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Sep 7, 23

“Old and Young Unite: No MVP”: Pipeline Fighters Further Delay Work At Bradshaw Creek Crossing

Report from Appalachians Against Pipelines on recent action against the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). 

Early this morning, two pipeline fighters locked themselves to equipment on a Mountain Valley Pipeline worksite in eastern Montgomery County, VA. They were extracted and arrested by 11:30 AM, with bail set at $2,000 and $3,000. Nearby, a rally of over 20 people gathered to show support for the protest. They held banners with phrases including, “Young and Old Unite: No MVP,” “Protect Our Home: No Dirty Pipelines,” and “Don’t Poison Our Water.” In addition to the 2 folks arrested today, 1 person was cited for trespassing and released, and 2 people received traffic violations for stopping briefly in a public road to load and unload passengers.

A banner at the site read: “STOP COP CITY NO MVP.” The phrase “Stop Cop City” is a slogan used by a nationwide movement against the construction of a militarized police training facility, dubbed “Cop City,” on 381 acres of urban forest in southeast Atlanta. Today, in an unprecedented abuse of legal intimidation tactics, over 60 people have been indicted in a Georgia court on RICO charges for resisting construction of Cop City.

“In the struggle to Save Earth for biological life as we’ve known it, LINES MUST BE DRAWN!” stated Carrie Gibbons, she/her, one of the people taking action today. “Holders of power and policy are responsible for understanding the urgency of the climate change threat and moving everything out of the way that impedes the success of this challenging mission. The MVP project is a travesty in every single local life affirming way. Furthering this project is entirely wrong—sealing fates in an ever expanding circle of death and destruction. In my head the formula that makes sense to me is a) putting lots more behind alternative energy development b) rapidly reducing fossil fuel development, investment, and use—all this concurrent with people GETTING REAL and reigning in over-consuming lifestyles!!”

The other protestor locked to equipment, Cricket, they/them, said: “For me, blocking construction on MVP is joyful militancy. It is feeling the expansive power of disrupting capitalistic extraction and protesting the mountains and waterways that began their formation a billion years ago. It is also an inter-generational struggle and deeply connected to other fights such as the Stop Cop City movement.” The phrase joyful militancy is used in reference to the book “Joyful Militancy” by Nick Montgomery and Carla Bergman. The book explains, “Joyful militancy, then, is a fierce commitment to emergent forms of life in the cracks of Empire, and the values, responsibilities, and questions that sustain them.”

This action is taking place where MVP hopes to tunnel under Bradshaw Creek, one of hundreds of water crossings they have yet to complete. These water crossings are among the most dangerous parts of the project, with pipeline personnel installing improperly stored, corroded pipe in direct contact with the watersheds that provide drinking water to millions of Virginians.

The direct action campaign against the Mountain Valley Pipeline started in earnest in 2018, but stayed dormant for the last two years while construction was mostly halted by legal challenges. Now that congress has stripped away the legal protections that had all but defeated MVP, these tactics are once again being used to fight the pipeline.

Since July 5th, when construction restarted, there have been dozens of direct actions to delay and stop work on the pipeline, with many occurring in this area where the pipeline is also faced with some of its most difficult natural challenges.

Today is also the anniversary of the start of the Yellow Finch tree sits, which were erected in the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline on September 5, 2018. The tree sits protected some of the last remaining trees on the pipeline’s route for two and a half years from 2018-2021.

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Defending Appalachia from the Mountain Valley Pipeline, Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and more. No new pipelines in Appalachia!

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