Raging Granny Locks Herself To Equipment At Mountain Valley Pipeline Site

| Resist!

Above photo: Appalachians Against Pipelines.

Montgomery County, VA — Early this morning, Duff Benjamin, a 75-year-old midwife, grandmother, and self-identified “raging granny” locked herself to Mountain Valley Pipeline construction equipment in Montgomery County, VA. Next to a banner reading “PIPELINES BLOW,” Duff shut down construction adjacent to Cove Hollow Road (nearby the ongoing tree sit blockade). She blocked work for 5 hours before being extracted, arrested, and charged with 5 misdemeanors. She has since been bailed out of jail.

By Appalachians Against Pipelines.

Duff stated: “The problem with pipelines is they always leak. What they leak are toxins into the land, water, and air. The other problem with pipelines is that they frequently explode, and when they do, it’s the equivalent of a dirty bomb going off into poor, Black, and Latino neighborhoods — communities that pipelines are purposely routed through and near (never through wealthy white neighborhoods!). Because I see humankind as one huge family, and I am a member, I cannot sit back and watch this happen silently. I must voice my thoughts and feelings. I say, ‘NO! STOP IT!’” Duff considers herself a “raging granny,” in reference to a group of women old enough to be grandmothers who fight for social and environmental justice.

Duff’s action happened down the road from the dual tree sit blockade outside of Elliston, VA, that is currently protecting some of the last remaining trees in the pipeline’s path. The tree sits have been preventing construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline for 388 days and counting.

Tree sitters and supporters on the ground stated the following in support of Duff: “Thank you, Duff, for stopping the pipeline on its path to the tree sits. Thank you for stepping up the climate strike from refusing to participate to actively preventing the destruction of the earth. We are so pleased to see that we are part of an intergenerational struggle, and that our elders are not leaving all of the challenges facing the planet to the youth. Let’s all rise up together to stop the MVP!”

Crystal Mello, a Montgomery County resident who herself took up residence in the nearby tree sits a few months ago, stated: “Any action to prevent any more destructive actions taken by this company is one hundred percent OK with me. This pipeline will be a ticking time bomb, especially in this spot that MVP had to abandon on December 4, 2019, and still has yet to attempt to dig. MVP is steadily ripping up earth and planting pipe elsewhere.”

This site at Cove Hollow Road has long been a point of contention for anti-pipeline activists. Crystal’s statement refers to December 4 of last year, when MVP halted construction at Cove for the winter because they had exposed several underground springs. Pipeline workers attempted to dig a trench to lay pipe, only to have the area repeatedly fill with water, turning the site into a muddy pond. Pipeline opponents held a press conference at the site after MVP “surrendered to the groundwater,” asserting that nature itself was fighting back against the pipeline. MVP claimed they would return in the spring when the area would be “less wet,” but they have yet to dig up that particular site again. In addition, this summer, pipeline fighters staged a protest nearby where over 30 people walked onto the pipeline work site and blocked construction. Today, Duff’s action escalates the ongoing resistance in this area.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline is a 42-inch diameter, 300-plus mile, fracked gas pipeline that runs from northern West Virginia to southern Virginia, with a proposed 70-mile extension into North Carolina. The Mountain Valley Pipeline contributes to climate change, increases demand for natural gas (and as a result, fracking), and is entrenched in corrupt political processes. It endangers water, ecosystems, and communities along its route. Last month, 1 person died and several others were injured after an explosion of a 30-inch natural gas pipeline owned by Enbridge in rural Kentucky. The Mountain Valley Pipeline poses similar threats to those along its route, in addition to the risks posed by the construction process itself. From flipped excavators, to sinkholes opening up, to landslides, MVP continues to risk the lives of protesters, residents along the route, and even its own workers.

Resistance to the Mountain Valley Pipeline has only grown since the pipeline’s proposal in 2014. Grassroots-led pipeline monitoring and a nonviolent direct action campaign are ongoing. Duff is the 17th person to lock her body in the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline in 2019.

In June 2019, builders admitted that the project’s budget has ballooned to $5 billion and that the completion date has been delayed by at least 1.5 years (and counting).

  • voza0db

    I guess Raging Granny missed the Barack ‘The Fracker’ Obama pipeline’s are AWESOME speech!

    This comment is to be published right now, so to see the Obama speech delete the spaces

    https : // www . youtube . com / watch?v=YxkODM6lzUk

  • pajarito

    Profound admiration for the courage to resist by raging grannies! What an inspiration!

  • voza0db

    The Mountain Valley Pipeline is a 42-inch diameter, 300-plus mile, fracked gas pipeline


    It’s absolutely funny to see this happening!

    I wonder if raging granny voted for Barack ‘The Fracker‘ Obama?!

