Above photo: Appalachians Against Pipelines.
Roanoke County, VA — Early morning on Friday, August 11, 2023, two pipeline fighters locked themselves to equipment on a Mountain Valley Pipeline worksite on Poor Mountain in Roanoke County, VA, preventing downed trees from being cleared from the pipeline easement. Nearby, over a dozen people rallied to show their support for the protest, holding signs with messages such as “STOP THE MVP” and “DOOM TO THE PIPELINE.”
Both people who were locked to equipment were arrested in the afternoon, after stopping work on the site for nearly 8 hours. They were charged with misdemeanors and released the same day.
“Any reputable scientist could tell you that this pipeline is inconsistent with a future where humans continue to live. It’s that simple,” stated Teddy, a supporter of the action. “The Mountain Valley Pipeline is a doomsday device. It is only being built so the rich can get richer. Our ‘leaders’ have clearly taken a side, so it’s up to us to stop this thing.”
People have been disrupting and halting MVP construction around Poor Mountain for weeks, both at the top (where Friday’s lockdowns took place), and at its base at the Cove Hollow worksite where the pipeline is slated to cross Hwy 460 and then the Roanoke River. This was the fourth work stoppage to take place within four days at this particular remote site. Poor Mountain, one of the steepest mountains on the pipeline’s route, was home to the Yellow Finch Treesits, which protected some of the last standing trees in the MVP’s path for two and a half years from 2018-2021.
The Mountain Valley Pipeline is a 42 inch diameter fracked gas pipeline slated to cross 300 miles of Appalachia. In June 2023, congress passed a law to fast track the MVP, despite the pipeline’s long history of environmental violations and failure to hold on to key permits. People have been resisting the MVP since it was initially proposed and continue to fight this toxic project.