by Jon Sokolow
For the past three months, tree sitters in Elliston, Virginia along the path of the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline have held strong, preventing EQT Corporation from felling trees in preparation for laying pipe. These heroic pipeline fighters, acting in the long tradition of civil disobedience, are succeeding in delaying construction while the courts have an opportunity to hear legal challenges. And the courts are listening!
On November 27, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a unanimous decision halting all construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline across the hundreds of water crossings along the entire 303 mile route in Virginia and West Virginia. Pipeline fighters in Virginia continue to win important victories against both the MVP and the much larger Atlantic Coast Pipeline being pushed through by Dominion Energy and its allies in the Northam Administration. These fights are far from over!
Meanwhile, ARTivism Virginia, a collective of artists committed to using their talents for social and environmental justice, has produced this compelling and beautiful video on the Elliston tree sits and the larger battle to save Virginia’s water, air, land and cultural resources from being ravaged by these pipelines. This summary from ARTtivism Virginia’s founder, Kay Leigh Ferguson, tells more about the Elliston tree sits and how this great video came to be. Take a minute to read her words and to watch AND SHARE the “Diamonds in the Sky”:
On December 1, 2018 neighbors and allies resisting the ongoing destruction along the Mountain Valley fracked gas pipeline route gathered in the rain and mud to bring a sun powered concert, gifts and support to the Appalachians Against Pipelines tree sitters at Yellow Finch in Elliston, Virginia. Music by After Jack and Sunrise Review rang out between two steep hills, one clear cut by MVP, the other occupied by young people putting their bodies on the line to protect our local and earthly future.
Yellow Finch Sun Sing was produced by ARTivism Virginia to affirm that the choice for direct action is a brave and sane choice in response to any new fossil fuel infrastructure at this moment in our history. It also was produced to launch a solar resistance, marked on this occasion by a gift to the tree sit of the first solar powered kit that can independently provide power to heated socks, sleeping bag heating pad, charged phones, and can boil a little bit of water as well.
“The climate change line in the sand is drawn in Virginia along the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast fracked gas pipelines. While legal challenges offer great and continued hope, political and regulatory channels are proving corrupt. The question we work to pose to all Virginians concerned about their water, their children’s future and their right to own their own land is: What will you do?” says ARTivism Virginia founder, Kay Leigh Ferguson.