An Update on the 2018 Earth First! Round River Rendezvous in Ohio

from Earth First! Newswire

This year, the annual Round River Rendezvous will be hosted by Appalachia Resist from July 1-9 in so-called Southeast Ohio, on occupied Seneca, Shawnee and Tsalagi land.

The location will be near Athens, Ohio (directions will be posted soon) and the nearest airport is in Colombus, Ohio.

Appalachia Resist is asking that anyone with kids, or who knows someone who’s coming with kids, send an email to appalachiaresist@gmail.com so they can get an idea of the amount and ages of the kids who will be coming.
They want to make this Rondy great for families, so if you can be there for the first two days, and would be willing to sign up for child care, or kids workshops, send them an email so the first few days of childcare and workshops can be scheduled ahead of time.

More info from Appalachia Resist’s website:

While we are still firming up the workshop schedule some likely workshops are: Map Reading, Radio Comms & Convoys, De Escalation, Solidarity with Impacted Communities, Community Self Defense, Pipeline Skills Exchange, Indigenous Resistance & Solidarity, Mutual Aid Disaster Relief, and standard Rondy fare such as; Direct Action, Plant identification, Know Your Rights, Digital Security, Jail Solidarity, Scouting, Pipeline Construction/Fracking Infrastructure, Security Culture, and Self Defense.

Average temperatures in this region in July are 84 degrees in the day with lows of 61 at night. It will be very humid. The record high for this week was 101 degrees with very high humidity. The record low was 47 degrees. Expect thunderstorms at some point in the week.

There will be many insects including mosquitoes and ticks. There is a high chance you will encounter poison ivy. Nights around here can be very noisy with the mating/kinship/territory calls of frogs, insects, birds, and mammals that are active at night. There are three venomous snakes in the area; rattlesnakes, copperheads and possibly cottonmouths. You are unlikely to be lucky enough to see one of them. Coyote & bobcats are the largest predators that live in the area, although eastern black bear have been sighted passing through. You are also unlikely to be lucky enough to see any of these either, although we are likely to hear the coyote.

We’re trying to make this year’s rendezvous the most kid friendly rendezvous ever, with workshop, responsibilities, and discussions, with and for the kids. You can help by bringing your kids, or encouraging and helping your friends who have kids, to attend. Those without kids, who want to help can also come prepared to sign up for a childcare shift, or to teach a workshop. Also if you have kids or experience working with kids, send us requests, and ideas. Childcare will be provided except during meal times. Check back for the childcare curriculum.

Breakfast and Dinner will be provided, you should bring lunch and snacks.

 

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Printable Earth First! Newsletter #25: Brigid/Winter 2017

Walking The Line: On the Frontlines Against the Pipelines

from It’s Going Down

In the Jefferson National Forest a line is being drawn.

If you turn North from highway 460 on the border of Virginia and West Virginia onto US 641, stay right at the fork, and stop with Pocahontas Rd on your left, you will run right into it. It’s a little gravel road that winds back into the mountain all the way to the AT. On it, a garrison of Forest Service trucks, state police, and private security idle their engines, enforcing the line.

On December 28, 2017 a line was drawn when Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC obtained authorization to construct a 42 inch pipeline through the forest. The proposed channel would conduct fracked natural gas and disturb many communities opposed to the project and to natural gas infrastructure. The tree sits began on February 26th when activists climbed up to put their bodies in the way of construction. In response, the line strengthened on March 19th and MVP’s right of way was closed to the public. Following the launch of the Monopod on Pocahontas Rd on March 28th, directly obstructing construction in open defiance of the closure order, the line was extended again.

On March 30th authorities closed Pocahontas Rd to the public hoping to cut off support. It was not enough. So, on April 7th, the line was pushed again when the Forest Service extended the area of the closure to 125 feet on either side of the center of Pocahontas Rd. Still, the woods at the Monopod stir as the support camp chirps “Still here” to one another.

Off of the AT that intersects the closure, visitors are ordered to stay outside of the line. We walk through the forest, out of site, brushing up to it, but maintaining the boundary.

