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Oct 23, 18

Pipeline Fighter Locks to Equipment Truck at MVP Pipe Yard; 6 Arrested and Held on $17k Total Bail

Appalachians Against Pipelines reports on a recent action that shut down a pipeline equipment yard.

BECKLEY, WV — On Monday morning, over a dozen protesters blocked traffic entering and exiting a Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) equipment yard outside of Beckley, WV. This location is a storage and staging area for hundreds of sections of the 42-inch-diameter pipe that MVP is using for its dangerous pipeline. The pipeline fighters on site today prevented MVP trucks from entering and exiting the yard, effectively shutting down work at this location 3 hours. One individual locked their body to a large truck carrying sections of pipe. The group held banners reading “MVP Is Hell,” “Water Is Life, We Won’t Back Down,” and “No Pipelines, No Compromise.”

The individual who was locked to the truck carrying pipe stated: “The UN says we have 12 years to save this planet. I take action today because nobody else will; because I want to have a tomorrow. I no longer have any other options.”

Law enforcement arrived on site shortly after 11 AM. After the individual who was locked to the truck was extracted, 6 protesters total were arrested. For a period of time, law enforcement would not allow anyone on site to leave, claiming they were conducting an investigation. Later, all but the 6 arrestees were allowed to leave the site. The 6 arrestees were each charged with multiple misdemeanors; the total bail for the group adds up to $17,000. All 6 protesters are still in jail at this time.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline has faced staunch opposition since its proposal 4 years ago. Since early 2018, that opposition has manifested in numerous nonviolent direct actions against the project. Currently, there are two tree sit blockades in the pipeline’s path on private land outside of Elliston. These tree sits are holding strong in their 48th day, and are preventing tree clearing at that location.

Another pipeline fighter who was arrested spoke about her actions at the pipe yard today, explaining: “Maybe you’re watching this and thinking that trying to stop forces with the power to create places like this pipe yard is absolutely futile. I’ve seen the might of corporations bent on extraction more than I care to remember. Yet the odds don’t keep our struggle from being worthwhile — especially not when the stakes include the health of beloved Appalachian mountains, rivers, forests, and communities.”

In early October, MVP experienced yet another setback when a 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals vacated the permit that had allowed MVP to cross hundreds of rivers, streams, and wetlands in West Virginia. Three days later, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers suspended a similar permit in Virginia. Furthermore, on October 19th, the Pittsburgh District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers suspended a permit that had allowed the pipeline to be built through waterways in Wetzel and Harrison Counties in West Virginia. Despite these protections granted to water crossings (for now), pipeline construction has continued.

Today’s action shows that pipeline fighters will not be appeased by false victories. Despite recent court and regulatory verdicts, construction of the pipeline and associated devastation of land and people continues. We are not backing down.

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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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