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3 protesters bind selves to pipeline equipment, are arrested

Photo credit: WDBJ7
Photo credit: WDBJ7(WHSV)
Published: Jun. 5, 2018 at 12:10 PM EDT
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Three protesters from Massachusetts were arrested after binding themselves to equipment in West Virginia to halt the construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

State police Sgt. C.K. McKenzie tells news outlets that they attached themselves to a tunnel and earth-moving machinery Monday.

Charges of trespassing, obstructing an officer and resisting arrest were filed against 18-year-old Sydney Patricia White, 21-year-old Evin Tyler Uger and 25-year-old Maxwell Harry Shaw. McKenzie described their resistance as "passive," saying it took almost two hours to free them.

Two protesters were not attached to anything and left when asked.

“Those folks left and there were no charges,” he said. “They were trespassing and given the opportunity to leave.”

McKenzie said the other three had put their arms around part of the construction equipment on site, then through metal pipes that were wrapped with rope and chicken wire covered with either peanut butter or axle grease, then all encased in duct tape.

Police spent hours freeing them before handcuffing them and booking them.

It's unclear whether they have lawyers. Each was released on $1,500 bond.

Legal and regulatory challenges, tree-sits and other acts of resistance have failed to stop construction of the 300-mile (480-kilometer) natural gas pipeline.