Mountain Valley Pipeline Fighter Locks Down, Stops Work on Construction Site

Cross-posted from Appalachians Against Pipelines

Update from AAP: “He was locked to equipment on site for nearly 5 hours before being arrested. He has been charged with 3 misdemeanors (trespassing, obstruction, and tampering with equipment) and 1 felony (threat of terrorism); bail has been set at $8,000. This is the first felony charge in our nonviolent direct action campaign against the Mountain Valley Pipeline.”

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This morning, pipeline fighter Holden Dometrius locked himself to welding equipment at a Mountain Valley Pipeline construction site, stopping work.

All the science suggests that fossil fuels are killing us,” states Holden. “A 42-inch gas pipeline is the complete opposite of an appropriate response to the greatest threat our planet has faced. Climate change is not something we can keep putting off; it needs to be dealt with immediately.

Yesterday, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) modified the state’s water quality certification standards in such a way that will inevitably allow MVP to construct the pipeline across water bodies using a method that had previously been deemed illegal (and which remains extremely dangerous to impacted waterways and communities). In other words, when the WVDEP was “called out” in 2018 for having approved a pipeline construction plan that violated their own regulations regarding river crossings, their response was to rewrite the rules to allow construction to continue. The notice of this most recent rule bending by regulators to ease pipeline approvals was issued yesterday, April 24.

The banner on site today reads “TO HELL WITH YOUR PERMITS” in reference to this endless, thinly veiled corruption that is embedded in the pipeline approval process.

Holden continues, “We could just let capitalism run its course, sell environmental permits to Mountain Valley Pipeline and let extraction destroy the planet. That doesn’t make any sense to me. If it doesn’t make sense to you either, then make some moves. Get in the way. If everyone steps up, things could change, so here I am.

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

Read more on the WVDEP modified water certification permits (under “Public Notices”).

Mountain Valley Pipeline: Yellow Finch Tree-sits Hit 213 Days!

Cross-posted from Appalachians Against Pipelines

The Yellow Finch tree sits have a new resident! Scott Ziemer, a 69-year-old grandfather from Virginia, has relieved one of the sitters and is occupying one of the tree sits to protect some of the last remaining trees in the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). This blockade outside of Elliston has been blocking the MVP for 213 days and counting.

Scott says: “I have decided to take action to address the urgent issue of climate change and encourage others to do so as well. By occupying a tree sit in the path of the Mountain Valley pipeline, I am adding my voice to those who are fighting to slow down and stop the burning of fossil fuels, which are the primary cause of climate change.

Scott’s home is close to the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), which he has been fighting for many years. He is taking a stand with the communities of southwest Virginia as an act of solidarity with all those being harmed by MVP construction.

We’re so excited that Scott has joined us at the Yellow Finch sits, and that he is harnessing his privilege by putting his body on the line to continue blocking MVP construction. While many tree sitters must remain anonymous to protect themselves, Scott has chosen to use his name, voice and identity to draw attention to the fight against MVP. His action reminds us that we need a diversity of tactics, strategies and individuals to resist ALL pipelines and fight ALL fossil fuel extraction.

This time last year, a banner hanging from a monopod read “The Fire Is Catching”. Today, a banner hanging from Scott’s tree sit reads “No Prisons No Pipelines”. We must work across movements and struggles and support each other’s actions to fan the flames of resistance so that fire will continue to spread.

Donate to support continued resistance to the MVP: bit.ly/supportmvpresistance

Or, join us! Email appalachiansagainstpipelines@protonmail.com.

 

“We Have Stopped it for Another Year”: Mountain Valley Pipeline Tree-Sit Now Over 156 Days

Cross-posted from Appalachians Against Pipelines:

The following is a statement from one of the current tree-sitters in Virginia in the Appalachian region, who is part of an ongoing blockade which is fighting the construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. The current tree-sit is now celebrated over 5 months of direct resistance.

“Today marks 156 days since the beginning of the Yellow Finch tree sits, and a lot has changed since then.

The forest around us has undergone seasonal changes, the trees have shed their leaves, and animals have become dormant for the winter months. The tree sits have endured a hurricane, snowstorms, high winds, and below freezing temperatures.

But thanks to the tree sits, this hillside has been able to experience another winter, and another chance at rebirth come springtime. Thanks to the tree sits, there is currently one less forest degraded and destroyed for profit, one less forest ecosystem suffering from fragmented habitat and biodiversity loss. Thanks to the tree sits, there is still a thriving, functioning forest on the hillside above Yellow Finch Lane in Elliston, Va.

Mountain Valley Pipeline wants to cut through one of the last untouched forests in the eastern U.S., blasting through mountains, drilling under rivers, cutting across wetlands, and creating a vast, dark chasm through one of the world’s most beautiful places.

But through all of the combined efforts of direct actions and opposition to MVP, there is currently one less functioning pipeline in the world, one less profitable venture for fossil fuel companies.

This is what it takes. This is how we create a better world. Look at how far we have come in this struggle. We’ve stopped this pipeline for over a year!

To all of the young people who feel hopeless and scared and angry at the world they’re inheriting, I want you to see what we’ve accomplished. Small, dedicated groups of people have managed to do the impossible. This pipeline may not be dead yet, but we have stopped it for another year, and that’s something to celebrate.

In the face of potential impending extraction at the Yellow Finch tree sits, I urge you all to focus on all that we have accomplished so far. I am optimistic that one day we will see a future in which enough people say, ‘no more.’ No more pipelines, no more injustices. We are taking back our power.

As I sat in the courtroom behind Nutty two weeks ago and listened to the Forest Service lie under oath and try to minimize the role they played in aiding MVP last spring, a lot of memories came rushing back to me. I was reminded of the realization I had that there is no state agency left untouched by capitalism — even the agency tasked with protecting public lands is not on our side. Capitalism seeks to drain every last resource left on earth. As long as there is a profit to be made from our natural resources, there will be people willing to exploit them.

Let’s be reminded at this time of how much we owe to those who were willing to take the courageous first steps of nonviolent direct action almost a year ago. Nutty and the Peters Mountain tree sitter’s actions sparked more direct action against the pipeline – which in turn sparked even more.

Let’s continue to grow and learn and support one another in this struggle; let’s figure out what works by just trying things until we figure out what does. Most importantly, let’s share what we’ve learned with other people. The knowledge we share might be the most powerful tool we ever give, or could ever give, to other people. You never know what someone will do with it.

Much love and solidarity,
-Lauren”

Donate to support the tree sits & other resistance to the Mountain Valley Pipeline: 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