'There Is An Alternative': 44 Arrested at Coal Plant Protest
Campaigners call for shuttering of toxic fossil fuel plant and transition to clean energy economy
Hundreds of climate activists from across New England marched on the Brayton Point Coal Plant in Somerset, Massachusetts on Sunday in an attempt to shut down the largest—and protesters say "dirtiest"—fossil fuel plant in the northeast.
Part of an ongoing regional campaign to shut down the plant and in coordination with a nationwide climate campaign called "Summer Heat," the direct action resulted in at least 44 people being arrested after crossing a barricade set up by law enforcement.
The campaigners gathered called on Gov. Deval Patrick and other regional leaders to immediately close the plant while ensuring "a just transition for workers and host communities towards a healthy and sustainable future."
“We believe that climate change is an absolutely urgent and pressing threat that will kill people,” said Craig Altemose, executive director of the Better Future Project in Boston and one of the organizers of Sunday's action. He pointed to the connection between fossil fuel consumption, global warming, and the role that climate change plays in the growing rate of extreme weather events.
“We feel this is an incredibly urgent issue and feel this is one tool to show the public and show the media how deep our commitment is,” he said.
Among the other organizers were members of 350.org and local affiliated groups from Maine, Vermont, and elsewhere.
As those marching approached the plant, climate activist and journalist Wen Stephenson tweeted:
— Wen Stephenson (@wenstephenson) July 28, 2013
When those risking arrest reached the gates, they erected a pair of symbolic windmills and someone took this picture to post online:
Twitter was active throughout the morning and into the afternoon covering the events in real time:
And local WPRI reports:
[The protesters] planned to march to the plant and place a small wind turbine on the grounds of the plant, all as part of a larger campaign to have the plant closed.
Several groups of protestors linked arms and walked across a police line that had been established, and were quickly arrested. There were no reports of any violence.
Back in May, several protestors aboard a boat attempted to block a ship that was delivering a coal shipment to the plant.
And this photo: