Pipeline Fighter Blocks Mountain Valley Pipeline Construction

Cross-posted from Appalachians Against Pipelines

Report from Appalachians Against Pipelines on recent action that shut down construction on the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP).

Montgomery County, VA — Yesterday, pipeline fighter Phillip Flagg locked himself in the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline near Elliston, VA. MVP has been clearing and grading this section of the pipeline’s path in preparation to lay pipe. Phillip laid his body in the easement and locked his body to an underground concrete blockade directly in the path of the pipeline. His action stopped MVP work at the site for 7 hours, preventing the company’s progression towards the nearby Yellow Finch tree sits. Around 5:30 pm, Phillip was extracted from his blockade and arrested. He was charged with misdemeanor obstruction and released on $1,000 bail.

Phillip, who previously spent months living in a tree sit blocking the MVP, stated: “I cherished the time I spent in the tree sit, and I think back on it fondly. But I’m not too proud to admit that the time I spent in the oak simply isn’t enough to stop this pipeline. The forces we are facing will not be dissuaded by any individual effort. Each of us has our piece to contribute — when one person steps up, others will follow.”

A banner near the site of Phillip’s blockade read “STOP THE MVP — BLOCK THE PATH — NO PIPELINES ON STOLEN LAND.” The latter part of this message refers to the fact that Indigenous people inhabited the hills and hollers of this region for thousands of years — including Monocan, Moneton, Cherokee, and other Native peoples — before white settlers arrived (bringing with them genocide and forced relocation). Extraction and fossil fuel infrastructure are a continuation of the legacy of colonization; Appalachians Against Pipelines stands in solidarity with Indigenous-led fights against pipelines, from Unist’ot’en to the fight against Line 3 and beyond.

In the holler adjacent to Phillip’s action, the Yellow Finch tree sits have been blocking the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline for 313 days and counting. In support of Phillip’s action, one of the anonymous tree sitters stated: “Every day, MVP’s construction work gets close and closer to the Yellow Finch sits, decimating acres of Appalachian forests, mountains, and waterways in its wake. Today and every day, we are putting our bodies on the line to stop it. Now is the time to stand up and fight back against the destruction of the earth. Join us! We’re still here. We won’t back down.”

The Mountain Valley Pipeline is a 42-inch diameter, 303-mile fracked gas pipeline that runs from northern West Virginia to southern Virginia. Earlier this month, a 70-mile extension into North Carolina (which was proposed in 2018) was denied its Section 401 Water Quality Certification by the NC Department of Environmental Quality. The Mountain Valley Pipeline endangers water, ecosystems, and communities along its route, contributes to climate change, increases demand for natural gas (and as a result, fracking), and is entrenched in corrupt political processes.

Resistance to the pipeline has only grown since the pipeline’s proposal in 2014. Grassroots-led pipeline monitoring and a nonviolent direct action campaign are ongoing. On June 17, 2019, builders admitted that the project’s budget has ballooned to $5 billion and that completion date has been delayed by 1.5 years at least.

The pipeline is in a state of uncertainty. MVP currently lacks permission to cross many water bodies and has been forced to explore alternate approaches in crossing through the Jefferson National Forest. The coming months will show whether construction is able to move forward in those areas, and whether investors will continue to believe in the pipeline’s ever-distant goal of completion.

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

Virginia: Pipeline Fighter Locks Down to Mountain Valley Pipeline Worksite

Cross-posted from Appalachians Against Pipelines

Yesterday, a pipeline fighter locked themself to a horizontal drill at a Mountain Valley Pipeline worksite in Pittsylvania County, VA. This site is at the tail end of the 300-plus-mile pipeline route. Work was STOPPED and has been for over an hour.

We do this for all life on earth, for the ones not yet brave enough to take a stand against the injustices of this world,” stated the anonymous pipeline fighter who took action this morning. “We do this for each other, for every living being on this planet, because we all need clean water and clean air to live.

Eventually, this  brave pipeline fighter was extracted from their spot, arrested, charged with trespassing, and released!

The action coincided with DAY 150 of the Yellow Finch tree sits outside of Elliston, VA. Two aerial blockades have been preventing tree clearing and protecting some of the last standing trees in the pipeline’s path for 150 days! We are currently awaiting a ruling by a federal judge regarding MVP’s request for an injunction against these tree sitters and their supporters.

DONATE to support resistance to the Mountain Valley Pipeline! bit.ly/supportmvpresistance — or donate enough to get yourself a handmade t-shirt from our fundraiser (limited supplies remaining) bit.ly/shirtrequestAAP

No Atlantic Pipeline VA! Over 50 blockade Dominion HQ in downtown Richmond, VA

noneCross-posted from Virginia People’s Climate March

February 23, 2015

Contact: Shantae Taylor

For Immediate Release

Activists Block Dominion Headquarters and Demand “Stop Selling Our Futures”

At 7:00 a.m. a group of over 50 activists blocked vehicle access to Dominion Resources’ Tredegar Campus in Richmond, Virginia to protest the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Traffic quickly formed on Tredegar Street as activists stretched large banners across the road and paraded large puppets around the scene. Two activists remain suspended from a pedestrian bridge with a banner reading “Stop Selling Our Futures” while a larger crowd occupy the access way to the campus below.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline would transport natural gas from West Virginia, where there is a boom in hydraulic fracturing, 550 miles, through Virginia, and into North Carolina. “This proposal would be a dangerous investment in fossil fuel infrastructure at a time when the scientific consensus is clear that we must invest in renewables, such as wind and solar, to avoid further warming of our planet. ” said Whitney Whiting from Newport News, Virginia.

hangThis action follows several months of grassroots resistance in the region against Dominion. On February 3, an activist scaled a crane at a construction site for Dominion’s proposed Cove Point LNG export facilities in Lusby, Maryland. On February 9, activists with the group Beyond Extreme Energy staged a disruption at a Dominion analyst meeting in New York City’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel, also with the message “Stop Selling Our Futures”.

Shantae Taylor from Norfolk, Virginia said, “As a person of color, I am out here because I am disturbed by the climate crisis in the Commonwealth. The Tidewater region is second only to Louisiana for its vulnerability to sea level rise. Now we’re facing the additional threat of offshore oil and gas drilling. I don’t want another Hurricane Katrina or BP oil spill to happen here. It’s time to push back against Dominion’s corrupt political influence and demand an end to fossil fuels.”

“I’ve been born and raised in Virginia, where we have pride in our land”, said Phil Cunningham, from Prince Edward County. “Now Dominion wants to come steal people’s property and sell our futures to the highest bidder. We are here to send the message to Dominion that people matter more than profits. This is our Keystone XL, and we will stop it. ”

###############