West Virginia: 24 Arrested at the Gates of Toxic Rockwool Factory

pic via DC Media Group

Yesterday in Jefferson County, WV, over 300 community members showed up to take their concerns over toxic air and water pollution from a Danish Rockwool insulation factory straight to its gates.

Twenty-four people sat in and were arrested at the gates of the proposed Rockwool insulation plant. Local police barred the press and legal observers from video taping or photographing the arrests.

They are choosing to make us their guinea pigs, they are choosing to put us in harms way, they are choosing to save money by using coal and gas and putting children in direct harms way its disgusting and I’m 100% against this factory, we will stop it,” Scott Sarich said, a protester and a parent.

The company is building an insulation manufacturing plant that will spew hazardous toxins into the community’s air and water.

Local, state and federal officials have secretly committed over $37 million for incentives to a Danish corporation that would impose a polluting factory and significantly deteriorate our land, air and water. The factory site is within 2 miles of public schools attended by 30% of the county’s students. The pollutants emitted by the factory include phenol, formaldehyde, methane and PM 2.5 that affect the kidney, liver, brain, heart and lungs.  Furthermore, the 1400 acre industrial zone will use large amounts of water, coal and fracked gas in its operation.

To date, the WV Dept. of Environment has issued all the necessary permits for construction and operation, and the project has been supported by Senator Joe Manchin. (Shocking, we know.)

This is one of many mass arrests fighting the project organized by Resist Rockwool in recent months. Previous actions included sit-ins at Manchin’s D.C. office and the Danish embassy in D.C.

Third Week of Pipeline Fighting in Appalachia Shuts Down MVP Construction Again!

photo via Appalachians Against Pipelines.

This morning, a pipeline fighter named Andy climbed an excavator at a Mountain Valley Pipeline work site in Summers County, WV, and locked themself to it, preventing work at the site.

The pipeline fighter was locked to the excavator for multiple hours this morning, but came down on their own due to thunderstorm-related safety concerns. They were not arrested.

They stated, “I stand against the Mountain Valley Pipeline and all forms of exploitation and destruction of this planet. As we speak, MVP is destroying pristine forests, and beautiful and biodiverse bodies of water.

“We are in a place of serious urgency, not a place for any expansion of natural gas infrastructure. The time is now to take direct action against who and what is consciously valuing profits over people and our planet. Electoral tactics have failed us again, with MVP continuing work with revoked permits and ignoring local officials.

“No amount of fines can stop a systemic devaluation of our futures at the hand of a capital giant.

“I protest here today for my brother and sister, who likely won’t see a future as beautiful as I have. Standing in opposition to this antihuman hyper capitalist hegemony is my obligation, and I hope you see that it is yours as well.”

Support Andy and resistance to the Mountain Valley Pipeline: bit.ly/supportmvpresistance

Water Protector Blockades Enbridge Great Lakes Office, Crowds Rally Across Minnesota on Day of Enbridge Shareholders Meeting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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laurel@ran.org

Water Protector Locks Down to Tripod Blocking Enbridge Great Lakes Office, Crowds Rally Across Minnesota on Day of Enbridge Shareholders Meeting

(Superior, MN) This morning, water protectors erected a tripod in front of the Enbridge Great Lakes office in Superior, at the terminus of the proposed Line 3 tar sands pipeline. One water protector locked down to the top of the tripod, with a message for the Enbridge shareholders: Line 3 will never be built in Minnesota.

Across northern Minnesota, water protectors gathered in Duluth and Bemidji, in solidarity against Enbridge’s promises to its shareholders that Line 3 will be fully operational by the second half of 2020. Enbridge lacks state permitting

Resistance against new tar sands pipeline expansion projects has been fierce. Delays or cancellations of the Energy East pipeline, Keystone XL pipeline, TransMountain pipeline, and Line 3 pipeline resulted in an announcement by the Alberta Premiere that tar sands production would be reduced by 8.7% for 2019.

When asked why they would take such a personal risk to their own safety, Anthony Graham (Chumash) said, “I stand in solidarity with my relatives up north and across Turtle Island. This is for the future. We have to be brave and fight. The oil industry is trying to grow when we know climate change is killing us. No more tar sands.”

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Pipeline Fighter Barricades Inside Mountain Valley Pipeline, Charged with “Threat of Terrorism”

The pipeline fighter who barricaded themself inside the Mountain Valley Pipeline this morning has been extracted, arrested, and bailed out of jail. They were charged with two misdemeanors (trespassing, obstruction) and two felonies (threats of terrorist acts, property destruction).

Help us support this brave person and ongoing pipeline resistance: bit.ly/supportmvpresistance

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: blockades and lock downs are not terrorism! The unfounded, trumped-up charges that the state is bringing against this peaceful protester are an extreme attempt to silence resistance to this disastrous project.

As today’s pipeline fighter stated, “The terrorism I see is hidden in plain sight. Is a pipeline carrying explosives through your front yard not terrorism? What about the ongoing eradication of non-human species? Or the creation of a planet that is uninhabitable? What about the police occupations of poor, black, and brown neighborhoods, and the military occupations around the world? The millions of humans who are locked in cages? The need to sell our labor to survive? The surveillance and commodification of everyday life? Those with limited imagination say this subtler terrorism keeps us safe. Yet, at best, it leaves us isolated, anxious, and depressed. At worst, it leaves us dead.”

The anonymous pipeline fighter was extracted before 10 am this morning after spending over 3 hours blocking construction and welding from their place locked within the pipe. Another supporter was detained by police, driven off site and released without charges.

Neal Laferriere of Blackberry Springs Farm and Blackberry Botanicals, an affected land and small business owner from Summers County, WV, stated the following in support of today’s direct action: “We have discovered the hard way that the agencies and organizations put in place to protect us spend most of their resources ensuring that the projects that are polluting our waters, our air, and ruining our farms, can be completed. This leave us with only one option: to stand up for our families, our neighbors, and our communities via peaceful protests and direct actions. This is the only option we have left. We have to stand up, or we just get run over.”

SUPPORT ONGOING RESISTANCE TO THE MOUNTAIN VALLEY PIPELINE! Show up, and donate: bit.ly/supportmvpresistance