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Dec 31, 15

Rising Tide Vermont Escalates Resistance to Pipeline

Submitted to It’s Going Down

On December 30th, 2015 Rising Tide Vermont organized a shut down of the hearing proceedings to determine logistics in Vermont Gas Systems’ declaration of eminent domain over the land of Vermonters living in the small rural town of Monkton, VT. Activists from various climate justice organizations gathered inside of where the hearing was to be held.

As the hearing officer began the proceedings a Monkton native stood up and interrupted him with the indignation of so many courageous elderly Vermonters who have been bullied and harassed for years by the corporate pigs of Vermont Gas.

Following her fiery speech a group of comrades stood up and began singing loudly and continuously accompanied by all manner of handheld noisemakers so that it was impossible for the hearing to continue. Executives from Vermont Gas were scheduled to visit and survey the land lived on by Monkton residents who are being threatened with eminent domain because their home is decidedly in the way of Vermont’s proposed fracked gas pipeline.

Vermont Gas officials left the hearing to hurry down the road where they would then scope out how their pipeline could best gouge across the land. Rising Tide comrades and others beat Vermont Gas to the site however, and proceeded to block the driveway with banners, signs and bodies. Needless to say the corporate pigs canceled their visit.

BLOCK THE PIPE. PERMITS DO NOT EQUAL PERMISSION.

in solidarity with the union thugs, the travelers, the peoples militias, the land defenders, and the uncontrollables

Official Rising Tide statement:

Monkton, Vt. – Accompanied by a fiddle and singing “its getting pretty clear, it’s time to keep the gas inside the ground, we’re singing out for climate justice now” over 30 climate advocates and landowners quickly shut down a pre-hearing conference and property assessment intended to initiate eminent domain proceedings to seize land for the construction of the fracked gas pipeline in Monkton.

“Continuing ahead with eminent domain while permits are in question is a gross violation of public process and demonstrates the extreme lengths that Vermont Gas is willing to go to salvage this ill-conceived, expensive, and unnecessary project,” said Monkton landowner Jane Palmer, who participated in the shut down.

The meeting was prematurely adjourned within ten minutes after the hearing officer was unable to proceed over the chorus of song and music filling the room. Vermont Gas representatives and state officials were further prevented from performing a site visit at the home of an impacted landowner whose property is slated for condemnation and construction of the pipeline. Nearly 30 Vermont residents held banners at the entrance to Cedar Road to block VT Gas assessors from entering the property of the affected landowners. Although accompanied by police, assessors left after being unable to enter the property, and no arrests were made.

“Vermonters know that building a fracked gas pipeline is not a solution to our climate crisis – and they’re enraged that eminent domain is being used to force the largest fossil fuel infrastructure project in over 50 years,” said Aly Johnson-Kurts, 21, who grew up in Worcester and recently represented U.S. youth at the United Nations climate negotiations.

Demonstrators vowed to redouble their resistance to eminent domain proceedings and the construction of the pipeline into the new year.”

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