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Tree Sitters Extraction Day 1


For more than two years anti-pipeline protesters have been living up in the tree canopy, in an effort to block the way forward for the Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline. But Tuesday authorities began the difficult process of extracting the last two protesters.

The group Appalachians Against Pipelines, which has been supporting the tree sitters, said one protester was removed and arrested Tuesday evening.  The other remained in place and expected to stay there overnight.

“They had a negotiator here earlier with a bull horn.”  That’s Acre, one of the tree sitters. “Let them! with a megaphone trying to negotiate us out of the trees it appears."

He’s been live streaming the action at Yellow Finch Lane in Elliston, as authorities work to remove them and another protestor from the steep, wooded terrain.

On the livestream, one of the officers could be heard, telling Acre three times that he is under arrest. There is word that the tree sitters have locked themselves to the trees.  

The voice of Sarah Reals Bohn, a Montgomery County Supervisor, could also be heard describing a very large crane above the tree line with a bucket perched above the protesters.

The protesters began sitting in the trees in 2018, now deemed the longest tree sitting protest on the east coast.

Robbie Harris is based in Blacksburg, covering the New River Valley and southwestern Virginia.