At the edge of the line armed guards stand across from a community of resistance. On one side a force has assembled to protect Peter’s Mountain; on the other side a force has assembled to protect the pipeline. On one side the land is public; on the other side the land is private. On one side efforts are made to contribute to the land and strengthen the systems of life there; on the other side the land is consumed, drained, and polluted. On one side individual people have a voice; on the other side the State has a voice. On one side people are empowered by their voice; on the other side a voice tells them what to do from a position of authority. On one side people are free to act according to their voice; on the other side people are arrested.

This imposed line shows us something. It shows a declaration of ownership. It says you have ownership over yourself up to a point and beyond that point another entity has ownership over you. And it shows us who decides where that point is. It suggests to us that our feeling of independence and idea of self-governance is a façade.

“The people on the other side of that crossing,” said one protester indicating the police, “are legitimized to either throw me in a cage or inflict violence on me and that’s what the police function as is the only legitimized form of violence… and corporations use that.”

It certainly seems like MVP has been using it. Now supporters of the sits are being charged as intruders where a short time ago they were at home. It is only because that line has recently been drawn to legitimize MVP’s intrusion onto rural counties that resolutely oppose it. Groups like Preserve Montgomery County have been resisting the project for several years. Their website begins, “Here’s what you can do to preserve your right to your land and water.” Further down, pipeline workers were asked not to return to a local restaurant.

Commenting on the feeling of intrusion, a protester said, “When an institution puts itself in the way of people being able to take care of each other that’s pretty shitty, and it highlights the fact that it doesn’t work for people… I would like to have autonomy over my body and exercise self-determination with the folks that I have shared interests with which MVP is clearly allowed to do and we are not.”

There is a line on Peter’s Mountain, but it didn’t begin there and it doesn’t end there. It’s a line made for control, to coerce obedience. You will find that the line expects your obedience, feels entitled to it. You will find that this seemingly passive line exists to control behavior, as at the Monopod where it is effectively being used to starve protesters. And you will find that contradicting the line admits the kind of abuse that adds bruises and “resisting arrest” to top off your charges.

The same line extends over coal fields, highways, factory farms, and offices. It’s the same line that separated black and white schools in the 1950’s. It’s the same line that evicted families from their homes during the coal wars in the 1880’s. It separates us from our resources, it separates us from our agency, and it quietly shapes the world around us. The lines are still tightening, limiting our space to be human as it limits external space. We find ourselves penned in, looking across the line at a world we object to but a world that is taking us with it.

As one protester expressed, “We talked to our representatives. We tried running our own candidates. We wrote letters to the editor. We had people sign petitions. Didn’t work, didn’t work, didn’t work. This is the only thing I feel like I have left.”

The people fighting today are fighting a grip that has been taking hold for a long time. They are fighting for our voice. We are the disempowered; we are distressed; we are the shoved aside; we are told there is nothing to see here. But we know there is.

We know that trees are being cut illegally. We know that people’s property is being stripped from them and used against their will. We know that resistors are being intimidated and protests muted. We know that law is working to further these interests while ignoring our own.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline is only one part of a process that continues pushing destructive industries and infrastructure while the earth deteriorates. The resistance against this pipeline is a resistance against giving more ground to that system and it is important to see that no matter how local or particular this one issue seems the tide it represents is a carrying us all. The line, in whatever form it takes, its pattern of destruction, ownership of people and of land, is facing us all. But the lines have been so drawn in favor of this process that to stand up we have to cross them.

The tree sitters have done that. Now officials are pointing to the authority of the line and using it to smother objection, to justify force, and to employ starvation against them. Implicit in the tree sits is a denial to comply to this line. To step over the line is not an act of violence, it is not a crime, it is an objection to it, and if there are those who insist on the line then let them be the ones to bring out violence for it, let them be the ones who need to advocate for its existence, let them be the ones who require our consent rather than us requiring their permission. For the rest of us, every time we cross it we deny that it has the power to hold us at bay, we force its passive violence to become active, and we reclaim ownership of ourselves. For the rest of us who stand on the line and feel it getting tighter, we, with the tree sitters, feel the pressure to step over it.

