Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

"Our community’s interests must take priority over the financial gain of fossil fuel companies," one protester said. (Photo: Resist the AIM Pipeline/Facebook)

'Everyday There's Resistance': Peaceful Pipeline Protesters Arrested in NY

Hundreds of peaceful demonstrators in upstate New York blocked construction of a methane gas pipeline

Twenty-one non-violent demonstrators were arrested in Peekskill, New York on Saturday in the latest attempt to stop construction of a controversial high-pressure methane gas pipeline planned to run through residential communities and near the aging Indian Point nuclear power plant.

"Coming off the largest global mobilization against fossil fuels in history, there has never been a better moment to come together to reject the AIM pipeline."
—Naomi Klein

The Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) pipeline is being constructed by Spectra, a company that was on Friday the subject of a damning DeSmog Blog exposé unveiling deep ties between the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) head Cheryl LaFleur and Spectra executives.

"We are stopping the [...] pipeline construction today, to make everyone aware of our environmental and safety concerns about this project, and to show that our voices and opinions matter,” said Tina Volz-Bongar, a local Peekskill resident who took part in the peaceful demonstration, in a statement from the rally's organizers.

Organizers described the protest on Saturday as a communal, peaceful event: 

Today, hundreds of people stood together to protect the community from the harmful impacts of Spectra’s AIM Pipeline, which if completed will carry high-pressure methane gas through residential communities and within 105 feet of critical Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant safety structures. Neighbors, elected officials including Peekskill Mayor Frank Catalina and Councilwoman Kathy Talbot, families, environmental advocates, and concerned New Yorkers marched from Blue Mountain Reservation to a metering and regulating station where Spectra Energy is currently drilling under Route 9; they peacefully shut down construction activities by standing together and preventing Spectra vehicles from entering or leaving the site. Police arrested 21 people.

Prominent environmentalist Bill McKibben praised the activists on Twitter:

In New York, the pipeline is not only being fought by the communities along the pipeline's route. The state's Democratic senators, Charles Schumer and Kristin Gillibrand, both oppose the pipeline expansion, which will traverse the agriculturally rich Hudson Valley region. FERC has thus far been deaf to their appeals for pipeline construction to be halted.

"Our community’s interests must take priority over the financial gain of fossil fuel companies," Volz-Bongar argued. "Peekskill is an environmental justice city, and nowhere has Spectra or the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission properly addressed the environmental impacts of the pipeline."

Coordinated protests in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, also took place Saturday, and ended with "over a dozen arrests" according to organizers. Organizers of the Peekskill protest expressed solidarity with the West Roxbury demonstrators, who were largely mothers and children.

Over a dozen protesters were also arrested in West Roxbury, MA, through which the pipeline will traverse. (Photo: Resist the West Roxbury Pipeline/Facebook)

A portion of same Spectra pipeline network is being constructed in the densely populated neighborhood on the outskirts of Boston.

Public intellectual and author Naomi Klein voiced her approval for Saturday's action on social media: "Coming off the largest global mobilization against fossil fuels in history, there has never been a better moment to come together to reject the AIM pipeline—a project that has united New Yorkers and people across the Northeast not only in defense of their communities, but also around their vision for a just, renewable future."

Klein also urged New Yorkers to "take the fight to Senator Schumer's office" on Monday, when another demonstration is planned at the senator's headquarters in Manhattan to urge the Democrat to stand up to the FERC and shut down the unpopular pipeline.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We need your help.

Support progressive journalism.

Common Dreams is not your average news site. We don't survive on clicks or advertising dollars. We rely entirely on your support. And without it, our independent progressive journalism simply wouldn’t exist. Every gift of every amount matters.

Join the fight and support our common dreams today.

Summit Participants Embrace 'Vaccine Internationalism' to End Pandemic

"Our goal is simple: to end the pandemic as quickly as possible by securing Covid-19 vaccines for all," says the coordinator of Progressive International's four-day virtual summit.

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·

As Iran Elects New President, Experts Urge Biden to Rejoin Nuclear Deal, Lift Sanctions

"The Biden administration must remain resolute and seek a break from the disastrous conditions that helped contribute to this result."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·

UN General Assembly Condemns Myanmar Junta Violence, Urges Arms Embargo

Member nations voted 119-1 in favor of the resolution, which also calls for a return to the country's fragile democracy.

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·

Dems Introduce Abolition Amendment to Scrap Constitution's 'Slavery Clause'

"The loophole in our Constitution's ban on slavery not only allowed slavery to continue, but launched an era of discrimination and mass incarceration that continues to this day," said Sen. Jeff Merkley.

Julia Conley, staff writer ·

'Surreal' and 'Distressing': Climate Experts' Predictions Come True With US Heatwave

"The current heatwave and drought leave no doubt, we are living the dangerous effects of the climate crisis."

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·