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MVP Protesters on Injunction Day; Judge Says Encamped Protestors Must Leave

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Kurt Holtz
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After more than two years defending a small parcel of forest from being cut down to make way for the Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline, Monday is the deadline for tree-sitters to comply with a Montgomery County judge’s order to leave the property.

“So right now, people are preparing for the cops to come,” Dusty Pinesap said Monday morning.

Like all the dozen pipeline protesters encamped in the forest, Dusty Pinesap is not their real name.

Anti - Mountain Valley Pipeline tree-sitter Pinesap, and a small group of people, also anonymous, have been camping in the forest in an effort to keep trees on private property in Elliston from being cut down to make way for the pipeline.

 

Most construction is on hold, pending rulings on rights to cross streams and water ways, but the construction is allowed on parts of the route that do not cross water ways.  And that opened the door for a judge to place a temporary injunction on the encamped tree sitters, requiring them to leave the property Monday, November 16, 2020.

Monday morning morning protesters made their thoughts known on a highway not far from the encampment.

“What do we want? Environmental Justice! When do we want it? Now,” they chanted.

“How we've maintained this blockade is, we have a lot of local, community support," Pinesap said. "We wouldn't have been able to do this, if we didn't have the support of people who are directly affected by this pipeline. They are core and integral to all the actions that, that we've done.”

As of Monday afternoon, police have not begun the process of removing the tree sitters from their encampment and requests for comment from pipeline spokesperson, Natalie Cox, have not been answered.