Monopod Blocking Mountain Valley Pipeline Celebrates 30th Day

monopod 30

from Appalachians Against Pipelines

The 30th day of the monopod blockade has arrived, and we’re still here! For 30 days and 29 nights, steadfast Nutty has blocked MVP’s road access into the Hellbender Autonomous Zone in the Jefferson National Forest.

She has held her ground through snow, sleet, hail, heavy winds, driving rain, freezing nights, and (a few) scorching afternoons, perched atop a tiny cot suspended high above the ground.

Now, near the end of April, springtime is incrementally arriving up here on the mountain. Bright green buds are visible (finally) on oaks, tulip poplars, and tiny wild blueberry bushes underfoot. Songbirds can be heard warbling overhead (or in Nutty’s case, at ear level). All manner of insects are waking up and crawling or flying around. On sunny days, supporters on the ground have even seen stripy garter snakes out catching rays on the slopes. In the forest, life continues unfolding, even as MVP’s destructive project creeps forward.

Most days on Pocahontas Rd, MVP work is still taking place — but at an expensive, inconvenient crawl, not the racing pace of “progress” that MVP boasted would occur. Contractors in bright green vests and white hard hats maneuver ATVs through the Forest Service’s round-the-clock stakeout, under Nutty’s back anchor line, surveying and doing roadwork in preparation for the massive drill rig they hope to eventually drive up the ridge.

This mountain is considered critical to MVP’s construction plans, as evidenced by their EIS and by the great lengths they’re taking to find workarounds to this month-long blockade. They’re mad, but we’re still here!

Today we celebrate the 30th day of this record-breaking monopod, with gratitude for Nutty’s inspiring commitment and determination, and with ambitions for further action. This blockade is just one part of a bigger movement to fight for a livable future in Appalachia and beyond. Much more work remains if we are to stop this ill-conceived project. There are points of intervention possible against extractive destruction everywhere, it just takes a willingness to act.

“There is no shortage of points to join in the fight,” a supporter recently wrote to us after visiting the monopod for a couple days. “Showing up can take so many forms and all of them are critical. All of them nourish others who are showing up; all of them inspire others. Most importantly, all of them demonstrate that we will not sit and watch and wait for the damage to be done – if something is wrong then we will resist.”

Nutty said it best herself: if you want to honor her, take action to stop this pipeline!

#noMVP #noACP #nonewpipelines #resist

Donate: bit.ly/supportmvpresistance

Winter is still here! Spring is coming!

As winter continues and we approach spring, we are reflecting on our tree sit and other efforts this winter to stop the destructive projects that threaten our bioregion. We are still here and have some exciting and new projects/actions to come. Please stay in touch and you will be hearing from us soon. In the meantime, if you have some extra cash, please consider donating to help fund us moving into the spring. Anything helps and we really appreciate it!

https://fundly.com/support-the-campaign-against-the-valley-lateral-pipeline

Tree Sit Launched in Path of Mountain Valley Pipeline

from Its Going Down

The following press release was sent to It’s Going Down and announces an active tree-sit, ‘Peters Mountain Stand,’ in West Virginia against the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). For background information on pipelines in West Virginia, go here to listen to our podcast interview with a local organizer. For other updates, go to Appalachians Against Pipelines.

Today, Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC set out to continue preparation for a horizontal drill pad on the West Virginia side of Peters Mountain. Contractors hired by the company arrived at the site this afternoon to find a number of resisters had already taken to the trees.

After almost a month of delays from their intended construction date, and in anticipation of a cease as a result of federally protected species, MVP is rushing to begin the intensive process of boring a hole through the mountain. The 125-foot easement surrounding the drill site is now thoroughly defended. 

The company intends to construct the 42-inch natural gas pipeline in eleven simultaneous sections. However, that plan is being complicated as the company awaits permits from FERC and faces nearly three hundred defiant landowners refusing to sign easements. 

While things are held up here, trees are being cut one hundred miles north to prepare for construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Fuck ‘em. An encampment has formed and continues to grow in the proposed pathway.

