Mountain Valley Pipeline Fighter Blocks Easement with Vehicle

cross-posted from Appalachians Against the Pipeline

“Max blocked access to a Mountain Valley Pipeline easement and equipment yard lot for 5.5 hours today!! During that time, workers and pipe trucks were unable to access the site, effectively halting work in the area.
Around 11:30 A.M., after the cops cut through the blockade vehicle’s welded shut doors and rebar, Max was extracted from the blockade and arrested.
In reference to the message painted on the side of the blockade vehicle, “Who Killed The World?,” Max stated: “The truth is, the end of the world is not new. Indigenous people around the world have faced and continued to face settler colonialism and genocide and have survived. As I sit here in Virginia, Palestinian people are confronting that same colonial violence as bombs fall on apartment buildings and families are forced from their homes. […] The people of Palestine and Colombia are in my heart today. The Indigenous people of occupied Turtle Island are in my heart today. Their fierceness emboldens me to take this risk in the fight against MVP.
“Hope is not a mistake. Resistance is not a mistake. Imagining our survival is not a mistake.”
Montgomery County resident Crystal Mello, who was present at the public rally today in support of Max’s blockade, added: “There have been many ‘proper’ channels taken, and many protests against the Mountain Valley Pipeline. All have gone unheard. It’s come to the point where it takes measures like this to grab the media’s attention and get people to listen. Meanwhile, MVP still can’t work on Cove Hollow Rd, a site they had to irresponsibly abandon, and I’m currently looking at a hill they have to blast. These are the things that should have caught people’s attention long ago. I stand in support of the protest today.”
Actions like this cost MVP time and money (adding to their ballooning budget and delaying their estimated completion date — nearly $3 billion over budget and 3.5 years behind schedule and counting), making the pipeline less profitable and decreasing the chances that it will ever be finished. Thank you, Max!
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Giles County, VA: Lockdown to Stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline

cross-posted from Appalachians Against Pipelines

“Alice Elliot has stopped active construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline in Giles County, VA, by locking herself to construction equipment, suspended about 20 feet in the air! MVP has been unable to use the equipment that Alice is locked to since 7 am this morning.

“By locking myself to this equipment, I’m stopping MVP from using it and costing them tons of money, but this is just one form of resistance,” explained Alice. “Being arrested while doing lockdowns is often glamorized and upheld as the ultimate way to be an activist, but all kinds of resistance are necessary and happen every day. From long-term jail support for incarcerated people, to labor organizing at warehouses and factories, to fighting for police abolition, to babysitting and organizing childcare at actions, many different routes are being taken to revolution. Even something simple, like someone taking the leap to go to therapy and work on their shit — that matters.”

Nearby, a rally of folks have gathered in support of Alice’s lockdown. Karolyn Givens, a self-described 79 year old badass and owner of the Giles County Historic Leffel Farm stated: “I hear there is some resistance in Newport! I wonder why??? MVP is dynamiting family farms, working as fast as they can up and down our beautiful steep mountain sides in this historic tight knit community. They’re threatening our water and damaging our farms. They are threatening our very lives putting this 42 inch pipe with 1400 PSI of fracked gas right through the center of the village, placing the whole community in the blast evacuation zone. Yes, we need to make our voices heard in every way possible! I know that I will not and cannot quit resisting this money making boondoggle that is ONLY helping its wealthy investors.”
The Mountain Valley Pipeline is a 42-inch diameter, 300-plus mile, fracked gas pipeline that runs from northern West Virginia to southern Virginia, with a proposed 70-mile extension into North Carolina. The MVP contributes to climate change, increases demand for natural gas (and as a result, fracking), and is entrenched in corrupt political processes. It endangers water, ecosystems, and communities along its route. The failing pipeline project is years behind schedule, several billion dollars over budget, and is still missing key permits — including permits to cross streams, waterways, and the National Forest. Until recently, MVP was unable to work in Giles County based on its proximity to the Jefferson National Forest. In early April, the Virginia Council on Environmental Justice asked Governor Northam to issue a moratorium on all new fossil fuel projects.
Meanwhile, Acre and Wren are currently being held in jail with no bail for misdemeanor charges after their extraction from the Yellow Finch tree sit, which blockaded the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline for 932 days. Before they were arrested, Wren said, “The fight continues, and the struggle for a better world always will.” The banner hanging at today’s action is a reference to Wren’s statement.”
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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.”

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