Protesters Want Flowers, Not Power Plants

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Above photo: March to site of proposed power plant. From NBC 10 News.

8 Protesters Arrested in Burrillville at Spectra Expansion

“Plant flowers, not a power plant.”

Burrillville, RI – Five women were arrested on Spectra Energy property in Burrillville this afternoon, during a protest in which they attempted to plant tulips where Spectra wants to expand pipelines and near where Invenergy wants to build a new methane gas power plant. Police said that three other protesters were arrested after they made it onto on the construction site via the woods behind the the new compressor station, bringing the total number of known arrests to eight.

By Steve Ahlquist.

By Steve Ahlquist.

Among those arrested was Mary Pendergast from the Sisters of Mercy in Pawtucket. in a statement she said, “By taking action today, I’m following the directive of Pope Francis to put our lives on the line for care of the earth.”

Andrea Doremus, a high school teacher and mother of two from west Roxbury, was also arrested. In a statement she said, I’m outraged that Spectra is allowed to recklessly endanger the safety of my two children for their own profits.”

Also arrested was Lauren Niedel, of the RI progressive Democrats. After her release Niedel wrote on Facebook, “I thought it was critical from someone in NW RI to be part of today’s civil disobedience event. I was literally arrested planting flowers on Algonquin property. Charged with simple trespassing.”

The arrests came towards the end of a march and rally outside of Spectra’s property in Burrillville. Attendees from 11 states representing local groups opposed to the build up of methane gas infrastructure from throughout New England and as far away as Pennsylvania and Maryland were in attendance.

The ProJo lists those arrested as Sally J. Mendzela, 68, of North Providence; Stephanie Strub, 28, of Pawtucket; Marisa Shea, 29, of Lowell, Mass.; Andrea Doremus-Cuetara, 57, of West Roxbury, Mass.; Gabriel Shipiro, 19, of Ithaca, N.Y.; Kyle Shulz, 26, of Worcester, Mass.; Lauren Niedel-Gresh, 53, of Glocester; and Mary Pendergest, 69, of Pawtucket.

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UPDATE: Many of those arrested are in the process of being released as of Saturday evening.

I’ll have more information as this story progresses.