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

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.

 

Coming to Appalachia! Scaling up the Resistance: Strategies and Stories from the German Climate Justice Movement!

Cross-posted from Appalachians Against Pipelines

Join members of the German direct action collective Ende Gelände on their US tour as they share stories and tactics with local groups about successful mass mobilizations for climate justice. Their group, whose name means “Here and No Further” is founded on principles of frontline struggles, mass mobilization, direct action, and cooperation across organizational and tactical differences.

They have managed to pull off mass actions of amazing scale: last fall, 6,000 people collectively blocked coal infrastructure together! Wearing their emblematic white overalls, demonstrators invaded mining pits, danced in front of the diggers, slept on the railways, and provoked pictures that have raised attention globally and made the connections between climate chaos and capitalism.

Come hear about the growing, diverse and radical climate justice movement in Germany, and hear ways we can link our resistance locally to this international uprising.

There are multiple events in Appalachia to choose from!

(See the whole tour line-up here.)