Tara Houska, Giniw Collective.
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The Giniw Collective is an Indigenous women and two spirit-led collective to protect the land and water.

Water Protectors Lock to Enbridge Drilling Equipment Boring Line 3 Under River

photo: Giniw Collective

cross-posted from Giniw Collective

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 23, 2021
Contact: giniw@protonmail.com
Water Protectors Lock to Enbridge Drilling Equipment Boring Line 3 Under River
(Straight River, MN) Several Water Protectors locked to a Horizontal Directional Drill (HDD) being used by Enbridge to bore its Line 3 tar sands pipeline under the Straight River in Hubbard County, Minnesota.
Enbridge has over 5,000 workers in northern Minnesota, most of whom are from out-of-state, drilling its tar sands expansion project through our rivers, wetlands, and wild rice waters. The Canadian multi-national applied for a variance in its water usage, upping its need from roughly 500M gallons to 4.98B gallons. It is currently draining rivers and lakes across the northland, during a drought and record-setting heat that put the region in extreme or high fire danger for most of June.
Today’s action follows a mass mobilization of water protectors from all over Turtle Island which resulted in the largest non-violent direct action to date, with nearly 200 arrests and countless more inspired to join the fight.
Police have grown far more aggressive since the mobilization — Hubbard County sheriffs illegally arrested nearly 30 demonstrators exercising their right to assemble last week. A K-9 unit was documented at the Red River crossing near the Red Lake Treaty Camp, in echoes of the attack dogs used on unarmed women and children at Standing Rock.
Despite repeated calls from frontlines communities, a pending federal lawsuit, and over 500 arrests since construction started last December, President Biden has yet to order the Army Corps to perform an environmental review of Trump’s water crossing permits.

photo: Giniw Collective

Water protector, author, and mother Madeline Ffitch said, “I’m here to answer the call to action from Anishinaabe water protectors who are protecting their territory against Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline. I’m a settler on stolen land, and I think at this juncture if that’s true for you, you need to pick a side. I want to be on the side of people who belong to the land, indigenous people who have had their land stolen, and who are in the midst of 500 years of resistance. That’s the side I want to be on and I don’t want there to be any question about that. I want to be able to tell my children and the generations to come that I did everything in my power, everything I can, to make sure that there is a future for the next generations.”

Another Water Protector said, “I come from stolen Monacan and Tutelo land where the Mountain Valley Pipeline is being constructed. I believe that from the hills to the headwaters we need to act in solidarity with all people resisting extraction in their communities. Betray your whiteness, betray your class, be a traitor to a system that benefits you at the expense of indigenous people, a system that steals our futures away from us.”
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Giniw Collective is an Indigenous-women, 2-Spirit led frontline resistance to protect our Mother, defend the sacred and live in balance. We stand unafraid. Prayers into action.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @GiniwCollective
Reach out to us at giniw@protonmail.com

MN: Water Protectors blockade truck drilling equipment, police arrest 30 on public road

cross-posted from the Giniw Collective

(Hubbard County, MN north of Shell River) Water Protectors blockade sem

photo credit: Giniw Collective

i loaded with drilling equipment for Minnesota rivers, 2 lockdowns in progress Enbridge’s drills are here for our dangerously low rivers to bore toxic tar sands through delicate ecosystems and Anishinaabe treaty territory.

The state of Minnesota turned its back on Indigenous sovereignty and climate science, the state judiciary followed suit. The people stand strong! Ericka, a Water Protector, said, “We have to protect the water for our children. For our children’s children.”
Sabine, a Water Protector, said, “President Biden, you can stop this.”
Hubbard County sheriffs also illegally arrested nearly 30 demonstrators on the side of a public road. They’re being held at Hubbard and Becker County jails.

photo credit: Giniw Collective

In response to the arrests:

“Calling all Water Protectors: we need your help! This morning, Hubbard County sheriffs illegally arrested nearly 30 demonstrators on the side of a public road. They’re being held at Hubbard and Becker County jails.

We call on the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, and the Attorney General to intervene.
Sample script: Hello, my name is _________ and I’m calling on Gov Walz/Lt Gov Flanagan/AG Ellison to rein in Hubbard County’s escalated and unlawful attacks on constitutional demonstration and private citizens. A foreign company is incentivizing and militarizing Minnesota law enforcement; end it now!”
If you want to get involved, please fill out this form and join a regular orientation call.