  • mwildfire

    Do you actually know this person voted for Obama–or what her choices were? Or is it just your mission to sneer at anyone who actually does something?

  • voza0db

    My answer to your question is already written in another comment of mine.

    But since you have a problem of “Selective Reading” I repeat it just for you!

    “I wonder if raging granny voted for Barack ‘The Fracker’ Obama?!”

    And now for the FUN part of the comment: REALITY.

    Yes, granny did do something… reality is it won’t change the outcome. Only if the builder decides not to build on that location will the construction stop.

    Reality is, we all don’t like to have to deal with the negative aspects of our wonderful CIVILIZATION, only when we are directly impacted with those negative aspects do we REACT! It’s very rare for this type of action to end in success!

    For example, I live in a country with ZERO PRODUCTION OF OIL.
    But we have millions of combustion engine vehicles moving around 24/7. On the last several years some OIL corporations wanted to start doing some offshore tests to see if the OIL that exists is PROFITABLE enough to extract.
    Of course that the irony quickly made its appearance. Many started to protest because they don’t want OIL operations were they live, but they DO NOT WANT TO GIVE UP to import the OIL/fuels from abroad to keep living a very nice life, without the inconvenience of OIL operations!

    I could refer to a lot of other examples, but since I already understand your mindset I would only be wasting TIME, ENERGY and CO2 EMISSIONS!

  • mwildfire

    I did read your other comment, and it is not an answer, it’s just a repeat of your question, and your assumption; your purpose is to sneer at, well, apparently everyone. No, locking herself to the equipment for five hours will not stop the project all by itself. The ability to stop a project with a single action is held only by fictional superheroes and the sociopaths who run things. But ordinary people in their millions CAN bring change, each doing their small part–that’s how it works in the real world. Each person who sit up a tree for weeks, or locks herself to a machine for hours, or sends in op-eds and letters to editors, or organizes rallies–these things gradually move the public attitudes until it becomes too difficult to move forward. This pipeline was supposed to be in operation by now–it’s been repeatedly blocked by court cases, as well as the the tree-sits and lockdowns, which serve to demonstrate that local people don’t support the project (because they support the activists). It’s important to shrink one;’s own footprint, it’s important to speak up, but voting is so thoroughly rigged in the US that it isn’t actually important how you vote–rarely is there a real choice. You can vote for, say, Jill Stein–I did in the last couple of elections but I knew she couldn’t win, Americans have been indoctrinated in the idea that there are only two legitimate parties and a vote for anyone else is “thrown away.” Or you could vote for the likes of Obama, Clinton, Kerry–all warmongering oil enablers.
    But you’re different. YOU aren’t wasting your vote or your time. You are doing effective wonderful work to solve problems like climate change. Tell us all about it.

  • Greeley Miklashek

    “…the problem with pipelines…” is that they disrupt nature, carry fossil fuel, contribute to the CO2 accumulating in the atmosphere and generating global warming, and “fuel” human overpopulation. How many grandchildren have our heroic Rageing Granny brought into this already massively overcrowded world? TOO MANY HUMANS are using too many natural resources and producing too much pollution, as well as 230,000 new copies of ourselves daily. Stress R Us

  • voza0db

    Well… Well… I’ll start with the obvious!

    But ordinary people in their millions CAN bring change, each doing their small part–that’s how it works in the real world.

    Really? Clearly that does not work. If it did we wouldn’t be in this lovely situation, would we?

    I don’t waste votes because I don’t vote. I’m not even going to explain why, because you’re unable to understand.

    When you refer to “climate change” I’m assuming you’re talking about Uman Made Climate Change, so with this assumption in place I have to say that I’m not doing anything about it. The reason is very simple…

    We, the colective Uman Herd, are unable to CHANGE so much simpler things, things that we control, even our own behavior, so how can we possibly CHANGE the “Climate Change” of the entire Planet?!

    Sounds absolutely silly…

    Keep pretending… After all that’s what we’ve been doing for millennia.

  • mwildfire

    Got it. You don’t do anything in terms of activism, don’t even vote, but you do put out considerable time contributing to the discussion by telling everyone their actions are futile, they’re stupid and unable to understand your elevated and arcane wisdom. Thank you so much for taking the time to make your august contribution, it would be hard to get by without it.

  • voza0db

    Like I’ve already said… Your brain is unable to understand Reality and Facts.

    A simple proof is the fact that you keep on voting!

    Another simple proof is your inability to answer the simplest question I’ve asked… “Clearly that does not work. If it did we wouldn’t be in this lovely situation, would we?“, even if it sounds rhetoric, if you’re so sure that your “view” actually worked trough out millennia you would show us (readers!). But no… silence!

    But hey… Keep going for it!