UPDATE 5:35 a.m. (8/10/21): Appalachians Against Pipelines says all 10 protesters who were arrested on Monday after locking themselves to construction equipment and blockades at a Montgomery County Mountain Valley Pipeline site — halting work for more than eight hours — are already out of jail.
UPDATE 3:50 p.m.: WFXR News’ Hazelmarie Anderson confirms that all 10 individuals who locked themselves onto construction equipment and blockades while protesting at the Mountain Valley Pipeline site in Montgomery County have been arrested after halting work on the pipeline for more than eight hours.
Appalachians Against Pipelines says nearly 90 supporters of the protest left the site safely earlier in the day. In addition, the first person who was arrested earlier has been released on personal recognizance.
UPDATE 12:20 p.m.: Appalachians Against Pipelines says at least two protesters have been removed from a Mountain Valley Pipeline site in Montgomery County and arrested after 10 people locked themselves to construction equipment and blockades Monday morning, stopping work at the site for nearly six hours.
UPDATE 11:17 a.m.: Ten protesters are still locked to construction equipment and wooden blockades of native species, stopping work at a Mountain Valley Pipeline site in Montgomery County for more than four hours on Monday, according to Appalachians Against Pipelines.
Meanwhile, law enforcement teams are reportedly on the scene to extract the protesters as dozens of other community members gather nearby in support of the blockades.
“We live on the Earth. She cares for us and we only have the one planet,” said Alex, who is locked to the wooden candy darter blockade. “When the Earth suffers, we suffer. I am willing to put my personal future on the line to give future generations a planet where they can not just live but experience the majesty of the wilderness that is not ravaged by corporations.”
While many of the protesters taking action on Monday are from communities impacted by the Mountain Valley Pipeline, the activist group says there are others from across the region and the continent.
“This place is not my home, but it is home to many people whose health and livelihoods will be impacted by the Mountain Valley Pipeline’s construction and its operation,” said Maxwell Shaw, who locked himself underneath construction equipment. “I’m taking this action today in solidarity with them.”
WFXR News reached out to a representative for Mountain Valley Pipeline about Monday’s protest and received the following statement:
“We condemn the illegal and dangerous tactics of those who put themselves and first responders at risk through these kinds of criminal acts. While we respect the opinions of those who oppose the MVP project and natural gas infrastructure in general, there is no excuse for the unlawful actions taken by these activists.
We believe there is common ground for all Virginians – and, indeed, all Americans – to reject the kind of attention-seeking, criminal behavior promoted by certain project opponents such as those engaged in these types of activities.”Natalie Cox, Communications and Corporate Affairs, Equitrans Midstream Corporation
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Nearly 100 protesters are reportedly taking action in Montgomery County Monday morning — including 10 people who have locked themselves to construction equipment and other blockades — against the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
According to Appalachians Against Pipelines, the blockades include wooden models of an endangered candy darter and a yellow finch, both of which are native species threatened by the pipeline.
“Right now we’re looking at a future with extreme water shortages, accelerating difficulty in growing food, mass human displacement due to natural disasters and manmade disasters caused by pipelines like these,” stated Mandy, one of the people taking action on Monday, Aug. 9. “In the face of all those things, we continue to trample over Indigenous treaty rights, something that this country has never honored or valued. This is just another example of how corporations are given permission to act with impunity over the health and safety of the people that live here. I’m here to stop the ecocide and the ongoing genocide against Native peoples, and I’m here to fight for a habitable future on our planet. Land back is the only way forward.”
Meanwhile, there are also banners displayed at the site that say, “STOP Mountain Valley Pipeline” and “Defend the Sacred.”
This marks at least the sixth protest in southwest Virginia involving Appalachians Against Pipelines since mid-April.
WFXR News has a crew at the scene of the blockade.
This is a developing story.
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