Appalachia: Pipeline Fighters Greet Mountain Valley Pipeline Reps With Demo

cross-posted from Appalachians Against Pipelines

pic via Appalachians Against Pipelines

“Yesterday, on day 619 of the Yellow Finch tree sits blockading the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline — representatives of MVP met with representatives of the local soil and erosion control board on Yellow Finch Road.

Residents of the blockade greeted the meeting in the road with banners proclaiming, “STOP WORK” and “DOOM TO THE PIPELINE.” The DEQ representative showed little concern for the sediment accumulation that was pointed out by local representatives, and DEQ seemed overall frustrated by any requests made of MVP in the meeting.

MVP’s head of security Shithead Steve and his sidekick Willy were present to supervise the meeting and generally bring down environmental conditions wherever they go.”

Donate to support the tree sits at Yellow Finch and ongoing resistance to the Mountain Valley Pipeline: bit.ly/supportmvpresistance

pic via Appalachians Against Pipelines

pic via Appalachians Against Pipelines

Another tree-sit up in fight against Mountain Valley Pipeline

cross-posted from Appalachians Against Pipelines

photo via Appalachians Against Pipelines

An update from the Yellow Finch tree sits on DAY 553 blockading the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline:

“After several weeks, MVP security has FINALLY noticed our newest addition to the Yellow Finch blockade … so we are proud to publicly announce our third tree sit! Come on down and check it out!

“MVP was here, using this fine spring weather to work on their sad excuse for erosion control, but so far, no progress on getting us out of here. ?

 

Charleston, WV: Water Protectors Shut Down TC Energy (TransCanada) Building

cross-posted from Appalachians Against Pipelines

Photo Credit: Appalachians Against Pipelines

Today, over 70 of water protectors shut down the TC Energy (TransCanada) building in Charleston, WV in solidarity with Unist’ot’en! 4 people locked down together as part of the blockade, and a warrior flag symbolizing Indigenous power was raised, replacing the US flag outside of the building. Banners on site included, “SOLIDARITY WITH WET’SUWET’EN,” and “JUSTICE FOR MMIW [MISSING AND MURDERED INDIGENOUS WOMEN].”

Despite the peaceful nature of the action, DOZENS of cops (primarily from the City of Charleston) responded in force, screaming and violently shoving protesters out of the lobby. They dragged the people whose necks were locked together outside, piling people on top of one another. Folks were repeatedly pushed around and roughed up, but luckily no one was seriously injured. After cops cut the locks around the necks of those locked down, the group dispersed. No arrests were made.

Today’s action was a response to Unist’ot’en Camp’s call for solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en struggle to defend their unceded territory in so-called British Columbia, Canada, from TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink pipeline and the Canadian government. Indigenous people, Appalachian people, and all land defenders stand in solidarity to say WET’SUWET’EN STRONG. SHUT DOWN CANADA. SHUT DOWN TC ENERGY.

Mama Julz, Oglala Lakota and founder of the Mothers Against Meth Alliance, explained her decision to take action, saying, “My territory is experiencing a meth epidemic, and many missing and murdered relatives. All the drugs and sex trafficking come from man camps that TransCanada has brought to my territory. Wet’suwet’en has been experiencing that same violence for years. They have the Highway of Tears, where their missing and murdered relatives are stolen from. It all comes from the pipelines. It’s important to be in solidarity because we face violence from the same industry. Our ancestors traveled and always kept us connected with our indigenous relatives to the North. The waters connect us.”

Photo Credit: Appalachians Against Pipelines

One Dine activist, who traveled from the Four Corners area to participate in the action, said, “I am here to be in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en folks, and to be in support of the sisters who are raising awareness about missing and murdered Indigenous women. In Indigenous ways of life there are no borders, so anything that happens here on Turtle Island is happening to all our relatives. Just like the Wet’suwet’en are fighting man camps in so-called Canada, the reservation where I’m from faced fracking, and there were man camps there too. New Mexico has one of the highest rates of missing and murdered Indigenous women. This is what extracting, mining, drilling, and everything associated with those industries lead to.”

