Roanoke County, VA — Early Saturday morning, a pipeline fighter using the name “Bramble” locked herself to a buried lockbox at a Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) worksite in Roanoke County. She prevented pipeline workers from clearing vegetation on the top of Poor Mountain for three days; on Monday, she was extracted from her blockade and arrested. As of Tuesday afternoon, she is still being held without bail.
“I’m fighting for a world where we can all be free,” Bramble stated. On day 2 of her blockade, she wrote, “Workers came by my spot today and took away my supplies, hoping that I would leave. In the end though, they can’t take away the view I have from up here. I can see so much of what we are up against.
“I can see the pipeline easement for miles, their machines that destroy the forest, and Western Virginia Regional jail where Wren and Acre were held for months after they were extracted from the Yellow Finch treesits, along with so many others who are unjustly incarcerated. The mountains and wild forest surrounding all that evil is so much bigger, and it’s untamed.”
Banners at the site throughout the blockade read, “No Prisons, No Pipelines,” and “No Patriarchy, No Pipelines.”
On Saturday and Monday, additional folks gathered nearby to show their support for Bramble.
People have been disrupting MVP construction regularly since construction restarted on July 5th 2023, with many stoppages occurring at the sites where MVP still plans to cross difficult, dangerous terrain. At least two dozen work stoppages have occurred since work restarted, including walk-ons, rallies and multiple other lockdown protests. Poor Mountain, where this action is happening, is where the Yellow Finch Treesits blocked the MVP’s path for two and a half years from 2018-2021. It is one of the steepest stretches of the MVP easement, and one of the last remaining areas of the pipeline’s path where downed trees have not been cleared.
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.