Dominion Energy, the monopolizing parasite, needs the ACP to get built so they can export natural gas for profit. West Virginians or Virginians won’t see any of that money while bearing the destructive consequences of extraction and construction.

We know that resource extraction and the exploitation inherent to it is not new to Appalachia—it’s scarred into the land. We stand in solidarity with all those who have fought for their communities and against corporate greed. We recognize that the struggle we continue today began in 1492. Our struggle against these pipelines remains a struggle against settler-colonialism.

All of this is to say that our struggle is far from over. 
They haven’t even begun.

In solidarity,
Peters Mountain Stand

To donate to folks resisting the MVP in Virginia and West Virginia, please consider donating here, and spread the link to your friends, families, and networks.

Hudson Valley Earth First! Ends Tree Sit On Their Own Terms

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WAWAYANDA, New York-The New year-

Hudson Valley Earth First! has decided to end the tree sit against the Valley Lateral Pipeline. The tree sit lasted a full 23 days, and was effective in causing the pipeline company to reroute their project around the protest. Due to these circumstances and others, The brave individual(s) who occupied it have left for the time being. No one was arrested. Too often these types of protests have no time line other than when the forces of repression deign to intervene. By keeping our comrades warm and free, we can ensure that they might be (a)effective in the continued fight to defend the wild. Our goal has not been to fight an arrest in court as if this is a civil rights or civil disobedience issue. We already know the law and the court system does not side with the health of every day people, the wild, or this planet. Millennium pipeline, the FERC agency, and New York State have already proven this. This project has a 6 month time line, there is still forest and other habitats to be defended, and things are heating up(metaphorically) here in the North as this fight continues. Email us if you would like to attend our upcoming action camp and climb training or plug in more generally.

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We do not rely upon a series of court dates and permit grantings to dictate when we should or should not put up a fight. A granted permit does not mean the fight is over. Even the eagles abandoning their nest does not mean an end to this fight. Eagles nests and other fragile habitats are still being threatened because of this project, and because of the many other projects coming to the North East such as the Cricket Valley Power Plant and the Pilgrim Pipeline, just to name a few.

Our goal is to network and connect with inspired folks in this region to build a culture of resistance against this project and the many others. We believe in a diversity of tactics. A lot of work has been done by various groups on the ground for years against this project, ranging from direct actions with folks from Protect Orange County locking themselves together to block the entrance to the CPV Power Plant, to petitions and court hearings, to pressuring the DEC to do their job, to the most recent tree sit. All of these tactics combined have caused a lot of trouble for Millennium and CPV. We can continue to build strength through this fight, and network to create a strong basis for future fights.
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Repression of Activists: Millennium Pipeline’s Restraining Order Against Earth First!

Protect Orange County made a call for folks to show up as court support for one of their members. Millennium pipeline attempted to place a restraining order on this person for their actions of recording Millennium’s work on the pipeline right of way and staging grounds. Luckily, this restraining order was dropped. Unfortunately a restraining order was in fact placed that day against “John and Jane Doe” of the tree sit, and our media spokesperson, Rudy Tacos. This was clearly a move to intimidate. The restraining order was read to the tree, and left at its base where it proceeded to decompose under snow fall until a cop walked away with it. The restraining order against Rudy Tacos of course had no basis, as our media spokes person did not even know the location of the sit, nor had ever set foot on the public street near by. While this action taken by Millennium seems harmless, the truth is that there is a serious problem when a corporation can take legal actions against people whose identity they don’t even know. When a corporation can take legal action against unknown people- then they can pick and choose whoever they want to take action against whether or not that person has done anything or not. When corporations can pick people off the street and lock them into court battles, and even saddle them with charges and eventual punishment, no one is safe. This is a tactic of repression aimed to cause fear and self policing among activist communities. Many news stations refused to interview us because we would not reveal our real names. This is exactly why. We would rather keep ourselves safe from repression such as this, than land an interview that plasters our names in a newspaper when really, our names our not important.

