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Report from the Pole Sitter on Peter’s Mountain After One Week Up In a Tree

"No one is going to stop this for us. Together we can stop it ourselves."

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The following is from Appalachians Against Pipelines. To me, the key line is “No one is going to stop this for us. Together we can stop it ourselves.”

Good morning and hello from the pole sitter on Peter’s Mountain – IT’S BEEN A WEEK! Sometimes even I find it hard to believe.

In that time, I’ve gotten repeated visits from multiple varieties of cops, reporters, MVP employees, and – far most importantly – by well over a hundred amazing supporters from so-called Virginia and West Virginia, all resolutely opposed to this pipeline. Many of you brought much-needed gear and supplies, many of you hiked around two miles after the ridiculous forest service road closure. Your energy and enthusiasm makes staying up here worthwhile.

For over two years, MVP has been trying to silence, suppress and ignore those who do not want to see their water poisoned or the land they love attacked. In the last months, many grew understandably disheartened as state officials refused to heed their calls, federal authorities granted permission after permission, and MVP began cutting trees. Now I’m hearing time and time again about how direct action on this mountain is inspiring those people and giving them hope again. I know that people are already taking concrete action – I just heard yesterday about the folks autonomously taking to the trees to defend against pipeline construction in Roanoke County.

Who knows what could come next? With people enraged by this pipeline and open to new possibilities of resistance, I’m excited to see what could emerge. I think this should frighten MVP more than any specific work stoppage – that hundreds of people living along the route are opposing the pipeline, are frustrated by a legal system rigged in favor of extractive industry, and are gaining hope and energy in this new stage of the battle. No one is going to stop this for us. Together we can stop it ourselves.

I thought I had shared enough photos of cops and workers staring at me for a while, so the image below this post is of my view looking up towards Peter’s Mountain, past the anchor lines running down to that side of the road. Sadly this phone camera does it little justice.

Forest Service Law Enforcement does continue to maintain a 24 hour presence at the blockade, including pulling up to the gate and shining their headlights at the monopod overnight, and telling ground support not to send food or water. Fortunately supporters have continued to be able to set up camp right by the blockade – please come visit if you like, and message the page if you want directions or info on what supplies we could use!

bit.ly/supportmvpresistance

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