Skip to content
View Featured Image

Tripod Blockade Prevents Mountain Valley Pipeline Work For Five Hours

Elliston, VA – Early Wednesday morning, pipeline fighter August suspended themself in a tripod blockade on Yellow Finch Lane in Montgomery County, blocking Mountain Valley Pipeline’s construction access to Poor Mountain. A rally of supporters gathered on site throughout the morning until Virginia State Police responded with a militarized, armored skid steer to remove August from their blockade. Banners and signs at the protest read, “UNTIL ALL ARE FREE,” “WATER IS PRECIOUS,” and “DOOM TO MVP!” After over 4.5 hours of blocking the road, August was extracted and arrested. They were charged with 4 misdemeanors and bail was set at $1,500.

“Recent years have seen an alarming increase in the incidence of cancer, autoimmune diseases and other illness in our communities — to say nothing of the ongoing pandemic and its disabling effects,” stated August. “This trend is even more profound in communities around refineries, factories, and pipelines. It is not an abstract risk. As a survivor of environmentally-implicated thyroid cancer, I feel this very deeply and seriously. Everywhere I look I see resilience, but we are tired of having to be resilient.

“Anything we do against this machinery of devastation is an act of self-defense. It is an act of survival; an act of hope that despite the actions of the rich and powerful, we might be able to save a future worth living for. Every time we block or defeat or shut down a part of this machinery, it is to make room for what we are dreaming and what we are already building. Every moment we slow pipeline progress is a portal—we get to decide what it looks like on the other side.

“I sit today bolstered by the spirit of those who came before—land defenders of all kinds—and with the love and strength of the Yellow Finch tree sitters. This is legacy work. It is a long game, and I am able to take this risk because I am rooted in something much bigger than myself. We who imagine a world free of oppression and domination are a network as powerfully linked as the mycelium. We are all rhizomes reaching for one another, communicating through loud chants and silent tears, through signals and song, through a hand extended across an excavator or a hug on the other side of prison bars. My risk today is part of an ecosystem that has nurtured me to be this strong.”

Yellow Finch Lane is the site where two tree sits protected the last standing trees along the pipeline’s 303-mile route for over 900 days from 2018-2021. Today’s blockade prevented MVP from accessing one of their last remaining stretches of work. Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a case from six SWVA landowners challenging MVP’s use of eminent domain. Last week, MVP revised their latest in-service date target to early June, and asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to approve the pipeline’s operation within one day of completion.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline is a 42-inch diameter fracked gas pipeline slated to cross at least 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. Recently, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality cited Mountain Valley Pipeline for over a dozen violations and MVP’s hydrostatic tests failed resulting in a rupture in the section at Bent Mountain. Today, the Mountain Valley Pipeline is over budget by more than $4 billion and is 6 years behind schedule.

Sign Up To Our Daily Digest

Independent media outlets are being suppressed and dropped by corporations like Google, Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our daily email digest before it’s too late so you don’t miss the latest movement news.