TC Energy is the same company that operates the Columbia Gas pipeline and storage facility here in Appalachia. Indigenous people — including Monocan, Moneton, and Cherokee people — inhabited the hills and hollers of this region for thousands of years before white settlers arrived, bringing with them genocide and forced relocation. The fossil fuel industry and TC Energy in Appalachia today are a continuation of the legacy of colonization.

Photo Credit: Appalachians Against Pipelines

Additional statements from folks who locked down today:

“I am here in solidarity with every missing Indigenous woman, with all of the earth and its peoples who have been pillaged and destroyed by the vicious and relentless systems of capitalist extraction and colonialism. I’m here because there is everything to lose — our means of survival and that of all other life on the planet, and because there has been so much loss. Because there is hope in the tiny rebellions. Unending solidarity with the Unist’ot’en fight, and the Wet’suwet’en people, now and forever.”

“The enclosure of land and extraction of its resources is an age old arm of settler colonial violence. I am here because colonialism is ongoing, because our lives and the lives of generations to come depend upon the liberation of the earth and all of its inhabitants. I am here because indigenous women are being disappeared, and that too is an arm of settler colonialism — the one that assaults the bodies of women, queer people, the vulnerable. We all need to fight together to win.”

To learn more about Unist’ot’en visit: https://www.facebook.com/unistoten/
To donate visit: http://unistoten.camp/support-us/donate/

 

West Virginia: “STOP MTR” Banner Deployed on Mining Site

pic via Appalachians Against Pipelines

cross-posted from Appalachians Against Pipelines and RAMPS Campaign

This week, folks with Appalachians Against Pipelines and Ramps Campaign deployed a STOP MTR banner adjacent to an active mountaintop removal coal mine. This drone footage shows the destruction of a mountain in Boone County, WV.

See drone footage here.

Trish McLawhorn, who was on site at the action, is a citizen monitor for Mountain Valley Watch, Preserve Bent Mountain, and POWHR Coalition (Protect Our Water, Heritage, Rights). “I am someone who strives to further educate and inform communities about, while actively opposing, environmentally destructive projects such as the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipelines,” Trish explained. “Those projects are currently causing irreparable harm and devastation to endangered species, as well as the desecration of stolen lands across territories now referred to as West Virginia and Virginia.

“As such, it was especially heartbreaking to visit, learn about, and bear witness to first hand mountaintop removal operations currently underway and happening for years in Appalachia. These forced alterations of the land to the detriment of the wild, precipitation cycles, and those who inhabit the valley below, are astounding and should never be exacted upon these beloved mountains. The implications of such mining processes are profound, forever altering the flow of water and vital functions of the ecological systems in place.

“The disruption of the natural world in this manner, as well as all other violent methods of fracturing our foundations, only strengthen my resolve and should compel every one of us, ever more deeply, to defend all that we love in Appalachia and beyond.

pic via Appalachians Against Pipelines

“Whether we are residing in communities fighting the Mountain Valley Pipeline, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, or mountaintop removal coal mining, many are finding ways to continue to reach out, support one another, educate ourselves, and inform those around us about how these struggles are all connected. I encourage folks to become involved, both locally and in areas outside of impacted blast and incineration zones. We must continue our work to defend, support, and protect life, especially those most vulnerable, regardless of whether we are directly or indirectly impacted.

“These are the places we have called home for generations. Threats to our collective survival are truly what we are up against … this is what we have ALWAYS been up against! We must continue fighting to protect these spaces for generations to come, and we must honor our ancestors with action. We must never back down!”

Clyde Bowe, a lifelong resident of the Coal River Valley, remembers hunting and root digging on White Oak for decades before it was stripped: “They shouldn’t be stripping that mountain like that. That’s bullshit. I’ve lived here my whole friggin’ life. You can’t go up there and root dig anymore, or see live trees, ‘cause they’ve stripped it. They should’ve left it the hell alone, the way I see it.

“They’ve gotten rid of all the game and killed everything off — that used to be good hunting up there. They should leave what’s there the hell alone, and shouldn’t continue. We should make them stop, is the way I see it.”

A note on scale — the banner shown in the beginning of this video looks tiny compared to the massive machines on the mine site. But in reality, the total length of the banner is over 80 feet and is being held by 14 people. The extent of the devastation on the mountain is difficult to comprehend.