Actions spoke louder than words today as Blue Ridge Earth First! (BREF!) and Mountain Justice (MJ) blockaded Dominion’s Richmond Headquarters early this morning. The all-woman lock down team anchored a climber who hung off a suspension bridge in protest of the air permit awarded to the company’s proposed coal plant in St. Paul, Virginia last week. This blockade is another in a line of escalating actions against coal plants and mountaintop removal in Virginia.
Backing up traffic for miles, police eventually cleared their way through to cut the activists out of the lockboxes and barrels. The climber came down on his own. The police also detained eight other support people standing on the sidewalks supporting the lockdown team.
Non-violent direct actions against coal-fired power plants and mountaintop removal coal mining are increasing this year as it becomes more and more apparent that challenging the plants legally, legislatively and in the regulatory process are only parts of the strategy and that radical action is needed as well.
Earlier this year, U.S. based-activists engaged in civil disobedience actions in Boston, New York, North Carolina and Richmond in protest of coal and coal finance. Earlier this month, U.K. activists stopped and occupied a coal train headed to the Drax power plant for combustion.
Last week, Dr. James Hanson, NASA’s climate scientist, called for “radical steps” to stop the “perfect storm” of catastrophic climate chaos.
In the spirit of Dr. Hanson’s call to action, BREF! and Mountain Justice’s message was loud and clear this morning: “We Won’t Stop Until You Do.”
While plants in Florida, Kansas, Florida and beyond are being stopped in the courts, boardrooms, regulatory commissions and statehouses, the coal industry is mobilized, motivated and well-funded to lock the U.S. into decades of coal-fired power.
We must move out of our comfort zones and step up the actions against King Coal.
We Won’t Stop Until They Do.
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Check out the pictures here.
Check out the press release here.