Hudson Valley Earth First! Santa Declares Millennium Pipeline and Competitive Power Ventures on Most Naughty List And Shuts Down Local Office

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WAWAYANDA, New York-December 18 2017- Santa Claus came to Wawayanda, New York early this year to support the Hudson Valley Earth First! tree sit campaign and to bring a bag of coal to the offices of Millennium Pipeline. He also praised the brave work of the tree sit blockade that has stopped and slowed work on the construction of the 7.8 mile Valley Lateral pipeline for 10 days now. Santa’s visit was a highlight of the Hudson Valley Earth First! rally to support the tree sit that took place Monday at 10 am and successfully shutdown Millennium Pipeline offices for the morning.

Upon his arrival Santa said:  “I have this bag of coal to deliver to the dirtiest nastiest most-no-good polluter around. I was flying over a while ago and a lovely and kind person sitting in a tree told me to head this way. They told me that the people that come in and out of this office are destroying forests and disturbing bald eagles, and that they climbed up the tree over yonder to try and stop it, and seeing that to be just about the bravest most inspiring story of do-gooding I have heard this year, I thought I better come over and share my appreciation for their courage by delivering one dirty fossil fuel to another as this company (pointing at the Millennium offices) is trying to dress natural gas up with fancy
talk and lies, but the truth is that gas fuels nothing but climate change.”

Santa also read out a statement from the Tree sitter:

“We need people to come out here and stop work in meaningful ways. They haven’t cut these few trees around me but I’ve seen so much work continue. Every day I watch more trees cut and every night I hear less coyotes and other wild life noises as they flee what was once wild. Capitalism and corporate greed will continue to destroy the land and creatures in the name of progress. When all else fails, when the justice system serves no justice and collectives are moved to take direct action seeing no other options, the state supposedly based on freedom will suppress and criminalize activists. Please come out here, see what destruction is being done. Form a group and DO something about it. You don’t have to be a saint to do something good for this earth.”

Earth First! Santa also read out a list of the naughty and nice. Millennium Pipeline, Competitive Power Ventures, The Valley Lateral Pipeline, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo topped the naughty list for their active participation in the destruction of the planet and the killing of endangered species and habitats. For all present Santa invited those on the nice list to come and share what they wished for
this solstice. The wished for the stopping of this and all other dirty pipeline construction projects, to save the bald eagles, bog turtles, and Indianan bats, and all other critters of this planet, to bring an end to the attacks on the indigenous peoples of the world, and to live in harmony with the bioregion. Santa gave them gifts, and they sang eco-carols like “Climate Change is Coming to Town.”

Background:

Hudson Valley Earth First has established tree sit blockades in the path of the Valley Lateral Pipeline to stop its construction and to save the forest. On December 8th, 2017, Millennium Pipeline Company started clearing trees for the Valley Lateral Pipeline, which would connect fracked natural gas from the existing Millennium Pipeline to the scandal-ridden, toxic Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) Power Plant. Area activists have tried every other mechanism for stopping the construction of this pipeline, however the state of New York, the federal government, and the courts have failed to protect these woods and the species that live in and around them.  If this 7.8 mile pipeline is completed, it would run through ecosystems which contain, and have the potential to contain, endangered species such as the Bald Eagle(a mating pair is known to live 30 feet from the right-of-way), the Indiana Bat, and the Bog Turtle. Additionally, if the CPV plant is fueled, the pollution from the plant release tons of chemicals known to increase cancer and asthma rates in nearby areas. This pipeline is the bottleneck to stopping this plant. Aides to Gov. Cuomo and CPV executives go to trial in January over a bribery scandal.
Also, if the pipeline is stopped before August 2018, the CPV plant will likely go bankrupt and this beautiful bioregion will be spared from further ecological destruction. After nearly 10 years of calling our government officials and light disruptions, we are out of options.

Contact:
We have posted a wishlist on facebook and you can donate here: https://fundly.com/support-the-campaign-against-the-valley-lateral-pipeline
hudsonvalleyearthfirst@riseup.net
https://www.facebook.com/HVEarthFirst/
https://hudsonvalleyearthfirst.org/
(845)670-5149